Visit Sunderland's guiding light
Perhaps one of the most poetically named of football grounds, Sunderland AFC's Stadium of Light is symbolic to its side's many supporters, as a "guiding light" to those who worked in the area's mines. A monument of a miner's lamp stands at the entrance to this day. The stadium itself only dates back to 1997, but its simple design and large capacity make it a firm fans' favourite.
Explore all that Sunderland has to offer
While in Sunderland, why not check out its attractions? The National Glass Centre is worth a visit for the architecture alone, while the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens are a year-round destination - with free entry, too. And there's good walking to be found around the Souter Lighthouse and The Leas as well.
Hit the Toon
Newcastle city centre is just over 10 miles away - a 30-minute drive, allowing for traffic. There's no end to its appeal, from shopping trips and cafes/restaurants to museums, galleries and landmarks. Particularly recommended are the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the Discovery Museum and the Centre for Life. The nightlife, too, is exceptional.
Planning a trip to the Stadium of Light? Travelodge Sunderland Central Hotel and Travelodge Sunderland High Street West Hotel are both ideally placed, while Travelodge Newcastle Whitemare Pool Hotel, to the north, is good for those hoping to combine their visit with trips into the city.