I have visited the Sunderland Illuminations a few times now. I started visiting last year when I first heard of it. I had never heard of this event until I moved to Sunderland back in 2016 for University therefore, I am not quite sure how long it has been going on for.
Not gonna lie, it does always seem to be raining whenever I go but I mean I dunno what else to expect considering it is November now and the event is right near the seafront which makes it even colder so I would deffo advise to wrap up before attending the event because I sure did and I was still numb by the end of it if I’m honest, but wearing that extra bit of clothing is deffo worth it.
If you are wanting to attend this event make sure to book your tickets online in advance and book your time slot as unlike last year you are not allowed to grab a ticket on your way into the event. This is to control the amount of people entering the park at one time. I booked my ticket ( tickets are £2) for 8:30pm so that I could go the event an hour early and have a stroll along the beach front as there are other activities to do there but I will talk about that later. However, that didn’t go to plan because of the rain so I decided to just go to the park where the illuminations are early to see if they would let me in and they did which was great as I didn’t want to be waiting for an hour in the cold and rain.
Upon entering the park the first thing I came across were the pumpkins. I’m not sure if they were there last year but I guess it just depends on the time of year you go because if you go for mid November, Halloween is well and truly over so I doubt they would still have them up but I’m not 100% sure. I then came across what I think was Alice in wonderland lights. I’ve never seen Alice in Wonderland so I’m not 100% sure if they are from that but I did hear some people gossiping about it so I think they are (correct me if I’m wrong though haha).\
This section of the park was the busiest in my opinion however, after many attempts to try and get a picture of the cats face without other people getting in my picture, I decided to give up as there was no way it was going to happen. I then decided to take a slow stroll to a more quiet place and just chill for a bit and get out of the crowd as I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. By doing this I came across these two beauties below. I will admit it was hard to get a decent picture of the fountain lights so i picked the best out of a bad bunch.
Many of the illuminations were exactly the same as last year if I’m honest and not a lot of them were actually working so I was a little bit disappointed in that aspect but ultimately I had a good night and didn’t let that dampen my spirit.
There was one thing which I don’t think was there last time, which was a girl singing on the bandstand in the centre of the park where all the food and drink was. She had a great voice and was so brave to have sang in front of so many people so well done to her. I thought this was a lovely touch as I found it quite calming listening to that woman sing whilst chillin’ in the bar drinking alcohol to try numb the pain of the coldness I was starting to feel and scoffin’ down a hot dog and Yorkshire pudding wrap whilst waiting for some of the crowd to disappear.
After I got warm enough and was done with the refreshments, I carried on my journey around the park and I came across the Christmas section. As you can imagine I was sooo happy about this!. A lot of people think it is wayyyyy too early for christmas but in all fairness, I get hyped for christmas as soon as Halloween’s over and I’m already debating putting my decorations up.
After having looked at all of the Illuminations inside the park I decided to have a stroll along the beach front as there are a lot more to do there including playing mini golf, ferris wheel, rides for younger children and most importantly… more food vans haha. Lets be real though… Have you ever tasted a burger nicer than the ones you get in a burger van? because I know I haven’t.
I didn’t do much of the activities this year as I had already experienced what it was like playing mini golf in the rain as I did it last year and let me tell you now… it ain’t fun at alll (unless you like running after your ball in the cold rain after the strong wind has blew it away) but I did decide to go onto the ferris wheel again this year. I didn’t get a picture of the views up there as we all know I’m petrified of heights so I decided that I would much rather just keep my hands firmly gripped to the side of the cart to ensure I was safe (even though I already knew I was safe) because when you are afraid of something you think of every possible way of how things can go wrong. I did observe my surroundings however, and I noticed a guy fishing… YES, I did just say FISHING!!! I will never get my head around why he wanted to fish at half 8 at night when the weather was as crap as it was… but each to their own I guess.
So thank you for reading this and remember that if you are wanting to visit the Sunderland illuminations make sure to get wrapped up as the weather is pretty unpredictable at this time of year, book your tickets online in advance to choose your time slot and make sure to get a Yorkshire pudding wrap because they’re delicious.
(I believe that the illuminations are on up until November 18th but it might be wise to check)
Thank you again,
(Also I apologise for my awful grammar, I am working on improving it haha)