Locations: Sunderland Aquatics Centre
Need help finding your way to some exotic open meet. Want to know the best places to park or how far the pool is from the station? You can help provide those answers for everyone else, send the webmaster your hints and tips.
Sunderland Aquatics Centre
Officially opened on 18 April 2008, the Sunderland Aquatic Centre provides some of the best facilities in the country.
Built next door to the Stadium of Light, it boasts the first 10 lane, 50m pool in the area. In addition, it has a spectacular diving pool with five metre, three metre and one metre platforms.
Be aware though, this is usually the hottest swimming pool you will ever go to. Be prepared for high temperatures in the viewing gallery and on poolside. There is a very limited cafeteria, that often can't cope with the demand at big meets. A shopping centre is only a short walk away, but the best option is probably to take your own food.
We regularly attend Sunderland for NER Short Course Championships in December where the Long Course 50m pool is divided in two. One half used for the Age-Group competition, the other for Senior/Junior.
- Olympic size swimming pool: 10 lanes, 50m
- Diving pool (warm up/swim down)
- Electronic timing with score board
- Free car park (except on match day*)
Travelling (Car Park and Directions)
To help you find the aquatics centre, here is an interactive map (pan and zoom) in addition to a route finder:
- Google Maps
- For your SatNav: SR5 1SU
A large, free car park is available, which is ample for most events. However, as Sunderland AFC's Stadium of Light is directly opposite the Aquatic Centre, no parking is permitted in the vicinity of the pool on match days due to security concerns (correct as of Nov 2011).
It is strongly recommended that visitors check this beforehand.
The following car parks are close by (15mins walk), but most early-birds can find a spot road-side amongst the houses opposite.
The following document might also be of interest.
It was provided prior to the 2008 NER Championships
and provides more details about travelling to the centre and the likely complications associated with match days.
Usually, staying over is the only option for Sunderland, so here's the usual team hotel. There are plenty of others of course, but this has a very useful bonus for hungry swimmers!
Premier Inn (South Shields, Port of Tyne)
The Premier Inn (South Shields) is usually rammed with swim teams for NER weekend. We'd like to believe it's nothing to do with the all-you-can-eat Saturday night meal at Taybarns, but that would just be lying.
For the best deals, book early. There are usually cheap rooms available before they realise they're about to be bombarded with 100s of swimmers and their families. You can also book through Easy Fundraising and raise money for Dartes along the way.
Can you recommend any other hotels?
Any thing else you think your team mates should know about a weekend in Sunderland?
Drop the webmaster an email with your suggestions.