A few weeks ago, we had Stake Conference* in Sunderland, a city about an hour away from Newcastle by metro. I had never been to Sunderland before, so I took advantage of my metro day pass to spend a little extra time exploring. Despite the clouds and windy weather, I decided to take a little walk along the River Wear to where Roker Lighthouse overlooks the North Sea.
I passed a marina along the way, and the masts of the sailboats made the most amazing sound as they vibrated in the wind. It sounded kind of like a theremin, now that I think of it. (Someday, I’m going to get one of those. So cool.)
The pier where Roker Lighthouse stands was closed off for repairs at the time, but I fell in love with the beach there. I have never seen so many incredible rocks! Every color you could imagine, and smooth and polished like glass. There were hardly any shells—I think I found one—but the rocks were absolutely gorgeous.
On my way back to the metro station, I also passed a lovely old church, and found the sword in the stone. I didn’t try to pull it out, though–I have absolutely no desire to be king.
I enjoyed my Sunday stroll so much that I think I might make a tradition out of it and take a walk somewhere new after Church whenever I can. England is such a walkable place—now I understand why Jane Austen’s characters are always walking everywhere.
I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the general lack of motorized vehicles…
If you're planning a trip, here are some sites that I've found especially useful:
Booking.com is a great resource for cheap accommodations. They have a good variety of both hotels and hostels, so no matter your budget, you're bound to find something to suit.
Hostelworld is also good for cheap accommodations if you're digging the hostel scene.
TripAdvisor has a lot of very useful information, from reviews of attractions and travel-related businesses to forums where you can ask your questions and have them answered by locals or travel experts.
Planning a trip to England? Be sure to save this post to your travel Pinterest board! Thanks!
*In the LDS Church, stakes are groups of wards (congregations) within a certain geographical area, much like a diocese in the Catholic Church. Every six months, we gather together to hear our local leaders talk. If you’ve ever heard of our General Conferences, it’s like that, only local.