Thompson Park Sunderland Guide

This post is based on a visit in February 2024 and information/facilities can change over time. Please check with venues direct for the most up-to-date info. 

Thompson Park Sunderland Guide

Thompson Park in Sunderland has recently received a substantial £740,000 investment and is a fantastic place to spend the day. 

Facilities include: 
  • Large enclosed playground with equipment for all ages and abilities (including a swing and roundabout and seesaw for wheelchair users)

  • An interactive football wall with LED lights to help impove aim. The wall offers a range of games and challenges for all abilities 

  • A further un-enclosed adventure playground with climbing and play equipment, slides and a zip wire (better for older kids I would say) 

  • A running track and trim trail / outdoor gym

  • A dedicated cycling/scooting area with a mini road layout 

  • Sports courts including bowling green, tennis courts, basketball court & football pitches 

  • A cafe which is open daily from 10am-2pm. The cafe also has shared public toilets which anyone can use during opening hours (accessible toilets available downstairs) 

  • Additional toilets can be found at Aldi across the road from the park 

  • There is a free onsite car park, the park is accessible by bus (20, 9 and E2) and a 10 minute walk from Seaburn or Stadium of Light Metro Station 

  • Dogs are welcome in the open public areas (not permitted in the enclosed playground / sports courts) 

  • Plenty of seating and bins 

Thompson Park Sunderland Location

Use postcode SR5 1PL. There were lots of free spaces when we visited on a sunny weekday afternoon (in term time) but I imagine the car park does get busy when football matches are being played here. Parking in Monkwearmouth Hospital is for hospital visitors only and I believe Aldi has a parking eye so check the signs and follow the conditions if you're going to park there. 

It's free to park at the Stadium of Light on non-match days and there are nearly 200 spaces/it's only a short walk away so I would save this option as a back up. There is SOME street parking around the area but a lot of it requires a permit so again, read the signs. 

Thompson Park Car Park 

Ok, lets take a tour around. I was really impressed with this playground and will be adding it to my 25+ of the best playground in North East England post. 

Everything feels new and in good condition. It was pretty muddy in some areas on the day of our visit so wear wellies if it's been raining. Once the weather dries up a bit, I don't think this will be an issue. 

Just next to the car park is a fab enclosed playground with a toddler area, equipment for wheelchair users and some equipment for older children too. 

The toddler area was cute with a little slide, rocking equipment, toddler swing and more. Lots of space for them to safely run around and explore / have fun. 

I wasn't sure but I've had a quick google and the seesaw below is suitable for wheelchair users (please let me know if this isn't the case). There is also a roundabout that wheelchair users can share and a swing which is suitable for wheelchair users plus a basket swing. 

Often when I review playgrounds there is maybe one piece of equipment for wheelchair users (and quite often there is nothing - hello Lilidorei) so it's nice to see a playground with multiple options here and with access clearly at the forefront of park design. 

There's also an abstacle course to try which looked fun. 

Outside the enclosed playground is this state-of-the-art interactive ball wall which is free to use - just turn up. I haven't seen anything like this in a North East playground before and it's pretty cool. 

There are different games to play and from what I could see, one of the 16 LED panels lights up and you need to aim for that panel. The game will then give you feedback etc...... Kids were playing on it when I was there and I didn't want to disturb them and get too close but it looked like they were really enjoying themselves. Make sure you bring your own ball. 

Then you come to an un-enclosed adventure playground area which is great for older kids although younger kids did seem to also be enjoying this area when I visited. 

There's a big climbing tower with two slides as the focal point and a large zip wire which I couldn't really get any photos of as it was very popular with kids playing on it. You might just spot it in the background of some of the pics below. 

Another pretty cool area is this cycling / scooting area where kids can practice their skills. There is mini road markings on the path for them to practice on. Very cute. 

There is loads and loads of green space, football pitches, a bowling green, basket ball courts, trim trail, outdoor gym equipment and tennis courts too. I didn't see any picnic tables in the park itself but there are lots of benches and it felt really clean and well kept too. 

There is a nice tree-lined surfaced path with benches which I bet is a beautiful place to sit and enjoy nature in Spring. 

The cafe is open daily 10am-2pm and we just missed it closing. Their toilets are available for everyone to use during opening hours and there is an accessible toilet downstair. Outside of these hours, toilets are available at Aldi across the road (open until 10pm Mon-Sat and 4pm Sun). 

Basketball Court 

I also noticed a plant nursery next to the car park. 

Looking for more things to do in the area? Check out these posts: 

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Thompson Park Sunderland Guide


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