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Pristine Beaches And New Hotels: This Underrated UK City Is Booming With Tourists

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We can't quite say London is old news given how world-renowned it remains today.

What we can say is there is far more to explore in the UK beyond Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and double-decker busses.

London's historic urban sprawl is and always will be the main draw, but sometimes we forget how scenic the coastlines are when visiting our allies across the pond.

Roker Beach, Sunderland, U.K.

You have Scotland's awe-inspiring islands, Brighton, Blackpool, and even more flying under the radar, especially with American tourists.

Since the UK is one of the easiest European destinations to reach from mainland USA with plentiful direct flight options, why not have a go at one of the most underrated beach cities in the nation.

Booming with tourists as of late, the seaside city of Sunderland offers pristine beaches and many new hotels, taking claim as the UK's newest tourism hotspot.

Sunderland: UK's Lesser Known Beach Getaway

View of building in Sunderland

The UK is an incredible country to traverse, but it's time to bring the coast to the center stage.

Typically, Americans stick to Florida, California, Mexico, or the Caribbean for their beach fix or perhaps take a long flight to Europe to a well-known beach destination.

Sunderland isn't exactly well known in our neck of the woods, but it's getting there. Nearly 2 million vacationers packed into the UK's northeastern coastline last year with even more expected this year according to the latest Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor data.

Home to approximately 170,000 residents, this isn't just a beach town either. There is more to do beyond bake in the sun and swim in blue waters.

Lighthouse at Roker Pier

Home to castles, museums, beautiful parks, and even a professional soccer team, there is much to keep busy beyond the beach.

Prestigious Blue Flag Beaches

While not often discussed when choosing a beach getaway, one enticing factor is confirmation of how pristine a beach may be.

Sure, you can scour TripAdvisor for the latest reviews, but many popular places such as the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Costa Rica all have prestigious awards certifying beaches as the most pristine in the world.

Wildflowers blooming at Seaburn Beach

If you have been to, say, Los Cabos, you may have noticed a blue flag planted in the sand to signify the beach's special qualities like cleanliness, safety, and sustainability.

You might be surprised to find out Sunderland meets the mark, too. With the likes of Los Cabos, Punta Cana, and Guanacaste, this unsuspecting seaside escape stands in good company.

Now let's temper expectations a bit, however. Sunderland is not Punta Cana with some of the most vivid blue waters on the planet, but they are clean, safe, and well maintained.

So much so the city has been awarded Blue Flags for at least a dozen consecutive years!

Seaburn Beach, Sunderland, U.K.

Roker Beach and Seaburn Beach are two that should highlight your itinerary. And don't forget to take advantage of perfect photo-ops at the postcard-worthy lighthouses.

New Developments Ready For More Tourists

Large investments in the millions of dollars have been pouring into Sunderland for years, and the latest tourism statistics prove money talks.

Beforehand, Sunderland was just any ol' beach town that nobody seemed to care about. Now it's trendy.

Sunderland's historic buildings have undergone a renaissance, with many now serving as stylish lodgings for visitors.

Formerly the Sunderland Norfolk Hotel

Former empty lots are now modern hotels, and former battered buildings are now breathing new life as vacation rentals.

Take the Seaburn Inn, for example. The new beachfront hotel with spectacular views cost a whopping 6 million dollars and that's just the tip of the iceberg as the surrounding promenade has seen major upgrades too.

New bars, new restaurants, and revamped hotels have increased visitors significantly.

Despite the surge, there is still so much room to go, making Sunderland an ideal spot to enjoy before even more crowds discover how great it is.

Former firehouse converted into restaurant - Sunderland, UK

Despite the UK's gloomy weather reputation, this side of the country sees warmer weather July and August while the rainiest months are December and January.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.