National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre, Sunderland: Hours, Address, National Glass Centre Reviews: 4.5/5

National Glass Centre
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Based in a unique, contemporary glass and steel building, the National Glass Centre houses exhibition galleries, artists' studios and production facilities, a craft & design shop and an award winning café/restaurant. National Glass Centre is part of the University of Sunderland. We deliver a programme of changing exhibitions, education programmes and events for schools, families, adults and children. We are dedicated to exploring ideas through glass and providing opportunities for people to be creative, enjoy themselves and feel inspired.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.5
968 reviews
Excellent
509
Very good
291
Average
110
Poor
40
Terrible
18

Crazy_Jim_83
London, UK835 contributions
Exhibition was excellent
Oct 2021 • Solo
The glass making competition entries were really impressive and worth the trip. The museum is kind of small but there’s only so much you can say about glass. Missed the exhibition. Strange little place this but not much else to do in the area so worth popping down if in town.
Written October 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ashovercouple
Sedgefield, UK216 contributions
Still a fantastic place to visit
Oct 2021
You would have to be the biggest nit-picker in the world to find fault with the National Glass Centre. It’s got everything . . . amazing displays, demonstrations, special exhibitions, giftware shop ,café – not to mention the wonderful views and activities on the waterside walk We were there this week for the first time in a couple of years or so to explore the current Glass Prize exhibition featuring the work of 40 European-based artists and which brought back some wonderful memories. It’s worth going out of your way to see – and admire. If we’re allowed one very small negative comment, it would have to be about the fruit scones in the café which were far too heavy, a bit like stollen, for our liking and the jam was rather tasteless, too. However, the cream was superb! Next time, we shall try a slice or two of the gorgeous-looking cakes that were on display. All in all, however, it’s still a fantastic place to visit.
Written October 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hello Ashovercouple Thank you for taking the time to feed back to us. We are pleased you enjoyed your visit. I will pass on your comments regarding the scones as all feed back is helpful. We look forward to welcoming you to National Glass Centre again and hope you manage to treat yourselves to the cakes next time. Kind regards.
Written October 23, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dan M
Muntinlupa, Philippines19 contributions
Interesting and Educational
Sep 2021
The Glass Centre is easy to get to, close to the centre of Sunderland and is free to enter with parking at £1.60 per hour. The building is modern and very spacious with a lot of interesting exhibits. The demonstrations were fascinating, in one glass blower Ray produced an amazing glass vase. We were there for about 3 hours and this was not enough to see all that was on offer. the cafe was good value and provided a welcome break. We will return to see more and I would recommend this as an unusual, entertaining and educational day out.
Written October 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Dan Sorry for taking so long to respond. We are really pleased you enjoyed your visit and hope to welcome you back again soon. Kind regards
Written November 17, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

joeparis1000002017
Preston, UK21 contributions
Worth a visit
Sep 2021
Arrived a overflow car park, and thought it was free, then noticed tiny signs in small print at corner of park saying it was private and paid, but no machines to pay. Moved to main car park, and found machines with ambiguous instructions, Person before us paid 1.60 £ then found it was for just 1 hour, and had to buy another ticket for 2 hours (3.20£). Machine instructions are vague and unclear. We purchased 2 hours (card payments only, no discounts for multiple hours, as in other establishments!) Then entered museum, to find a large notice board with car park machine instructions (what use it is at the museum entrance?) Others Complained to admin staff at location of notice board.

Museum is interesting, watched the glass blowing demonstration, at 35 mins, a little long, in a packed lecture arena. Museum area is same size as restaurant and shop.
The museum is worth a visit, and would have stayed for coffee, but then would have to go and pay parking machine again. The car park system is unsatisfactory, as you are clock watching all the time. When you arrive you do not know how long to pay for, and a pay on departure would be a lot more sensible and comfortable.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Joe We are very sorry to hear that you’ve had a difficult experience with the parking at National Glass Centre. Instructions for contactless payment are displayed on the machine. Ie. The display on the machine screen starts by informing customers it is card payment only and asks for car registration number. The machine then gives you one hour with the option to add more hours by pressing the plus sign. You can also pay by using the JustPark app. or by call the number advertised above the machine. The University of Sunderland, which owns National Glass Centre, has made the decision to introduce the parking scheme which will help to ensure the centre remains open, and free to enter at a point where many cultural institutions have been forced to close. The scheme at National Glass Centre is consistent with the rest of the University car parks in the city. We are taking visitor feedback seriously and it is being documented and will be addressed, so thank you for taking the time to feed back to us. We are pleased you enjoyed your time in National Glass Centre and we do hope you revisit us again. Kind regards.
Written September 30, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tony B
Alton, UK174 contributions
Worth a visit...
Sep 2021
Free entry to this interesting place, although parking was £1.60 an hour. Great history of glass production in Sunderland, and demonstrations of glass blowing. Some beautiful glss objects on show.
Written September 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Tony Thank you for your kind comments we are pleased you enjoyed your visit. We hope the introduction of car parking charges will help to ensure the centre remains open, and free to enter after some very difficult months. We look forward to your next visit. Kind regards.
Written September 30, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Darren Mc
Stanley, UK487 contributions
Art, Exhibits, Cafe and Culture
Sep 2021 • Couples
Free entry, although parking is now charged. Over two floors, with exhibition spaces, shop, glass workshop and cafe.

Located ideally as part of a river wear walk either in land or out towards the harbour and roker beach

Very much much worth a visit
Written September 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marie J
1 contribution
Dreadful
Jul 2021
Attended a wedding. Feel heartily sorry for the newly weds. Food was disgusting and cold. Vegetarian option looked like pig swill, garlic bread was so hard you could of knocked nails in with it. Staff told but no one came to resolve issues. Full plates of food left. Catering staff walked around aimlessly not knowing what to do. I've seen more life at a morgue, poll bearers have more spring in their step.
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Marie We are really sorry to read you comments regarding your recent experience at National Glass Centre. We pride ourselves with high standards for all our events and are investigating your comments with urgency. In the meantime can you please email your contact details to info@nationalglasscentre.com so we can respond direct. Kind regards.
Written August 5, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BettyBoo2u
London, UK647 contributions
Another cracking visit
Jul 2021
I love this place and it's a regular visit spot when I am in the North East. Great exhibitions, good shop, nice location and I'd recommend watching a glass blowing demonstration.

This time we used it for breakfast instead of a local hotel and had no regrets. The pancakes with fruit was great, good coffee and okay orange juice. It was hot and it would have been perfect if they had fans inside or places outside where you could sit in the shade rather than full sun. That's being very picky. I'll be back again on another visit as I love this place so much.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi BettyBoo2u Thank you for your kind comments. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Written August 5, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

outandabout99
Worksop, UK134 contributions
Very interesting history lesson
Jul 2021
visited here to see the glass been blown, ended up learning all about how important Sunderland was regarding the glass industry. Some amazing things in the shop and the coffee is very good, would recommend a walk down the river.
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are pleased you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Kind regards.
Written August 5, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elaine H
2 contributions
First timers
Jul 2021 • Couples
Easy to find, thanks to Google, less so to road signage. Convenient parking, easy to spot the way in ... the welcome was lackluster though, we're used to visiting galleries and visitor centers where folk are more engaging, offering a printed guide and suggesting where to begin, so a bit bunny in the headlights. To be honest, we felt we were a bit of an intrusion into someone's morning.
There's some amazing glass, mostly fused, blown and contemporary art pieces but we would have loved more stained glass work and not to have felt like it was all a bit of a shopping experience.
Particularly shocked to have encountered the faces of Myra Hindley, Rose West and, especially, given the location, Mary Bell. It's well past the time that interest in monsters like these was superceded by the people they preyed on.
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Elaine Thank you for your feed back it is most appreciated. We do pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming venue so we are so sorry that on this occasion we did not live up to our high level of customer service standards. We are under many temporary changes due to the current pandemic but are on the road to getting back to normal service and this does include developing a printed guide to help visitors understand our varied offer. Please accept our apologies for any distress caused by the exhibition ‘One Year On’ which features work by the graduates of the BA (Hons) course based at National Glass Centre, featuring Myra Hindley, Rose West and Mary Bell. It is my understanding that the artist who made this work is essentially in agreement with you and through her pieces she is making a comment on how society seems to perpetuate their infamy through the mass media. We do appreciate that this work has a level of controversy but we are also trying to support an early career artist in expressing her ideas, and of course art is an important medium that allows expression and supports discussion. Our exhibitions do change on a regular basis and I do hope that you will consider visiting again.
Written August 5, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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National Glass Centre is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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