Delve into music history, learn about the automotive business or simply settle in for some live shows in Sunderland. Situated in the north-east of England, close to Newcastle, the city is a mix of industrial buildings and large green spaces, and first grew as a port primarily shipping coal and salt. Now it is known as a centre for science and technology and the automotive industry. Famous landmarks in the city include Hylton Castle, St Peter’s Church, and Ryhope Engines Museum. Sunderland has many connections to literature, art, and pop culture. Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll frequently visited, and it is thought that some of his characters and settings were based upon places in the city. Sunderland also has a large musical history, with many famous bands and artists from the Arctic Monkeys to Girls Aloud playing at the stadiums and various university venues. Home to several theatres, perhaps the most famous one is Sunderland Empire, the largest theatre situated between Edinburgh and London and one of the only theatres large enough to host a full-scale West End production. It is also famous as the place where actor Sid James (Carry On) suffered a heart attack whilst on stage, subsequently passing away. Sunderland theatre is well worth exploring.