Sunderland Bristol Train
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Sunderland is a city in Tyne and Wear in the north east of England. It lies at the mouth of the River Wear which also runs through the city with the two sides of the city connected by the Queen Alexandra Bridge at Pallion and the Wearmouth Bridge just north of the city centre. Much of the city is located on a low range of hills running parallel to the coast.
Over the centuries the city grew as a port, trading coal and salt. The city also began shipbuilding in the 14th century and was once regarded as being the "Largest Shipbuilding Town in the World" and by the 19th century Sunderland had grown to absorb Bishopwearmouth and Monkwearmouth.
Following the decline in the city's shipbuilding, the shipyards along the Wear were redeveloped into a mixture of residential, commercial and leisure facilities which includes St. Peter's Campus of the University of Sunderland, the North Haven housing and marina development, the National Glass Centre, the Stadium of Light, home to Sunderland Football Club, and the Riverside Retail Park. Adjacent to the Stadium of Light is the Sunderland Aquatic Centre which contains the only Olympic size swimming pool between Leeds and Edinburgh.
The city of Bristol, which borders the counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset, has always prospered due to its ties to the sea. The city's commercial Port of Bristol was originally located on the heart of the city but was moved to Avonmouth on the Severn Estuary. Royal Portbury Dock lies to the west of the city. Additionally, Bristol has a long history as a centre of culture and as such is the largest cultural centre in the region. In recent years the city's economy has increasingly depended on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industry. The site of the former docks in the city centre have been regenerated as a centre of heritage and culture. The city's principal theatre company, the Bristol Old Vic, was founded in 1946 as an offshoot of The Old Vic company in London. Its premises on King Street consist of the 1766 Theatre Royal which has 607 seats, a modern studio theatre called the New Vic which has 150 seats, and foyer and bar areas in the adjacent Coopers' Hall (built 1743).
Bristol is located in an area of limestone which runs from the Mendip Hill to the south to the Cotswolds to the north east. The River Avon flows from nearby Bath and created a gorge, the Avon Gorge, which helped to protect Bristol Harbour.