Unique wake venues in Sunderland

Celebrate the life of your loved one with a meaningful wake in Sunderland.

Cheer for the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light, enjoy a picnic at the sprawling, beautiful Roker Park, or have a few drinks at the unique and modern Art Centre Washington as you celebrate the life of your loved one in Sunderland.

Hosting a wake in Sunderland

A wake is an informal event that traditionally takes place after a funeral service and cremation or burial. It's usually an informal event that involves family and friends gathering to share memories and celebrate the life of their loved one.

Traditionally, wakes would take place at someone’s home, or a community centre or pub, but they can take place anywhere. The people organising the wake may want to honour their loved one by holding the wake at a place that was special to them, such as at the grounds of their favourite football team, for example. 

Also, although wakes usually take place directly after the funeral service, they can be held at any time. They can also be as structured or as informal as the organiser would like. Wake organisers have the freedom to host the event that’s right for them, their family and friends, and their loved one.

If you’re organising a wake in Sunderland, there are plenty of unique venues where you can host the event in your own way, from a picnic at Roker Park to a hospitality suite at the Stadium of Light. 

Find your funeral director in Sunderland who will help you arrange a cremation or burial, and give you ideas for a wake, memorial or reception that's right for you.

Famous wakes vary from all night events to not having one at all

Peter Stringfellow was a flamboyant nightclub owner in London who died in 2018. Following a low-key woodland burial, people organised an all night wake party at his club in Covent Garden. 

Meanwhile David Bowie did not want a fuss and chose to have a direct cremation without a funeral or wake. These are ways people have shaped what happens after their loved one has died to reflect their character and wishes.

Stadium of Light

Since the club’s founding in 1879, many stadiums have hosted Sunderland AFC including Blue House Field, The Grove, Horatio Street, Abbs Field and Newcastle Road, before the club eventually settled at Roker Park. 

Roker Park was the proud home of Sunderland AFC for 99 years before it moved to the Stadium of Light. The club built the stadium on the site of a former pit to celebrate the coal miners and shipyard workers that not only supported the industries that helped Sunderland to prosper, but to support the fans of the football club who often worked in these industries. 

The Stadium of Light opened in 1997 and soon became known as one of the finest arenas in the country, staging its first full England International in October 1999. But it is still proud to host Sunderland AFC and the fans that make the club so great. 

If your loved one was a big Sunderland AFC supporter, the Stadium of Light offers a huge range of suites and packages that can be tailored to you and the event you wish to plan. 

To discuss their hospitality options further, you can contact the Stadium of Light’s hospitality team by emailing [email protected], providing your name, telephone number, and the event you would like to plan.

Roker Cliff Park

Roker Cliff Park Lighthouse is situated in Roker Park, one of the oldest parks in Sunderland as well as one of the biggest (not to be confused with the former home of Sunderland AFC). Built in the Victorian era, the influence of this period can be found throughout the park. 

The land covers an area of just over 25 hectares and the park itself sits on two main levels. The eastern side overlooks the sea and is connected to the promenade, while the west side of the park is level with the cliff tops and is where most of the park sits. 

Gather your family and friends for a picnic or a stroll and share stories about your loved one while taking in the beautiful surroundings. From the famous lighthouse and drinking fountain to the tranquil boating lake, Roker Cliff Park is one of the most scenic parts of Sunderland, and the perfect place to remember your loved one and celebrate their life.

Art Centre Washington

The Arts Centre Washington is a truly unique setting with modern facilities and high-quality services and is the perfect place to celebrate the life of your loved one. Plus, it’s conveniently situated just off the A1 between Sunderland and Newcastle and has free parking facilities, making it the ideal venue for family or friends travelling from further afield to share with you in remembrance. 

The arts centre has both large and small function rooms suited to all kinds of events, and there is sure to be a space within the centre that meets your needs. The Courtyard Cafe/Bar can cater your wake and technical assistance can also be provided if needed, and the friendly, attentive staff at the centre are there to cater to your every need. 

One of the function rooms available in the arts centre is the Low Barn, on the ground floor. The Low Barn is able to accommodate 120 guests and also has its own bar and facilities. 

For a smaller, more intimate event, the Granary is located on the first floor and can accommodate up to 50 guests. To enquire about booking one of the function rooms you can email the team at [email protected] or call them on 0191 561 3455.

The right choice for you

If you’re interested in a wake funeral and need to organise a direct cremation first, we can help.

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