Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are National Glass Centre’s opening times?

    National Glass Centre is open every day, 10am – 5pm

    The Glass Yard Cafe is open Daily from 10am – 4.30pm (please note last orders for hot food is at 4pm)

    We are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day

    These opening times are applicable to National Glass Centre and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.


  • How much does it cost to visit?

    Admission and Parking are FREE at National Glass Centre.

  • Where can I park?

    National Glass Centre Car Park, to the front of the building is FREE to all visitors and accessible from Dame Dorothy Street.

  • Where can I find something to eat and drink?

    National Glass Centre’s cafe The Glass Yard is located on the lower ground floor, accessible via the Riverside entrance and the main entrance. The Glass Yard is open all year apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. It offers hot meals, snacks and sandwiches, as well as beer, wine, and hot and cold beverages.

  • What time do the free Glass Demonstrations run?

    Our amazing daily glass blowing, lathe and flameworking demonstrations are free and run throughout the day. Experience the heat of our 1000 degree furnace and watch our expert glass making team craft stunning pieces before your eyes. Please do check the demonstrations are on before your visit as we occasionally have to make changes to our schedule due to special events.

    Flame Working: 11.00 and 15.45 (15 mins)
    Glass Blowing: 12.00, 13.30 and 15.00 (30 mins)
    Glass Lathe: 13.00 (30 mins)

    Please note there are no Glass Lathe or Flameworking demonstrations on Tuesdays.

  • Can I buy a piece of glass I watch being made during a Glass Blowing demonstration?

    Yes, just ask one of our Glass Blowers to reserve the piece of glass you have just watched being made at the end of the demonstration. Other Studio Glass made during other demonstrations is available to purchase from our in-venue Shop.

  • Can I have a go at making my own glass?

    National Glass Centre offers a wide range of opportunities to have a go at making your own glass, including our Glass Making ExperiencesOne –to – one Glass Blowing ExperiencesAdult Courses and Classes and Family Activities.

  • Can I bring my pet? Do you allow dogs in National Glass Centre?

    Assistance animals are more than welcome in the Museum.  However, we do not allow pets.

  • Do you have wheelchairs available?

    Yes. National Glass Centre is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Please ask at our Visitor Services Desk. You can book wheelchairs in advance by calling 0191 515 5555 (Option 9).


  • Do you have pushchairs available?

    Pushchairs are not available from us, but we do encourage and allow their use within the building.

  • Can I take photos and videos of the exhibitions and demonstrations?

    Photography is permitted for personal use only, all photography for commercial use is prohibited unless pre-authorised by the Marketing Team.

  • Do you have Gallery tours?

    Our Gallery Learning Facilitators are happy to give you a free exhibition tour at any time, just ask at Reception or in the Gallery. If you are visiting with a group, please call ahead to let us know you would like a tour or book one of our Group Tour packages.

  • Can visitors access the Internet here?

    Yes. National Glass Centre has free public wireless internet access (WiFi) in most areas including The Glass Yard and the Reading Room. The signal may be weaker in some areas than others.

    Select “NGC Public” from the list of Wi-Fi networks.

  • Can I smoke at National Glass Centre?

    No. National Glass Centre and the surrounding University of Sunderland campus are smoke-free areas

  • What are your payment options?

    We accept all forms of payment apart from American Express Credit Cards, personal cheques and Travellers Cheques. We only accept Pound Sterling.


  • Do you have a cash machine/ATM at National Glass Centre?

    No, we do not have a cash machine ATM within the building, however there is a cash machine, 2 minutes walk away, at St Peter’s Campus and all areas of the Centre take card payments.

  • Why is the National Glass Centre based in Sunderland?

    Sunderland has a long legacy of glassmaking. In 674AD, the city’s patron saint, Benedict Biscop, commissioned French glaziers to make a stained glass window for his new monastery in Monkwearmouth, which was the first stained glass in the UK.  Find out more about why we’re here.

    You can visit St. Peters monastery right across the street from the National Glass Centre. Find out more about a visit to St Peter’s monastery here.