Football, county and Test cricket, horse racing at Redcar and Sedgefield, sailing, hot air ballooning, fishing, offshore sailing, go-kart racing – the choice is all yours in Durham Tees Valley.
Try life in the fast lane with laser gun games, white water rafting and motor racing at the Croft Driving Circuit. Or for a more leisurely time, visit one of the area’s 25 golf courses, including Teesside Golf Club and also Billingham Golf Club.
If you are a serious walker, take the Lyke Wake Walk, the Cleveland Way or the Teesdale Way and marvel at the glorious scenery. The Riverside Stadium has been home to Middlesbrough Football Club since the club’s move from Ayresome Park. There is also a professional club at Hartlepool. Or have a day at the races at Redcar Racecourse or nearby Sedgefield, and join in the excitement of seeing top-class horses in action with the chance to beat the bookies and back a winner.
Not surprisingly, water sports are a big attraction. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can ride the rapids at the Teesside White Water Course in Thornaby where white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking are all on offer. The River Tees Watersports Centre in Stockton has facilities for rowing, jet skiing, water skiing and dragon boating and expert tuition in a range of activities is available at the Watersports Centre in Castlegate Quay.
There are also swimming pools throughout the area, including Acklam Sports Centre, Rainbow Leisure Centre and The Neptune in Middlesbrough. The award-winning Dolphin Leisure Centre in Darlington has three leisure pools and water flumes whilst Splash! in Church Road, Stockton, also has two water flumes and a wave machine.
But for the real thing, the surf in Saltburn is reputed to be amongst the best outside Cornwall. The Surf Shop in the Pier Car Park is your starting point for surfing, boogie boarding and windsurfing. You can have an hour’s tuition or a day’s full surfing and all the equipment can be hired. Or be a spectator at one of the national events that take place in Saltburn during the autumn and winter months.
Not surprisingly, water sports are a big attraction. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can ride the rapids at the Teesside White Water Course in Thornaby where white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking are all on offer
The coastline is also popular for sailing with favourite venues at Redcar’s Majuba Beach, Scaling Dam and the South Gare at the mouth of the Tees. You can sample dinghy racing in the sheltered Middleton Harbour at Tees and Hartlepool Yacht Club, water skiing and even international power boat racing.
There are lots of suitable places for fishing along the coastline and inland, with Scaling Dam stocked with rainbow trout and Lockwood Beck, a 60-acre fishery set in woodlands on the fringe of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park suitable for fly fishing. There’s fishing, too, at Jubilee Lakes at Redworth in Darlington. In complete contrast, enjoy the thrill of motor racing at Croft Circuit near Darlington or South Tees Motorsports Park or visit Chris Birkbeck International Rally School in Saltburn for top instructors and real rally cars.
For cycling or mountain biking, head for Guisborough Forest with its three dedicated cycle routes suitable for different abilities and other bridleways through the forest suitable for more experienced riders. Eston Hills also offers challenging mountain bike rides. Get your skates on at Billingham Forum Ice Arena which is open to the public for sessions where all ages and abilities are welcome. Or visit Albert Park Roller Skate Park or Prissick Skate Plaza, both in Middlesbrough.
The 100-acre Summerhill outdoor sports site on the western edge of Hartlepool includes the largest boulder park of its type in Northern Europe. There’s also BMX racing, orienteering, archery and equestrian galas. Splash out with National Paintball Games at Teeside International Airport or drop in at Arena Quads and some super quad bike action at the site near Hartlepool.
And finally, for cricket lovers there’s nowhere better on a summer’s afternoon than the Emirates Riverside at Chester-le-Street, watching Durham in action in the County Championship and, more recently England Test matches.
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