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Top 10 reasons to visit Durham Tees Valley

There are many reasons to visit Durham Tees Valley, but here are the top 10.

Stunning natural beauty

The countryside of Durham Tees Valley is crying out to be explored. To the west, the North Pennines has been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is also a UNESCO Global Geopark, and truly is one of the country’s special places. Head to the coast and you will find golden beaches that stretch for miles and rugged cliffs where you could see kittiwakes, fulmars and cormorants.

Explore the beauty of Durham Tees Valley's countryside

Explore the beauty of Durham Tees Valley’s countryside

Outdoor thrills

Whether the sun is shining or not, you need never have a dull day in Durham Tees Valley. How about learning to surf at Saltburn or go white-water rafting at the Tees Barrage? Don’t like getting wet? You could always hire mountain bikes to explore Hamsterley Forest.

Lively nightlife

The locals have a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude to life – and they often leave their coats at home for both! The pubs and clubs in the region’s town centres bounce on a weekend, but you will often find village pubs full too, especially if there’s live music on!

Fascinating history

Durham Tees Valley’s famous sons include explorer Captain James Cook (pictured below) and George Stevenson, who built the first public railway to use steam locomotives. The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum and the Darlington Railway Museum are two of many places worth a visit to find out more about the history of the region and its people, who are noted for their hard endeavour and remarkable enterprise.

Festivals and events

If there’s one thing the people of Durham Tees Valley know how to do, it’s throw a party. Lumiere Durham, International Riverside Festival and The Festival of Thrift in Middlesbrough are three of many which take place across the area every year.

Lumiere Festival in Durham is the UK's largest light festival

Lumiere Festival in Durham is the UK’s largest light festival

Delicious food and drink

At restaurants across the region you will find talented and passionate chefs who use the finest local produce to create stunning dishes. But there is no need to spend a fortune on eating out either – local butchers including Taylors in Darlington and Petch’s in Middlesbrough do a lunchtime pie, peas and gravy special that people can often be seen queuing up the street for.

A great place to shop

As well as all the big name shops, numerous independent retailers can be found thriving in high streets across the region. They are usually staffed by passionate and knowledgeable people who will take pleasure in finding you something special to take home as a gift or to treat yourself!

Vibrant arts and culture

The region is a thriving arts and cultural hub with world-class museums like Beamish and internationally-acclaimed centres such as Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. There’s also historic theatres, galleries and World Heritage sites.

Brass International Festival takes place every July

Brass International Festival takes place every July

A warm welcome

The people of Durham Tees Valley are one of its best assets. You are unlikely to meet a warmer, funnier or more down-to-earth bunch anywhere. They love their region and will enjoy sharing their enthusiasm with you.

A region that’s on the up

Despite blows, such as the closure of the steelworks at Redcar, the economy is benefitting from new industries and new opportunities. Durham Tees Valley is very much a region on the front foot and is approaching the end of the decade with a swagger and a new-found confidence.

Read more about Durham Tees Valley

Image credits: ©Alastair Wallace/; Drhfoto/; NMRN Photography; Richard Kenworthy/BRASS

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