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Top 10 things to do in Durham Tees Valley

There are so many things to do in Durham Tees Valley, but here are the top 10.

1. Take a tram ride at Beamish

Award-winning open air museum Beamish tells the story of life in the region during the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. As well as getting the chance to ride in an historic tram, visitors can go down a coal mine and experience the harsh reality of life underground.

Step back in time at Beamish Museum

Step back in time at Beamish Museum

2. Grab a bargain

There are more than 50 independent traders with stalls in Durham’s Market Hall. Many of the stallholders in the restored Victorian building have been there for decades. The market is open 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays in the run up to Christmas.

3. Go rock pooling

The long, sandy beach at Seaton Carew near Hartlepool is a great place to enjoy a day at the seaside. Bring your nets and buckets and go explore the rock pools which are revealed when the tide goes out.

4. White water rafting at Tees Barrage

No experience is necessary to go white water rafting at Tees Barrage, but you must be over 14 and not mind getting wet. The course takes you on a water rollercoaster of sudden drops, crashing waves and sharp turns, with your aim to reach the finishing line without getting soaked!

5. Marvel at High Force Waterfall

High Force, located at Forest-in-Teesdale, in the heart of the Durham Dales, is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country, and the walk from the car park through pretty woodland isn’t bad either!

6. Walk up Roseberry Topping

On a clear day you can see for miles from the top of Roseberry Topping near Great Ayton. Its summit has a distinctive half-cone shape with a jagged cliff, which has led to many comparisons with the Matterhorn. However, unlike the Swiss mountain, it is possible to walk up Roseberry Topping on a Sunday afternoon with the grandchildren!

7. Hire a Saltburn beach hut

Saltburn is a lovely town with a great beach, but it can get nippy even in the summer. The solution for many visitors is to hire a brightly coloured beach hut. The huts are popular even in the winter when they provide a cosy place to eat your fish and chips!

8. See the silver swan

Every day at 2pm the silver swan at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle preens itself before bending down and catching a silver fish. It’s a sight which is both delightful and unforgettable to those of all ages.

Visit The Bowes Museum and see the Silver Swan in action

Visit The Bowes Museum and see the Silver Swan in action

9. Enjoy a lemon top at Redcar

There’s a great beach at Redcar and once you’ve finished making sandcastles and paddling in the sea, a great way to finish your day is to sample a lemon top, which were invented in the town at the Pacitto cafe. For the uninitiated, a lemon top is ice cream with a delicious lemon sorbet on top.

10. Try out an escape room

Escape rooms are hugely popular these days. The idea is to be locked in a room with a group of two to six people and you have an hour to solve challenging puzzles to escape the room. But they aren’t just for adults, teenagers also enjoy them so they make a perfect family activity.

Image credits: ©Beamish Museum; Dave Cooil/Right Click Studios/Tees Active; drhfoto/stock.adobe.com; The Bowes Museum

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