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Durham Tees Valley nightlife venues

When the sun sets a whole raft of lively and delightful options become available in Durham Tees Valley. For a small city, Durham has a wide selection of pubs and bars catering for its large student population, as well as locals and visitors. The Swan & Three Cygnets is a Samuel Smiths house by Elvet Bridge with great river views from its terrace. Known to regulars as ‘The Swan’, it offers quality pub grub and a cheap pint! Dating from 1899, family-run The Victoria Inn on Hallgarth Street boasts the North East’s best surviving pub interior. With an ever-changing line-up of real ales, it is a regular in the Good Pub Guide and was a regional CAMRA winner in 2019.  nother pub which has achieved a few nods from CAMRA is The Station House in Durham.

The energetic nightlife of Middlesbrough draws people from across the Tees Valley. Built in 1897, The Middlesbrough Empire is one of the town’s oldest and grandest entertainment spots having played host to a variety of performers including Charlie Chaplin. Today the Grade 2-listed building is one of the country’s finest venues with three floors dedicated to music and style. Another stunning Victorian concert venue is the Town Hall which stages a range of events from concert and comedy to theatre. In nearby Stockton, Ku Bar has a reputation for live music, from showcasing Teesside’s top musical talent to attracting previously up-and-coming bands like Glasvegas and Arctic Monkeys to the area.

Hartlepool Marina is home to an array of bars, cafes and restaurants – including Wallis & Co, which has live music every Sunday night, in the luxury Navigation Point development. The town centre has an array of late opening ‘party’ bars including Loons, Bar Paris and Skyy, which attract a younger crowd. Darlington has a range of trendy bars including Harvey’s Late Bar. Inside the Feethams complex you will find the Woollen Mill, a large Hungry Horse pub which is popular with families and sports enthusiasts. For cocktails or special fizz there’s Crooner’s Champagne Bar, or enjoy the heated roof top terrace of Hash Bar and Kitchen. For a glass of expertly-selected wine go to Vesuvio, which has live music on Sundays. Real ale fans should look no further than Number Twenty 2, The Quakerhouse, if you can find it tucked away down an alley off the High Row, The Britannia Inn, The Half Moon or The William Stead.

Our picks


1-4 North Road, Durham DH1 4PW

Find Revolution west of the River Wear, in the heart of the city on North Road. From here they raise the bar, bringing you creative cocktails, delicious food and incredible nights out in Durham. Enjoy stunning river views from our ground floor restaurant, or upstairs, dine and drink on the heated terrace with retractable roof – perfect for cocktails come rain or shine. Visit website

The Boat Club
Beer taps

Elvet Riverside, Durham DH1 3AF

The Boat Club is a casual dining bar and eatery on the banks of the River Wear, just on the edge of the market square. The four suntrap terraces overlooking the river make this a must hit spot for catching a few rays, while enjoying an extensive range of drinks from cocktails and premium spirits to craft beers and botanically-brewed soft drinks. Visit website

The Green Tree
Friends in a pub

41 Tudhoe Village, Spennymoor DL16 6LE

Set in the picturesque Tudhoe Village, only five miles out of Durham city. This beautiful 290-year-old family-run country pub and restaurant offers delicious home-cooked traditional pub fayre with a great selection of drinks including over 60 different gins with a dog friendly bar and real coal fire. The garden hosts a play area and outdoor seating. With ample parking and lovely country walks the Green Tree offers a warm welcome from your hosts the Hopson family. Visit website

The Nuthatch
Cocktail at The Nuthatch

9-11 Bedford St, Middlesbrough TS1 2LL

If you’re in Middlesbrough and fancy a cocktail in a sophisticated setting, try The Nuthatch on Bedford Street which allows you to reserve a table and has waiter service for drinks. Popular drinks include the lychee and elderflower Martini, and there’ two for one cocktails on Thursdays and Sundays. Visit website

Live music

Dovecot Street, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1LL

ARC is a venue in the centre of Stockton on Tees, offering a full programme of professional, high-quality cultural entertainment and creative activity for people of all ages. The fabulous building, spread over five floors, includes an intimate digital cinema, two theatres and The Point, a unique music and comedy venue. It easy to find with plenty of parking and public transport links too. Visit website

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Image credits: ©Bobby Hendry/Jez Timms/Unsplash; CoHo; Lev Dolgachov/Peter Kim/; The Nuthatch

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