By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
Travel to and around Durham Tees Valley with ease with a number of different options.
General travel information
For general travel enquiries visit connectteesvalley.com or ring Traveline on 0871 200 2233 for local public transport information. By road The region has excellent road links. If you are coming from London and the South East, take either the M1 or the A1(M) and just head north. The M1 then joins the A1(M) east of Leeds and the motorway delivers you right into the heart of the region. The A1(M) can also be used if you are coming from Scotland or Northumberland. From the west, you can arrive using the M6 and then cross the country on the M62 or A66. Alternatively, cut cross the Pennines on the A684 and take in the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales en route. If you are coming from York or Tyneside, the A19 is a quick and usually trouble-free link road, which links up with the A66 near Middlesbrough.
London, Edinburgh and Manchester are within three hours by high speed train into Durham and Darlington stations. Local connections can be made to all principal towns of the area from both Darlington and Durham. Direct train services also run from the south and west direct to Middlesbrough. 24-hour information on the train times can be obtained by telephoning 08457 484950 or visiting:
National Express provides coach services from across the UK to various towns in the region including Darlington, Durham, Stockton and Middlesbrough. It is also possible to catch Arriva buses from Newcastle to the larger towns.
Teesside International Airport has a daily connection through KLM into the international hub at Schiphol in Amsterdam, meaning it is possible to fly into the region from practically anywhere in the world. Teesside International Airport also has regular flights to and from Aberdeen. From Newcastle International Airport you can fly direct to 80 different destinations around the UK and the world including London Heathrow, Dubai, Paris, Dublin and many more.
DFDS Seaways run regular overnight ferry services between Newcastle and Amsterdam. Car ferries from Holland and Belgium also sail into Hull, which is around a two-hour car journey away.
The region is well served by cycle routes with Route One of the National Cycle Network passing right through as it makes its way from Dover to Shetland. There are also dozens of bridleways, minor roads and forest tracks across the North East and Yorkshire, meaning it is possible to pedal your way into the heart of the region without having to navigate along busy A-roads.
The Durham Tees Valley region has excellent road links and they are getting better all the time, with millions being invested to improve the network. The main arterial routes are the A1(M) and the A19 which both run north to south. These roads can be busy during rush hour but are rarely as congested as major roads elsewhere in the country. The A66 runs from the M6 in the west across the Pennines to Scotch Corner where it runs into the A1(M) for a short stretch, before becoming the A66 again as it skirts Darlington and continues east to Stockton and Middlesbrough. If you want to head out for a day’s drive to discover some the most scenic parts of the region, you will find the roads up Teesdale and Weardale surrounded by striking countryside.
There are good rail links between all the bigger towns in the region with the historic train station in Darlington the hub for many journeys. Train company Northern runs regular services north to Durham and east out to Teesside. From Middlesbrough the line continues to the popular North Yorkshire seaside town of Saltburn. You can also catch the train further down the coast to Whitby and Scarborough. Heading west from Darlington you come to Bishop Auckland. From here you can catch a train on the Weardale Railway, a heritage service which runs up the scenic Wear Valley to Stanhope and Frosterley. Even when not travelling on a heritage line, it may feel like it with many services in the region still using the 30-year-old Pacer trains!
Arriva runs bus services across County Durham and the Tees Valley, with excellent services linking up all the major towns, as well as many smaller towns and villages. For timetables visit the website Andrew Barker. Services are also provided in the district by Stagecoach North East. Buses are inexpensive, with unlimited travel day tickets usually available, and are usually on time. It is also possible to travel between larger towns on National Express coaches. For travel enquiries, call 08717 818181 or visit nationalexpress.com.
Cycling is a great way to explore the Durham Tees Valley region. The area is criss-crossed with back roads, bridleways and tracks that are great to explore by bike. You will find many people doing likewise in the summer months, particularly on a weekend in Teesdale and Weardale. Cycling charity Sustrans produces a useful guide on cycling in County Durham. The guide includes details of several established cycle routes which pass through the area, including the popular North Sea Cycle Route which takes you along the coast from Middlesbrough to Seaham. A route that will take you to scenic places you might otherwise miss is the Walney to Wear & Whitby long-distance ride, which includes a section from Kirkby Stephen to Houghton-Le-Spring via Barnard Castle and Durham. For more information, visit sustrans.org.uk.
The area has numerous well-established footpaths, many of which take in glorious countryside and picturesque towns and villages. You could choose to follow one of the recognised walks such as the Durham Coastal Footpath – a superb 11-mile walking route from Seaham to Crimdon, or you could plan and follow your own route.
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