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Destinations > UK > North East > Darlington guide

This delightful town was founded in the Saxon times on the banks of the river Skerne. Since then it has enjoyed and celebrated many historical revolutions and discoveries, which are reflected in the colourful character of the town. Darlington is full of sight from its historical heritage to its floral displays, for which it has won numerous awards for Britain and Northumbria in Bloom competitions. There are many sight in Darlington to capture the eye, perhaps one of the most stunning is the parish church of St Cuthbert founded in 1183, today the church is affectionately know as the 'Lady of the North' and is one of the finest examples of an early English church.
During the Industrial Revolution Darlington took its unmistakable place in the age of the railway. It was in Darlington that George Stephenson and his famous passenger locomotive the 'Rocket' began. In fact if you look at the back of a 5-pound note you will find Darlington in its important statues of the railway. Today you can view Stephenson's world famous 'Locomotive' at the Darlington Railway Center and Museum which is housed in the historical 1842 North Road Station.
It is a great town to do some serious shopping, there is an essential all weather indoor shopping center 'The Cornmill', plus high street names, fashion and unique boutiques. There are also many unusual shops were you can find everything from fine food and wine to gifts and crafts. If all this shopping takes its toll there are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes to rest in, or why not just take a stroll around the center along the Wynds through the Yards and discover the great architecture and historical buildings. Darlington also has one of the largest market places in England, which is situated just in front of the 'Lady of the North'. Market day is held on Monday and Saturday and there is always a colorful collection of stalls selling a variety of goods.
The surrounding town and villages are also visually stunning all of which can boast an eventful historical past. The world famous author Lewis Carroll, the creature of "Alice in Wonderland" and many other novels lived and created many of his works in the nearby village of Croft. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and gives plenty of opportunities to explore, walk, cycle, picnic or drive.

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Darlington Civic Theatre
Housed in a beautiful Edwardian building, here you can choice between a variety of performances, from the Darlington Ammeter Operatic Association, to touring plays and shows.
Location: Civic Theatre, Parkgate
Tel: 01325 486888

Darlington Arts Centre
The Arts Centre offers a great night out, there are a variety of venues and performances to choice from. There is everything from an art gallery, with changing shows and exhibitions, a cinema, a theatre and a ballroom which is used to host everything from yoga to excellent Rhythm 'n' Blues nights. The Arts Centre is also home to many live bands and the local beer festival in the summer.

The Crown Street Art Gallery
Here you can wonder among many exhibitions by local artists
Tel: 01325 462034

Summer Festival
Throughout the summer Darlington has many events in the town centre and the Market Square, from live bands to children's entertainment. There is also live band music every summer in the South Park.



Location: East Street
Telephone: 01325 35 79 68

Location: Beaumont Street
Telephone: 01325 38 12 38

Plastered Parrot
Location: 6 Commercial Street
Telephone: 01325 35 48 84



Darlington with its famous industrial history was founded back in Saxon times on the banks of the River Skerne. It is home to a stunning example of an early English church built in 1183. In front of St Cuthberts Church on Tuesdays and Saturdays you will find the famed local market situated in one of the largest market places in England.
Darlington's Victorian industrial architecture and character pay tribute to the Quaker families of the 18th and 19th centuries. Thriving linen, wool and banking industries provided the town with employment and many prominent buildings.
However Darlington is fundamentally famous thanks to the leading Quaker industrialist and prominent citizen George Pease and his passionate belief in the age of the railways. Pease and George Stephenson invested their time in our future in their creation of the fist ever steam-worked public railway. The Stockton and Darlington railway is celebrated every year in September - a tradition started by railway workers in the 1920's. Live steam train rides give you a real sense of a mode of travel synonymous with the town.
'You will be able to see history in the making! This is where trains were born and where an engineering heritage was forged.' David Mach - Local 'Train' sculptor.



Darlington is a great central place for all sporting activities, with the Dales so close which are ideal for rock climbing, absailing, canoeing and most outdoor adventure sports. Plus great cycling and walking. Darlington also has a great leisure center. Ideally located in the town center the Dolphin Center is one of the UK's busiest leisure centres with a pool complex, luxurious sauna area, soft play, fitness areas, 5 a-side, badminton and squash courts.Dolphin CenterTel: 01325 388406The Faverdale Activity Centre
The center is available for expert coaching in climbing, caving, fell walking and kayaking.



There are many pubs in Darlington, ranging from a quiet pint pub to live music and wine bars. The town center pubs are great in the day if you are looking for a nice drink break from shopping, they are usually full of office workers catching a quick pint. A lot of the pubs also serve good pub food at competitive prices. However at night things heat up. Most of the pubs play lively music and get busy making it a great party night out. However a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night are when it can become a late nighter as the clubs are all open, as well as a lot of the pubs and bars having late licenses.
Outside the town center you will fined a variety of pubs, there are a lot of quiet village pubs and family pubs which serve food, plus country pubs with venues for live music by local people.

Location: The Imperial Center, Grange Road
Telephone: 01325 468 071

Location: 63-67 Bondgate
Telephone: 01325 28 18 91

The Bowes
Location: 81 Skinnergate
Telephone: 01325 46 25 79

The Falchion
Location: Blackwellgate
Telephone: 01325 46 25 41

Filibuster & Firkin
Location: 82 Skinnergate
Telephone: 01325 36 85 55

Location: Blackwellgate
Telephone: 01325 46 50 63

Old Yard Tapas Bar
Location: 98 Bondgate
Telephone: 01325 46 73 85

O'Neills Bar
Location: 26 Duke Street
Telephone: 01325 37 10 21

Red Lion
Location: Priestgate
Telephone: 01325 46 76 19

Location: Richardsons Yard, Houndgate
Telephone: 01325 35 38 00

Rosies Bar
Location: 1 Bondgate
Telephone: 01325 48 16 86

Route 66
Location: 17 King Street
Telephone: 01325 36 89 33

Tap & Spile
Location: 99 Bondgate
Telephone: 01325 38 16 79

Turks Head
Location: 21 Bondgate
Telephone: 01325 46 31 91

Yates Wine Lodge
Location: 30 Skinnergate
Telephone: 01325 48 15 00



Darlington is a great place to eat out, with plenty of restaurants and bistros with a variety of menus


Eastern Bamboo
Location: 194 Northgate
Telephone: 01325 461607


Garden of India
Location: 43 Bondgate
Telephone: 01325 482100

Location: 204 Northgate
Telephone: 01325 36 07 87

Spice Garden
Location: 112-114 Parkgate
Telephone: 01325 36 95 12

Sardi's Restaurant
Location: 196 Northgate
Tel: 01325 461222


The Thai Cottage
Location: 94-96 Parkgate
Telephone: 01325 361717


Beiderbeck Brasserie
Location: 30-32 Bondgate
Telephone: 01325 28 26 75

Cafe De Ville
Location: Imperial Centre Grange Road
Telephone: 01325 464642

Blue Lagoon
Location: 25 Grange Road
Telephone: 01325 46 22 35



Darlington provides a variety of shopping experiences from the historic out door market, the characteristic 'wynds' and 'yards' to the Queen Street and The Cornmill indoor shopping centers. For extra enjoyment and safety a large part of the shopping street are car free from 10am to 4pm, allowing you to amble at your leisure through the maze of yards and connecting streets.
You will find everything from high street names, bargain stores, craft centers, unique Boutiques and unusual second hand stores selling retro clothes and goods.




Teesside International Airport is only 5 miles away from Darlington on the A67. There is good access to the airport by car taxi or bus.
Telephone: 01325 33281


The A1 (M), A66, and A68 easily access Darlington, with many connections. Once in Darlington there are plenty of pay display car parks in the center of the town. So there is little stress of finding places to park.


Darlington is well served by National Express Coach Services, which have a wide U.K. service. For pick up points and destinations, and run regularly from London Victoria to Darlington and else were in the U.K.
Telephone: National Express - 0990 80 80 80


Darlington Central Station is situated near the center of the town. There are main line services to Darlington from all over the U.K. with good connections if there is no direct train.
National Rail Enquiery Telephone: 0345 48 49 50


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