Visiting Darlington – A City Guide
Known for its railway heritage, Darlington still has traces of 19th-century industry. The quaint market town was the terminus of the world’s first passenger railway. Today, Darlington Train Station is well served by the East Coast Main Line and provides direct links to Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Darlington: city layout
The A167 runs through Darlington, providing convenient road access to Middlesbrough and Richmond. The River Skerne also cuts the town in two, and you’ll find some cultural landmarks, like Darlington Civic Theatre, on the eastern side. The town’s main hub of shops and nightlife is to the west.
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Hotels in Darlington
Staying in central Darlington places you within walking distance of lively nightlife, shopping and theatres. You’ll also be within easy reach of Darlington Train Station, linking you directly to London and Edinburgh.
The small towns of Newton Aycliffe and Richmond are within a 20-minute drive and offer genteel, rural locations with easy access into Darlington and surrounding attractions, such as Easby Abbey.
Sports aficionados can stay in Middlesbrough, only 30 minutes away by train, to be close to the Riverside Stadium and the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre.
Eating Out in Darlington
Darlington town centre offers Asian-inspired restaurants, artisanal delis and hearty pies and stews in traditional pubs. You’ll also find a handful of food and drink stalls inside the historic Victorian Market. A short drive takes you to the town’s satellite villages, where you can settle down in a country inn to enjoy a Sunday roast dinner in front of a crackling open fire or a pint of ale in a leafy beer garden.
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Shopping in Darlington
You’ll find everything from high-end fashion to budget brands in Darlington’s pedestrianised shopping area. The Cornmill Shopping Centre and Queen’s Arcade are the town’s two modern malls, both home to a variety of shops, while many other high-street names line the surrounding streets. The nearby town of Richmond is also a well-known hub of independent and artisan shops.
Where to shop in Darlington
Culture & Nightlife in Darlington
Darlington’s compact city centre means it’s easy to hop between the trendy bars and traditional pubs along Skinnergate and Houndgate. Many pubs hold regular open mic or comedy nights, and Darlington Civic Theatre has a packed programme of musical theatre, ballets and concerts. Art fans can head to Gallerina to see contemporary and fine art from local painters.
Evening entertainment in Darlington
Visiting Darlington with a Family
You can take the kids for a swim at the Dolphin Centre, or stroll around South Park and check out its parrot aviary, free outdoor concerts and sports area. Head to the market town of Richmond for a family day out – kids will love exploring the Norman castle.
Top family-friendly attractions in Darlington