Darlington: Best Things to Do

Darlington - Photo by Alex Liivet/alexmartin81 on Flickr

Darlington is a town in County Durham, North East England. Darlington is home to some important historical buildings and monuments existing since the 19th century.

Some of the must-visit historical buildings in Darlington are the Darlington Clock Tower and Skerne Bridge.

Darlington also has some wonderful museums that show the history of the town, like Head of Steam Darlington Railway Museum and Tees Cottage Pumping Station.

Enjoy a glimpse of Darlington's natural beauty at the South Park and Thornton Hall Gardens.

Find out more about Darlington by reading this First Time Tourist Guide!

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SIGHTSEEING

Wander around the beautiful South Park and enjoy some fun outdoor activities. There are many frat paths, duck ponds, and picnic areas that allow you to have a relaxing time at the park. It is registered as a historic park that features other things that make it more interesting to check out, such as sports facilities, an aviary that houses parrots, and a cafe. This park is also a popular venue for live events. You can check out the park's official website to find out about the awesome events that are held here.

South Park

Council-run park with a cafe, an aviary housing parrots, sports facilities & a calendar of events.

Listen to free outdoor gigs, enjoy the wonderful flowerbeds, or play your favourite sport in multi-use games area.

Address : South Park, Darlington DL1 5TD, United Kingdom

DOWNTOWN

Darlington Clock Tower is one of the most iconic historical landmarks in Darlington. The clock tower that has been standing since the 19th century is located in the heart of the town. The area around the clock tower is surrounded by some cafes, restaurants, an indoor market, and other essential buildings. The square where the clock tower is located is also a perfect starting point to explore the town of Darlington.

Darlington Clock Tower

Historic 19th-century clock tower situated in the heart of a quaint square.

Address : 1 Tubwell Row, Darlington DL1 1NU, United Kingdom

SHOPPING

Shop at Cornmill Shopping Centre and find anything that you need here. This shopping center offers excellent shopping experience with its many stores such as fashion, beauty, footwear, and sportswear. There are also restaurants that serve various kinds of delicious foods.

Cornmill Shopping Centre

The Biggest shopping centre in Darlington. Centrally located in the town centre.

Address : 48 Cornmill Centre, Darlington DL1 1LS, United Kingdom

FOOD & DRINK

Darlington has some amazing dishes that must be tried, such as Parmo. It is made of chicken or pork cutlet topped with white béchamel sauce and cheese. There's also Pease Pudding that is made of Carlin peas. And for the drink, you can get some great real ales, local beers, and other beverages from the bars around the town.

CULTURE

Darlington is a town that pays huge attention to its culture and arts. It can be seen from the many programs, events, and festivals that are held in the town. The Civic Theather is one of the examples. Here, various kinds of entertainment from musical, drama, plays, and pantomimes are held. There's also The Forum Music Center often used as a venue for different genres of live music performances.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Peak season: From June to September is the ideal time to visit Darlington. The weather during this time is very comfortable with sunny days and mild temperatures which allows visitors to explore Darlington's attraction without having to worry about rain.

HOTEL

Enjoy a comfortable stay at the historic Walworth Castle Hotel. The hotel that is situated in a 12th-century castle provides rooms accompanied by other amazing amenities that guests can enjoy, such as a bar, a restaurant, and a business center. This hotel is also kid-friendly, so it's very suitable if you plan to travel with your family. Blackwell Grange Hotel is another great option for accommodation in Darlington. Here, there are also a spa, an indoor pool, and a hot tub that will make your stay more enjoyable. The hotel location is also close to Darlington town center and 3 miles from the Head of Steam rail museum.

Walworth Castle Hotel

Relaxed hotel set in a 12-century castle offering a rustic restaurant & afternoon tea.

Address : Walworth Rd, Darlington DL2 2LY, United Kingdom

Blackwell Grange Hotel

Set in a 17th-century country house in its own grounds.

Providing refined rooms all include en suite bathrooms, and have flat-screen TVs and free WiFi.

Address : Grange Rd, Darlington DL3 8QH, United Kingdom

RESTAURANT

Taste various delicious dishes at The Bridge Inn. You can find great choices of food here, from fish & chips, salads, seafood, burgers, and sandwiches. There are also desserts and a la carte menu that are available here. Various kinds of beverages are also available, such as wines, cocktails, and many more. Or, you can also stop by The Old Yard Tapas Bar, another great place to grab a bite that provides amazing Spanish and Greek-inspired dishes like chorizo, tapas, kleftiko, greek salad, and etc. This restaurant also offers vegetarian-friendly options and amazing seafood dishes.

The Bridge Inn

The Bridge Inn combines traditional with a touch of the contemporary.

Set in the idyllic Yorkshire village of Stapleton, near Darlington.

Address : The Green, Stapleton, Darlington DL2 2QQ, United Kingdom

The Old Yard Tapas Bar

Spanish- and Greek-inspired dishes served in a candlelit dining room with a south-facing terrace.

Address : 98 Bondgate, Darlington DL3 7JY, United Kingdom

CAFE

Stop by the Tea With Alice, a wonderful cafe that offers excellent foods like waffles, pancakes, cakes, as well as coffee and tea. The various kinds of menus in this cafe offers makes it a perfect place to get breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. The neat interior of the cafe also creates a great ambiance that is perfect for a hangout. You can also stop by Caffè Nero, a cafe that offers Italian-style dishes and coffee. Various coffee drinks such as latte, americano, cappuccino, flat white, and many more can be ordered with special dietary requirements. There are also other non-coffee drinks available such as tea, lemonade, and juice. What's more? There are also vegan-friendly options to cater to your special diet.

Tea With Alice

Serving tremendous tea, cracking coffee and fabulous food based in the village.

Address : 4 Tillage Green, West Park, County Durham, Tillage Green, Darlington DL2 2GL, United Kingdom

Caffè Nero

Casual coffee-shop chain with a menu of Italian-style light dishes and specially blended drinks.

Address : 8-9 Horse Market, Darlington DL1 5PW, United Kingdom

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

Enjoy some fun night time in Darlington at the Voodoo Cafe and Bar. Here, you will be able to enjoy the amazing collection of cocktails that the bar offers. This Mexican-style bar also offers foods that are no less amazing, such as fajita, burritos, nachos, and many other delicious Mexican dishes. The dance floor in the bar makes this place even more awesome. You can also come to The Quakerhouse to have some amazing real ale in a lively atmosphere accompanied by amazing live music performance. The friendly atmosphere of this bar makes it a perfect place to meet new people.

Voodoo Cafe and Bar

Voted best Latin Restaurant outside London and listed in the World’s Best Bars. Fine Mexican dining and premium cocktails. Nuestra casa es su casa!

Address : 84 Skinnergate, Darlington DL3 7LX, United Kingdom

The Quakerhouse

The best pub in town. Good selection of real ales. Free Live music. Super friendly staff.

Address : 2-3 Mechanics Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF, United Kingdom

INTERESTING PLACE

Learn about the rail history of Darlington at the Head of Steam Darlington Railway Museum. The museum in a 19th-century railway building is home to a great collection of items. Some of the most interesting items exhibited at this museum are the Locomotive No.1 that was built in 1825 by George Stephenson, and Locomotive No. 25 Derwent from 1845 that was designed by Timothy Hackworth and built by William and Alfred Kitching. Tees Cottage Pumping Station is another must-visit place in Darlington. This historical cottage is a Victorian pumping station that has existed since 1849. Here, you will find two original pumping engines, the boiler room, and miniature railways.

Head of Steam Darlington Railway Museum

Darlington’s Museum Service is responsible for Head of Steam Museum. The museum’s site includes a number of historic buildings occupied by local railway heritage groups and organizations.

Address : North Road Station DL3 6ST, United Kingdom

Tees Cottage Pumping Station

A fabulous piece of local history, so many wonderful things on one site.

Address : Coniscliffe Rd, Darlington DL3 8TF, United Kingdom

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

Head to Thornton Hall Gardens and see the amazingly well-kept gardens filled with beautiful and colorful flowers. You will find a large selection of David Austin Roses as well as summer houses and ponds. Make sure to check out the garden's official website for more information about visiting this place since it only opens for a couple of times each year. Skerne Bridge is one of Darlington's most historical monuments. This well-preserved landmark is considered to be one of the oldest railway bridge in the world. Many people visit this site to see this historical remain and enjoy a walk around the area since it also has a beautiful view and nature.

Thornton Hall Gardens

Thornton Hall now a Grade 1 listed building was built around 1550 by Ralph Tailbois. There werethree distinct walled gardens laid out with Elizabethan raised borders and an avenue of lime trees marking the entrance to the Hall.

Address : Thornton Hall Cottages, staindrop road, Darlington DL2 2NB, United Kingdom

Skerne Bridge

A must visit for anyone interested in transport history.

Address : Darlington DL1 1UR, United Kingdom