Darlington is a pretty town in Durham, full of history and charm – did you know it’s home to Darlington Railway, the world’s first steam-worked public railway? There’s plenty of things to do in Darlington, from Medieval castles to a scenic park for a lakeside stroll.
We’ve rounded up the very best things to do and see while you’re here…
Best things to do in Darlington
Just 10 miles outside the town lies this beautiful Medieval castle. It was built by the mighty Nevills in the 14th century and is one of the finest and best-preserved medieval castles in North East England.
Take a tour of the castle to learn about its rich history and then take a wander through the gardens; there’s an 18th century ornamental Walled Gardens which include fabulous yew hedges.
Darlington was the birth place of passenger railways, so this railway museum is a must-see. The Head of Steam has a number of steam trains on display, including Stephenson’s Locomotion.
Plus, there’s a great exhibition on the contribution of railway workers in the North East during World War I.
3. South Park
This beautiful Victorian park has something for everyone. Listen to bands playing in free outdoor concerts, enjoy the fabulous flowerbeds, talk to the parrots in the aviary or play your favourite sport in the multi-use games area.
Stroll around by the lake to feed the ducks, and then feed yourself in the cute park cafe.
4. Clock Tower
Darlington’s 155-year-old town clock is the landmark of the town. The clock was a gift to the town by the industrialist Joseph Pease in 1864. It overlooks the market and the bells still chime out loudly to this day.
5. St Cuthbert’s Church
If you fancy taking a look inside, the church opens every day from 11am-1pm between Easter and September. There’s plenty of interesting features to admire inside, such as a marble font with a 15ft high oak cover – the tallest in the county – made in 1662.
The misericords in the choir have unique carvings, including a naked, bearded man who is snoozing in only his boots.
6. Darlington Market
Darlington Market is an historical covered market with fresh, local produce including seasonal fruit and vegetables, delicious cheeses and a wide range of locally reared meats. There’s regular events with street food and lively entertainment, making it a lovely spot to wander around.
It’s open Monday-Saturday from 8am-5pm, with monthly Sunday farmers markets.
7. Tees Cottage Pumping Station
Tees Cottage Pumping Station is a Victorian waterworks where Victorian engineering at its finest is on display.
The pumps all in operation and still pumping water from the River Tees (although no longer supplying the town’s water!) There is also a Blacksmith’s Shop, where demonstrations are usually given, and a Miniature Railway.