Fancy exploring off the beaten track and uncovering a hidden gem to call your new favourite spot? The Tees Valley is full of special, quirky and little-known treasures to try.  

We’ve put together a list of just some of the gems that you will find in the Tees Valley, including places to shop, eat, and explore! 

Food & Drink 

If you are looking for delicious vegan treats, head to the quaint Alkaline Kitchen in Middlesbrough for a variety of plant-based meals, from sweet desserts to exotic mains, there’s something yummy for everyone to try. The café is truly a hidden gem, boasting a unique colourful décor, a friendly environment, and some of the most delicious vegan dishes around! 

Sortie is a cocktail and charcuterie bar based in Darlington, where you can sample high quality meats, cheeses, and antipasti along with a stunning wine menu. Sortie sources local organic produce and collaborates with small businesses to supply the best products for you to sample whilst supporting local. 

The New Inn is not only Yarm’s first ever micropub, but also home to the UK’s smallest beer garden!
Try local cask ales and a quaint atmosphere at this micropub which is tucked away on Yarm’s award-winning High Street. 

Salt Street Food Kitchen  in Darlington offers the full street food experience in the trendy surroundings of their restaurant. Famous for their bao buns and burgers, their visually aesthetic street food dishes are perfect for those who are looking for an insta-worthy meal.  

If you’re looking for a whole range of vegan food at affordable prices, head to Shanti Vegetarian Cafe & Bistro in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The food is all made fresh on site with locally sourced and organic ingredients, perfect for vegans, vegetarians and gluten free.  

Head to the Georgian Theatre for a cosy space to chat after a show. This independent venue is tucked away in the Green Dragon Yard in Stockton and is home to a whole host of entertainment and culture. Discover the bar with a great selection of food and fine real ales, before watching local live bands perform in the very next room!  

Museums & Galleries 

Gallery TS1 isn’t just your ordinary art gallery, it showcases artists from across the Tees Valley, selling quality art and crafts which are all produced by locals.  

Learn about Hartlepool’s part in the First World War at The Heugh Batterey Museum and see how local lives were changed by the events that took place on 16 December 1914. This museum is a short walk away from National Museum of Royal Navy Hartlepool, so why not enjoy a day catching up on the Tees Valley’s maritime history? 

If you’re looking for the full Tees Valley maritime experience, voyage over to Redcar to see the world’s oldest surviving lifeboat at Zetland Lifeboat Museum and Redcar Heritage Centre, conveniently located on the seafront.  

Become immersed in culture in the unique space of The Auxiliary, which is a studio and exhibition set up in an abandoned warehouse in the heart of Middlesbrough. There are shows and exhibitions frequently held for public access, showcasing local and international artists.  

Get Outdoors 

Escape to an outdoor hidden gem and take a walk through Honeypot Wood to discover the local wildlife in this delightful woodland located in Stockton. Visitors can relax beside Whitton Beck and enjoy a picnic at the outdoor seating area.  

Walking in Redcar is a great way to enjoy some fresh air whilst learning about all about the region’s history. This unique walk will follow the Ironstone Era and Redcar’s Alum history, taking in the beautiful natural views along the coast on The Miners Way walk (Walking in Redcar & Cleveland.)

If you’re looking for a hidden outdoor space to get in touch with nature, head to Drinkfield Marsh Local Nature Reserve (Walking in Darlington) to see a variety of wildlife like Water Fowl and Water Voles by the lake, and a variety of beautiful birds. Whilst exploring your wild side, why not discover 80 species of birds and 18 species of butterfly on Greatham Get Away (Walking in Hartlepool) walk in Hartlepool? 

Try your hand at canoeing or rowing at RiverShack in Yarm, Preston Park to experience the fresh air in one of the beautiful ‘blue spaces’ that the Tees Valley has to offer.  Take an open-air cruise on the passenger boat Juno between Preston Park & Yarm if you’d prefer a more relaxing afternoon on the water. 

Local Businesses  

Geoff Crust Furniture is a family run business in Redcar that sells beautifully unique furniture and home décor, including rustic outdoor seating that reminds you of the sea. 

For a mystical experience, why not enter the enchanted world of Under a Spell in Redcar’s Northern Quarter or Guru Boutique in Darlington, which sell crystals, salt lamps, dream catchers and many more unique and magical items. 

If you’re interested in botanical inspired homewares, gifts and jewellery, Gillian Arnold offers handcrafted designs and is based in Darlington.  

Find more things to do in the Tees Valley by exploring the website www.enjoyteesvalley.com and let us know what hidden gems you come across on social media using #EnjoyTeesValley. 

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