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Whilst travel to and around the Tees Valley is not permitted at the moment, there is nothing to stop you planning for your next trip. Here you will find Visit England’s guide to the best things to do in the Tees Valley when it is possible again.

Lining the lower reaches of the River Tees and encompassing the five authorities of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesborough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees, the Tees Valley is a somewhat secret hub of seaside escapes and heritage delights. Here are just seven things you can enjoy in this corner of North East England.

1. Feast on fresh fish and chips

Seagulls won’t be bothering you for your food at the Seaview Restaurant, which overlooks Saltburn’s long stretch of golden sands. With much of its produce sourced from respected fish merchants that use sustainable methods, the menu is dictated by the catch of the day and tends to change each week. Opt to sit in the luxury indoor restaurant, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows with views across the shoreline, or soak up the sun on the balcony. Who knew fish and chips could be so fancy?

Find more places to eat in the Tees Valley.


2. Take the helm on one of Nelson’s warships

Built in 1817, HMS Trincomalee is one of the oldest ships afloat in Europe, and is the last of Nelson’s frigates. Now housed at the award-winning National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, the ship transports you back to an 18th-century seaport, immersing you in the lives of the navy 200 years ago. You’ll meet sailors from the Georgian Navy who lived on board the ship, discover how tradesmen earned their wage and even experience the firepower of guns and cannons with live demonstrations.

Learn more about the Tees Valley’s museums

3. Tackle a wild water rollercoaster

Grab your squad – you’re in for the ride of your life. At Tees Barrage International White Water Centre, you’ll weave, spin, surf and crash your way through a maze of twists, turns and sudden stops, trying your best not to get completely soaked. This adrenaline-fuelled activity is led by an expert guide who’ll help you get to grips with the rapids – and, if you have what it takes, you might even get the chance to tackle the biggest artificial drop in the whole of the UK. If that sounds too extreme, the site also has canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding and raft-building experiences.

Find more water sports in the Tees Valley.

4. Spend the night in a hobbit house

Remember that famous film trilogy featuring houses hidden under mounds of grass, with those iconic round doors? Well, you can stay in one just like them at North Shire.

This family-oriented campsite, also home to a variety of furry residents (including miniature ponies) is dotted with quirky accommodations doused with a touch of magic. North Shire also features the Grounds Keeper’s Cottage whose medieval-looking turrets, copper bath and mismatched stained-glass windows make it the perfect hideaway for aspiring witches and wizards. Or, for a truly opulent stay, get cosy in the Dorm Room, complete with four-poster beds, flickering candles and a touch of magic.

Find more places to stay in the Tees Valley.

5. Uncover the olden days at Raby Castle

Dating back to the 14th century, this Viking fortress brings history to life with its ornate halls and chambers housing fabulous interiors and art collections.

Raby Castle gives a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived here in the past and see what means of transport they used in the Coach House and Stables. Surrounding the castle is 200 acres of lush green parkland and well-kept gardens. Spot wildlife in the deer park, wander around the ornamental walled garden and stop off for some fresh scones at the tearoom.

Discover more cultural and heritage attractions in the Tees Valley.

6. Ramble through Guisborough Forest

Escape the hustle and bustle of towns and cities with a trip to Guisborough Forest on the northern edge of the North York Moors National Park. A mosaic of habitats – from woodland to wetlands and grasslands – here you’ll encounter nothing but the sights, sounds and smells of nature. There are a number of bike trails on offer, as well as an orienteering course, circular waymarked walks and a sculpture trail that’s ideal for little legs. And for all your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with stunning scenery and views over the Tees Valley and the coast.

Uncover more walking and cycling routes in the Tees Valley.

7. Rejuvenate at Rockliffe Hall

If you just want to slow things down, stay the night at the luxury Rockliffe Hall and take advantage of its award-winning spa. Take a dip in the indoor pool or hydro pool, release pent-up tension in the Infrared room, stimulate circulation in the ice igloo and unwind in the high-humidity Tropicarium. The outdoor Spa Garden is a treat too, with hot tub, glass-fronted sauna and gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. And if you want to truly indulge, book in for a holistic spa treatment – the menu includes hot stone massages, exquisite facials and Himalayan salt rituals.

Find more spa breaks in the Tees Valley.

Please note: Non-essential travel is not permitted at the moment. Please use this post as inspiration and check the latest government guidance before travelling or visiting the Tees Valley.


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