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Middlesbrough (population roughly 150,000) is a very large town in the unitary authority of Middlesbrough Borough Council, which was part of the now abolished county of Cleveland and county borough Teesside. Prior to both of these, it was in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and currently is within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire.
Middlesbrough was a town which rapidly grew in the 19th century due to the rise of industry in the area.
Middlesbrough is served by Durham Tees Valley Airport (IATA airport code MME; formerly called Teesside Airport), which is 12 miles away from the town.
Durham Tees Valley Airport is small, and only flies to a few destinations. However, the larger Newcastle Airport (IATA airport code NCL) and Leeds Bradford Airport (IATA airport code LBA) are within a reasonable drive or an easy train journey. Manchester Airport (IATA airport code MAN) does a direct train service from the airport, which takes approximately 2.5 hours.
Middlesbrough is on the National Cycle Network. National Cycle Route 1 (Inverness to Dover) runs for 25 km through the town
The town has a several bus services including Stagecoach and Arriva. They are frequent and usually travel regularly all over the Teesside area including Darlington, Durham, Newcastle, Whitby, Scarborough, Bishop Auckland, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. The buses are reliable and reasonably priced.
The town is a key point on the National Express coach network, with services linking with London, Heathrow, Luton and Gatwick Airports. The coaches also travel to Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, York and other key towns and cities across the country.
Services run to Redcar and Saltburn, Darlington, which is a key station on the rail network (on the East Cost Mainline, Arriva Cross-Country and Transpennine Express), Bishop Auckland, Newcastle, Sunderland, Hartlepool and Whitby. Transpennine Express run services to York, Leeds, Manchester and Manchester Airport Through the day: roughly 1tph-Newcastle 1tph-Hexham 1tph-Manchester Airport 2tph-Saltburn 2tph-Darlington 5 trains per day-Whitby 3 extra trains-Nunthorpe 1tph-Bishop Auckland
The nearest major passenger port is the Port of Tyne, which is serviced by DFDS (Services from Netherlands). A short bus journey to Newcastle train station from the port will allow access to Middlesbrough within 2 hours of arrival.
Hull port is serviced by P&O, which offer access from many countries around Europe.
The nearby Teesport, the UK's third largest port, only serves freight.
The NCP car park below the Dundas Mall is a large car park, generally with free spaces. However, the car park is privately owned by NCP, so charges are high!
Short stay parking is also available at Captain Cook Square Car Park, Middlesbrough Leisure Park (near the Cineworld cinema), the Cleveland Centre (be careful though, it's now a pay-on-foot system and there's a lot of works going on there, parking is limited and they'll charge you just for driving round the car park), and a small car park on Burton Street.
Long stay parking is available at the Zetland Multi Story Car Park, Cannon Park, the Captain Cook Square Car Park, and a few other small car parks.
On days of Middlesbrough FC home matches, it's advisable to go to the town before noon or fans will take the spaces.
The town does not have a Metro system, nor does the train service sufficiently cover the town. The best way to get around the town using public transport is by Arriva or Stagecoach bus services. Traveline can assist in planning. The bus station has an entrance in Captain Cook Square, as well as one on Newport Road. There are services to surrounding towns and villages, as well as Sunderland, Durham and Newcastle. There are also National buses. The train station is located at the top (north) end of Linthorpe Road. There are direct services to Newcastle, Hexham, Sunderland, Saltburn, Redcar, Whitby, York, Darlington, Leeds and Manchester. Teesside Airport has a station on the route to Darlington, but for no reason anyone can think of, trains never stop there.
Middlesbrough has two large parks: Albert Park and Stewart Park.
Albert Park is a classic Victorian landscaped park about 1 mile south of the town centre off Linthorpe Road, the main shopping street. The main entrance is at the Cenotaph, which is located in a square bounded by the park, the Dorman Museum, Linthorpe Road, and Park Road North. The other boundaries of the park are Park Road South and Park Vale Road.
The park is divided into four quadrants by wide paved pathways running north-south and east-west. The east-west path runs past well-kept flower beds. The northeast quadrant of the park has bowling greens and tennis courts. The southwest quadrant has childrens' play areas and a boating lake, which is undergoing renovation in 2009. The southeast quadrant has a large open area suitable for ball games. The northeast quadrant also has open areas, as well as an old roller rink.
In the centre of the park, at the intersection of the main paths, is a bronze statue of Middlesbrough's most famous resident, star football player and controversial football team manager Brian Clough.
Stewart Park is more rural, created on what was once the edge of the town at the intersection of Marton Road and Ladgate Lane. It resembles more a botanical garden than an urban park, with long pathways meandering through woods, over wooden bridges etc. It is now best known as the site of the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum. The northern half of the park features an open air zoo of sorts with mostly small animals and birds, sometimes including kiwis. An open grassy area may be used for picnics.
Middlesbrough has a Championship football club. The Championship is the UK's second level football league. Middlesbrough FC were UEFA Cup runners up in 2005-2006, and they won the League Cup in 2003-2004. The football team play in the 35,000 seat Riverside Stadium (☎ 0870 421 1986). The stadium is a 10 minute walk from the town centre (past the cinema) and is easy to find. If you are in doubt, ask a local or simply follow the crowd. Middlesbrough play in red. Tickets generally cost around £25 for adults and £15 for concessions. They can be bought from the ticket office at the stadium, or from the MFC Retail in Captain Cook Square, opposite the entrance to the bus station, and 150 yards from Linthorpe Road.
There are multiplex cinemas in both Middlesbrough and Teesside Park. In Middlesbrough, there is a Cineworld cinema (Middlesbrough Leisure Park, Marton Road), and at Teesside Leisure Park (between Middlesbrough and Stockton) there is a Showcase Cinema .
The Cineworld cinema is cheaper and newer, though there are not as many shows.
Also, there is a single screen cinema in Redcar, the Regent Cinema, though it is very old. (The Esplanade, Redcar. tel. +44 1642 482094. Website: )
The University of Teesside has a cinema showing contemporary films and world cinema in the evenings. 5-10 minutes walk from the Town Centre. Website: 
There are theatres in Middlesbrough (The Avenue, Linthorpe. tel. +44 1642 815181. Website: ), Darlington Civic Theatre (Parkgate, Darlington. tel. +44 1325 486555. Website: .) and The Forum Theatre (Queensway, Billingham. tel. +44 1642 551389. Website: ).
Concerts, Live Music and Culture
Middlesbrough hosts a number of musical and cultural events during the year, including receiving national fame as a host city for the BBC Proms in the Park "Last Night of the Proms" in September 2007.
Middlesbrough Music Live has been running since June 2000. Website: 
Middlesbrough's top multi-cultural event, Middlesbrough Mela, attracts more than 25,000 and is held annually in Albert Park. Website: 
Middlesbrough Town Hall hosts a number of concerts and other performances of all kinds. Box Office: tel. +44 1642 729729. You can download the brochure of their international classical concert series on their website (top right in the pink box) 
Local musical groups such as the Cleveland Philharmonic Choir, Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, Teesside Symphony Orchestra, Apollo Male Voice Choir, and the nationally acclaimed Tees Valley Youth Choir give regular concerts in the area. Many details are available through Tees Music on their website: 
Middlesbrough has two museums: the Dorman Museum and Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.
Dorman Museum, Linthorpe Road, tel. +44 1642 813781, . Summer (28 February to 31 October) Tu-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, closed Sunday. Winter Tu-Su 9AM-4:30PM. A museum which is over 100 years old. It is located near Albert Park. It was renovated and extended in more recent years, making it more accessible to the younger generation. The museum has free entry.
Bowling is available at Hollywood Bowl in Teesside Leisure Park (tel. +44 1642 633666 Website: )
Ice skating is now available at the newly refurbished Billingham Forum, approximately 5 miles from Middlesbrough town centre. There is a temporary ice rink set up in Middlesbrough town centre for the festive season, along with a Big Wheel.
The Splash centre is a swimming baths in Stockton, which has 2 slides and 1 wave machine. (Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees. tel. +44 1642 527272).
A list of pools in Redcar & Cleveland is available here: . Also, there is the Rainbow Centre in Coulby Newham (Parkway Centre, Coulby Newham. tel. +44 1642 592800. Website: ) and the Neptune Centre in Berwick Hills (Ormesby Road, Berwick Hills. tel. +44 1642 230106. Website: ). The Neptune Centre is the home of MASC - Middlesbrough Amatuer Swimming Club. Middlesbrough is also very near the North Sea coast - but it is usually far too cold to swim in the North Sea (unless you wear a wet-suit!).
Walking and rambling
Situated on the northern edge of the North Yorks Moors National Park, Middlesbrough is an ideal and handy base for walking and rambling activities in this area - and in the Northumberland National Park. Middlesbrough is also within 'striking distance' of the Cleveland Way - a long distance walk (109 miles) that goes from Helmsley (SE 612 838) to Filey (TA 114 806). Further details about this walk can be found on the National Trails Web site: . People who successfully complete the route can claim a certificate. It is also possible to purchase a woven, cloth ruck-sack badge from the National Park Centre at Sutton Bank  (tel: +44 1845 597426).
Middlesbrough hosts a local group of the Long Distance Walkers Association. This group organises regular walking events. Details of these can be found on the Cleveland Group's Web page. There is also a local group of the Ramblers' Association. The chairperson of the Cleveland section of the RA can be contacted by phone on +44 1642 474864.
There are many local walking groups and rambling clubs in the area. One of the most popular and successful of these is Stockton Rambling Club (SRC). The SRC runs its own weblog where details of its mid-week and week-end walks are posted; details of its social events are also posted here.
Further details about walking in the North East area (and a free Walking Guide) can be obtained from the following Web address: . Useful walking maps (1:25000 scale) for this area are Explorer 306 and Outdoor Leisure sheets 26 and 27. These are available in local shops and can also be obtained from the UK's Ordnance Survey office. Electronic maps for use with computers and GPS satellite navigation systems can be purchased from Anquet Maps Ltd. Anquet has lots of UK walking routes (for use with a GPS) on its Web site. An example of one of the many routes available at this Web site can be found here .
Middlesbrough has many different types of shops, and four shopping centres. The majority of these are in, or connected to, the town's large and comprehensive shopping district.
The town is home to the award winning Psyche clothes store.
The Parmo is a local delicacy of Middlesbrough comprised of chicken (or less often pork) topped with cheese and béchamel sauce, along with other toppings on request. It is generally served as a take-away.
The Purple Onion (top of Corporation Road in the Town Centre) is a good Bistro and has a downstairs live music venue. The majority of good restaurants are outside the town centre - a taxi ride away but well worth it; Try Great Ayton - a quaker village with great pubs and restaurants, Yarm - a Georgian High Street with innumerable restaurants and bars or a great favorite Cafe Lily - in Norton - a really great atmosphere and lovely food.
The town has many pubs and bars. These are both in the town's centre and in residential districts.
Many Yorkshire towns and villages (within driving distance), such as Great Ayton, also have pubs. Many of these feel authentic pubs.
The town centre is very safe during the day, all areas are usually vibrant and busy. You should generally be safe walking through the centre at night, as there is likely to be many people still around.
Cleveland Police operates a police station, Middlesbrough Police HQ, in Bridge Street West, Middlehaven, Middlesbrough. The police can be reached in an emergency by phoning 999 or 112; for non-emergencies, they can be contacted at +44 1642 326326.
British Transport Police also run a station in the town. It is in the railway station. They handle railway-related crime.
The Harbour Police police Teesport. They can be contacted at +44 1642 277202.
Stewart Park is four miles out of the town's centre, and is on the A172. It has an area of 30 hectares/70 acres. Also, Marton train station is only a five minutes walk. The park was landscaped by Henry Bolckow, one of Middlesbrough's ironmasters and the borough's first mayor. On the site, the cottage where local hero and explorer Captain James Cook was born once stood. There is a modern museum located 50m from where this cottage was.
Albert Park is close to the town centre, and has an area of 70 acres. It was donated to the town by Henry Bolckow; opened by Queen Victoria's youngest son, Prince Albert, in 1868. It was the home of Middlesbrough Football Club until they moved to Ayresome Park (where they no longer play, they have since moved to the Riverside Stadium).