Stockton on Tees
Stockton-on-Tees is in the centre of a group of key towns to the south of County Durham. Darlington to the west, Middlesbrough to the east, and Hartlepool and Redcar on the coast. The River Tees defined the industrial past of these places, alongside the growth of the seaside resorts to either side of the Tees estuary. That history means that today you’ve got the dual benefits of business and beach, and work and pleasure, as the backdrop for your new home.
Stockton is described as a large market town and has indeed got one of the largest outdoor markets in the UK, held every Wednesday and Saturday (with a smaller one on a Friday) in the pedestrianised high street. It’s got a traditional indoor market too, The Shambles. There are some large shopping centres: the Castlegate Shopping Centre, the Fountain Shopping Mall and the Wellington Square Shopping Precinct. Just across the Tees, the Teesside Shopping Centre is quite a competitor, a huge retail complex with high street stores. You’d probably need to make a day of it, so it’s just as well there are lots of places to eat there too.
Stockton and Middlesbrough share the main connecting route from the A1(M), the A66. They also share the north-south route of the A19 which heads on up to Sunderland following the line of the Durham Heritage Coast. The A66 is the road link with Darlington. Stockton and Middlesbrough are separated by the River Tees and it takes around 15 minutes to drive between the two. The train link takes much the same time. In fact, trains are a bit of a legend around here as Stockton-on-Tees was the home of the first-ever passenger train! Teesside International Airport is just to the south, with European and Domestic flights to choose from. The main bus operators are Arriva, Go North East and Stagecoach, with frequent services throughout the town and all its residential areas as well as into Middlesbrough.
With all that’s on offer in Stockton, its neighbour Middlesbrough and the coast, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy. The River Tees is the starting point with the River Tees Watersports Centre. Chandlers Wharf and Castlegate Quay along its shores, have been reinvented as hubs for restaurants and leisure, as well as for business and residential purposes. The striking Teesquay Millennium Footbridge and the Riverside Footbridge connect with the National Cycle Network and for walks along the embankment. Out of town, and easy to get to, you can take a break and head for the sea. There are 8 miles of sandy beaches from Redcar to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, just half an hour’s drive away.