The home of the railway
Whether you love discovering the rich history of the places you visit or would rather enjoy a bustling modern town, there’s something for you in Darlington. With plenty of museums and galleries, bars and pubs, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Darlington.
Darlington Station is conveniently located a short 10-minute walk from the town centre, although a regular bus service is also available if you prefer.
Darlington is home to over 500 shops, with around half of them completely unique to the town. This means that whatever you’re looking for, from branded items from your high street favourites to one of a kind pieces, you’ll find it in Darlington!
The Cornmill Shopping Centre offers a great selection of shops under one roof, making it the perfect shopping location, whatever the weather. With over 50 shops available, offering everything from fashion to games, as well as a great selection of cafés, you’ll find everything you need for a full day of retail therapy.
Darlington also has a great range of markets, including the Sunday People’s Markets – which is held regularly throughout the year - as well as beautiful Christmas Markets. Whatever the season, you’ll find stalls selling beautiful local produce and products - perfect for picking up gifts for loved ones or yourself.
The food and drink scene in Darlington is nothing to be sniffed at. As well as all your usual high street favourites – from Pizza Express to Nando’s – there’s also a whole host of local options. With cuisine from all over the world there’ll be something for even the pickiest taste-buds.
The city centre is home to everything from tapas bars to Indian takeaway, and its compact size means that it’s perfect for wandering around discovering the options. After dinner, why not stop into one of the many traditional pubs and try a locally brewed pint? There’s lots of craft beers on offer, as well as regional brews.
For those looking to revel in the history of Darlington, there’s also a food and drink option for you and it comes in the form of Afternoon Tea. Treat yourself to a cuppa and fancy cakes and sandwiches in one of the town’s historic hotels and pretend you’re living in a bygone era.
The culture of Darlington is historically and wholly tied to the railways. If you decide to walk from the station to the town centre you’ll find yourself walking past Darlington’s Brick Train, a quirky statue commissioned before the millennium, which still holds its charm for young and old alike. If you want to discover more about the history of the railway, head out to the Head of Steam Railway Centre and Museum.
A number of private galleries are available in town, making it the perfect place to take in some of the best artists currently working in the North East, or even to take home a unique piece of art history. The Bridge Centre for Visual Arts also frequently hosts exhibitions and events, with a focus on local talent both past and present.
Art in Darlington isn’t constrained to galleries though, as you walk through the area’s many parks you’ll find a selection of statues and sculptures commissioned throughout the town’s varied past.
Darlington Station has step-free access throughout. Both accessible ticket office counters and accessible ticket machines are available in the station, as are ramps for train access. Accessible taxis are available at Darlington Station and we recommend booking in advance.
Darlington is served by a useful bus system, with regular connections around the town and to the surrounding villages. Alternatively, a taxi rank is available at the station.
For further information about Darlington Station, check out our station guide.
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If you want to explore Darlington and all it has to offer, you’ll want to stay longer than a day! So, make sure you book a great value hotel in Darlington before you arrive.
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