Middlesbrough (population 150,000) is a large town in the North East of England. It's always been industrial, and grew rapidly in the 19th C.
From 1974 to 1996 it was part of a new county, Cleveland; this was then abolished and Middlesbrough was re-assigned to North Yorkshire. The difference is nominal since Middlesbrough is a "unitary authority" and not governed by a County Council.
Durham Tees Valley Airport (MME IATA, formerly "Teesside") is just 12 miles west of town. But it only has 2 or 3 flghts a day, to Aberdeen and Amsterdam, it lacks public transport, and they slap a £6 "facility fee" on departing passengers.
Middlesbrough is on the National Cycle Network. National Cycle Route 1 (Inverness to Dover) runs for 25 km through the town
The town has 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.
- Trains run north from London Kings Cross every 30 mins, change at Darlington or Northallerton for Middlesbrough, journey time 3 hours 15 mins.
- Trains run hourly north along the coast to Hartlepool, Sunderland, Newcastle and Hexham.
- They run hourly west via Darlington, York and Leeds to Manchester Piccadilly and Airport.
Middlesbrough railway station is at the north end of town centre just beyond the A66.
The nearest ferry ports are North Shields downriver from Newcastle (for IJmuiden near Amsterdam) and Hull (for Rotterdam and Zeebrugge). Both have a connecting shuttle bus from their main railway station.
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.
- 1 Albert 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 children's play areas and a boating lake. 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.
- 2 Stewart Park. 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 two museums: the Dorman Museum and Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.
- 3 Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Center Square, ☎ . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-4PM, shut on Mondays. The cafe is very nice and the outside balcony gives a great view of the town and is an oasis on a nice day. Free admission.
- 4 Dorman Museum, Linthorpe Road, ☎ . Summer (28 February to 31 October) Tu-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, closed Sunday. Winter Tu-Su 9AM-4:30PM. A museum founded in 1904, it is near Albert Park. It has been renovated and extended to make it more accessible to the younger generation. Free.
- 5 Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Stewart Park, Marton, ☎ . A museum built in 1978 and refurbished in 1998. It is about the life of local born explorer, Captain Cook, who was born on the site of the museum in 1728 Free.
- 6 Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre. Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough. A visitor centre to the adjacent gondola bridge which spans the River Tees.
- 7 Ormesby Hall, Ladgate Lane, Ormesby, TS3 0SR, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Open Sunday to Thursday. A Georgian mansion with formal Victorian gardens and occasional events. The mansion houses several permanent model train exhibitions, including an interactive Thomas the Tank-Engine exhibit for kids.
- Teesside University, . A public university with approximately 20,000 students.
- Middlesbrough College, . Offers A levels, BTECs etc.
- Cleveland College of Art and Design, 
There are multiplex cinemas in both Middlesbrough and Teesside Park. In Middlesbrough, there is a Cineworld cinema [dead link] (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. +44 1642 482094.)
- 1 Middlesbrough Theatre, The Avenue, Linthorpe, TS5 6SA, ☎ .
- 2 Darlington Civic Theatre, Parkgate, Darlington, DL1 1RR, ☎ .
- 3 Forum Theatre, Queensway, Billingham, TS23 2LJ, ☎ .
Concerts, live music and culture
Middlesbrough hosts 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's top multi-cultural event, Middlesbrough Mela, attracts more than 25,000 and is held annually in Albert Park. Website: 
- 4 Middlesbrough Town Hall, Albert Rd, TS1 2QJ, ☎ (box office). M-Th 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-4:30PM, Sa 10AM-3PM, Su closed. Hosts concerts and other performances of all kinds. 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: 
- Watch football (soccer) at 5 Middlesbrough FC (Boro), Riverside Stadium, TS3 6RS, ☎ . Middlesbrough play in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Their home ground is the 34,000 capacity Riverside Stadium, half a mile east of the railway station, a 10-minute walk. Tickets can be bought from the ticket office at the stadium. £27 for adults, £18 for over 65s and £13 for Under-18s.
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 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.
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.
Middlesbrough has many different types of shops, and four shopping centres. The majority of these are in, or connected to, the town's shopping district.
- 1 Captain Cook Square, 16 Newport Crecent, TS1 5UA, ☎ . M-F 9AM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10:30AM-4:30PM. An outdoor shopping centre containing various shops. The shops include Waterstones, JJB Sports, Wilkinson's, and the official Middlesbrough Football Club store. Also, it includes two discount department stores: TK Maxx and TJ Hughes.
- 2 Cleveland Shopping Centre (The Mall), 85 Grange Rd, TS1 2LS, ☎ . M-Sa: 9AM-5:30PM, Su: 10:30AM-4:30PM (bank holidays: 10AM-5PM). An indoor shopping centre comprising of many high street shops, such as WH Smiths, Top Shop, Boots and HMV, and department stores, such as Debenhams. It is also near the Binns department store.
- 3 Dundas Shopping Centre & Indoor Market, Dundas St, TS1 1HR, ☎ . M-Sa 8:30AM-5:30PM, Su closed. An indoor shopping centre mainly containing lesser-known shops. The centre's selection of shops isn't very good.
- 4 Hill Street Shopping Centre, TS1 1SU, ☎ . M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10:30AM-5PM. An indoor shopping centre mainly containing high street shops such as Argos and Marks and Spencer.
- Also, there are shopping centres in nearby Stockton and Hartlepool, as well as the Teesside Retail Park located on the bordary line of Middlesbrough borough and Stockton-on-Tees borough.
The Parmo is a local delicacy comprised of breaded chicken (or less often pork) topped with cheese and béchamel sauce, along with other toppings on request. It's classic post-pub food in these parts.
The main drag for cheap eats is along Linthorpe Road.
- Fast food outlets include Burger King, KFC, four branches of McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and Dixy Chicken.
- Akbar's, 192-194 Linthorpe Rd, +44 1642 244566. Website. Popular Indian restaurant. Their "family size naans" are an impressive sight.
- Hot Wok, 140 Linthorpe Rd, +44 1642 231286. Serving authentic Szechuan-style Chinese food.
- Manjaro's, 186 Linthorpe Rd, +44 1642 605060. Website. African/Caribbean cuisine. One of the many establishments which serve parmos.
- Europa Restaurant, 10 Borough Rd. +44 1642 247925.
- Sasser's Continental Café, 193-19 Linthorpe Rd. +44 1642 218600
- Eliano's Brasserie, 20-22 Fairbridge St. +44 1642 868566
- Flemming's, 208 Linthorpe Rd. +44 1642 814597
- Nando's, Middlesborough Leisure Park, North Ormesby Rd. +44'1642 250007. Website
- Vegetarian: Goodbody's Cafe, 58 Albert Rd. +44 1642 253503
- The Purple Onion (top of Corporation Road in town centre) is a good Bistro and has a downstairs live music venue.
- 1 Brasserie Hudson Quay, Windward Way, Middlesbrough, ☎ . Brasserie Hudson Quay has been designed specifically on the lines of the Grand European Cafes of France, Spain and Italy, providing a unique dining experience in a luxurious setting.
Top-end fine dining usually means a drive out of town.
- Chapter's, 27 High St, Stokesley. +44 1642 711888. Chapter's serves continental cuisine and has been named to numerous good food guides thanks to its consistently excellent menu. It is roughly a 9 mile road journey from Middlesbrough.
- Fellini's Restaurant, 325 Linthorpe Rd. Award winning restaurant is a Middlesbrough institution. Unpretentious neighbourhood restaurant has fantastic fresh fish. Children eat free.
- Great Ayton, Yarm and Norton are scenic villages with good restaurants.
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.
- JD Wetherspoons.
- 1 Jurys Inn, Fry Street (located in the centre of Middlesbrough), ☎ . 132 room hotel
- Premier Travel Inn, Whitewater Way, Stockton-on-Tees. +44 1642 671464. Located between Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough
- Hotel Baltimore, 250 Marton Rd, ☎ .
- Premier Travel Inn, Marton Road..
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.
- Area code: 01642
- Post town: Middlesbrough
- Postal codes: TS1, TS2, TS3, TS4, TS5, TS6-Eston, TS7, TS8, TS9-Stokesley, Gt.Ayton
- Whitby is famous for crabmeat, Goths and vampires. Beyond it, the North Yorkshire coast south to Scarborough and Bridlington is very scenic, with cliffs and fishing coves.
- Durham is a well-preserved old city, with an impressive Norman cathedral and castle.
- York, a walled city, has many museums and other attractions.
- For big city attractions, head north to Newcastle or west to Leeds.