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Stockton-on-Tees is an industrial town in County Durham in northeast England, straddling the River Tees. In 2021 it had a population of about 85,000.

From 1974 to 1996 Stockton was part of a new county, Cleveland. When that was abolished, Stockton returned to County Durham, except for the southern rural district of Yarm, which was re-assigned to North Yorkshire.


Stockton was a Saxon farming settlement that morphed into a port on the tidal River Tees, but remained small until around 1800. It then burgeoned with industry and shipping powered by the Durham coalfields and Eston Hills iron ores, with steel furnaces, metal-bashing trades and chemicals. In 1822 the first rail was laid here for the Stockton and Darlington Railway, with the world's first steam-hauled train arriving on 27 Sept 1825. The Tees navigable channel was enlarged as ships grew, but Stockton was at a disadvantage to downstream ports and shipping trade was gradually lost. More damaging was the 20th century collapse in traditional smokestack industries. The town has shifted to service industry and retail, and has Queen's Campus of Durham University on the south river bank.

Get in[edit]

Map of Stockton-on-Tees

By plane[edit]

Newcastle Airport has flights from across western Europe and is only 90 min away by rail and metro.

Manchester Airport is better for any destination further out. The hourly direct train to Thornaby takes 2 hr 45 min.

1 Teesside Airport (MME IATA) is five miles west of Stockton. It only has three flights a day, from Aberdeen and Amsterdam. The hourly bus between Darlington and Stockton calls at the airport.

By train[edit]

2 Thornaby is the main station, south of the river half a mile from High Street, and near Durham University Queens Campus. Trains from York run hourly, taking 50 min via Thirsk, Northallerton and Yarm, and continue east to Middlesbrough, Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea. From London Kings Cross change at York for this train, total travel time 3 hours.

From Manchester Airport an hourly train takes 2 hr 45 min via Manchester Piccadilly, Huddersfield, Leeds, York then as above to Thornaby, Middlesbrough and Saltburn.

From Newcastle an hourly direct train (which may start from Hexham) takes 75 min via Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Billingham and Stockton, and continues to Middlesbrough then either Nunthorpe or Whitby.

From Darlington trains run every 30 min, taking 20 min via Eaglescliffe and continuing east to Middlesbrough, Redcar and Saltburn.

Thornaby station has a ticket office and machines plus waiting room and toilets. There is step-free access to all platforms.

3 Stockton station is north of the river and town centre. It only has the hourly trains between Newcastle and Middlesbrough, which also stop at Thornaby. It's an unstaffed halt with ticket machines, no waiting room or toilets. There is step-free access to all platforms.

By bus[edit]

National Express runs from London Victoria, once daytime and once overnight, taking 7 hours via Milton Keynes, Leeds or York, and Middlesbrough, and continuing to Sunderland or Newcastle. Megabus doesn't run here, change in Middlesbrough.

Arriva Bus X66 runs every 30 min from Darlington to Stockton (45 min) and Middlesbrough (another 15 min).

Bus X12 runs hourly from Newcastle, taking 2 hours via Gateshead, Chester-le-Street and Durham, and continues to Middlesbrough.

Bus 7 runs from Yarm via Eaglescliffe every 15 min.

Stagecoach Bus 6 runs hourly from Darlington via Middleton, Teesside Airport, Eaglescliffe, Yarm and Ingleby.

Stockton doesn't have a bus station, buses make stops along High St, including National Express which stops at the south end.

By road[edit]

Stockton is on A19, the fast highway from York to Newcastle. From the south stay on A1 to Dishforth junction then take A168 to join A19 near Thirsk; don't go near congested York.

Get around[edit]

Infinity Bridge

The most reliable taxi firm is Stockton Taxis (+44 1642 805805); others get bad reviews.


  • Town Hall is in the plaza midway along High Street. It was built in 1735 and restored in 2011.
  • Stockton Parish Church further north on High Street was completed in 1712 and remains active.
  • 1 Trinity Green is a small park at the south end of High Street, surrounding the ruins of Holy Trinity Church. This neogothic building was completed in 1835 as a "Commissioners' church", part of the national wave of church-building after victory in the Napoleonic Wars. It became derelict and burned down in 1991; the ruin has been stabilised but is fenced off.
  • 2 Preston Park, Yarm Rd, Preston-on-Tees TS18 3RH, +44 1642 527375. Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. Preston Hall was built in 1825 but greatly extended from the 1880s by Robert Ropner, a shipping tycoon. In 1953 it was converted into a museum, where the highlight is a replica Victorian street. There's a notable painting, "The Dice Players", by Georges de La Tour from about 1651, plus collections of of arms and armour, decorative objects, ceramics and glassware. Admission includes the gardens (Apr-Oct) but not the butterfly house, nor rides on the miniature railway. Adult £5, child or conc £3. Preston Park, Stockton-on-Tees on Wikipedia
  • Butterfly World, Yarm Rd (within Preston Park), +44 1642 791414. Mar-Oct. A tropical butterfly house that also has hummingbirds.
  • 3 Infinity Bridge Infinity Bridge on Wikipedia is a footbridge and cycleway spanning the Tees between Durham University Queen's Campus on the south bank and the business park on the north bank. Opened in 2009, it's a striking double bow, best seen at night in calm conditions when the reflection of its lights in the river makes the ∞ infinity symbol.
  • 4 Tees Barrage Tees Barrage on Wikipedia was completed in 1995 and holds the river level constant above it, cutting out the tidal cycle of ugly mud banks and flood risk. The upper structure is a road bridge, no toll, but no stopping for views. The barrage below has a footpath and cycleway. Four channels carry the water through: a barge lock, a fish pass, a white water kayak course and a hydro-electric turbine race - this is a test facility not supplying the National Grid.
  • Maze Park is a nature reserve along the south riverbank around the barrage, a rehabilitated brownfield site.


Preston Hall
  • Globe Theatre mostly puts on live music. It's on High St next to the shopping centre.
  • Georgian Theatre is a smaller venue further south on High St, in a 1766 building.
  • ARC is a large modern venue on Dovecot St a block west of High St.
  • Splash is a swimming baths on Church Rd, with two slides and a wave machine. It's expected to close in 2024 to be replaced by a new leisure facility on the former Castlegate site on High Street.
  • 1 Hollywood Bowl, Aintree Oval, Teesside Leisure Park TS17 7BU, +44 844 826 1469. Daily 9AM-11PM. Multi-lane bowling alley.
  • Showcase Cinema is next to Hollywood Bowl at the A19 / A66 interchange. Moderne Cinema in Stockton has closed down.
  • 2 Billingham Forum, The Causeway, Billingham TS23 2LJ, +44 1642 551381. Su-F 6AM-10PM, Sa 6:30AM-7PM. This leisure complex has ice skating, a swimming pool, gym, sports hall, squash courts, play barn and a theatre.
  • Golf: courses around town are Billingham, Wynyard, Teesside, Eaglescliffe and Ingleby Barwick.
  • Football: Stockton Town play soccer down in the amateur leagues. Their home ground Bishopton Road West (capacity 1800) is a mile west of town centre. For a top-tier game head to Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.
  • Horse racing: Sedgefield Racecourse 10 miles northwest of Stockton is a National Hunt or jumps course, with racing Sep-May. The premier event is the Durham National in October.


Kayaking at the Tees Barrage
  • Supermarkets: Asda on Bath Lane in Stockton is open M-Sa 7AM-10PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Aldi on Yarm Lane and Lidl on Tower St have similar hours.
  • Shopping centre: Wellington Square flanks High Street, shops open daily. Castlegate Centre further down the street has been demolished: somewhere beneath lies whatever was left of Stockton Castle once Oliver Cromwell was done with it.
  • Markets: Stockton Market is held at the north end of High Street on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Billingham Market is in Billingham town centre Monday and Friday. Thornaby Market is around Pavilion Shopping Centre on Thursday.


  • Sorriso, 13-24 High St TS18 1UB, +44 1642 356644. M-F 4:30AM-9PM, Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-7PM. Reliable Italian, slick service.
  • The Thomas Sheraton, 4 Bridge Rd TS18 1BH, +44 1642 606134. Daily 8AM-midnight. JD Wetherspoon with decent food and ale.
  • Peking Garden, 15 Bridge St 3-24 TS18 3AA, +44 1642 612121. M-Sa 5-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Good buffet-style Chinese.


  • Brewery: Three Brothers is on Bowesfield Crescent industrial park south edge of town, tours available.
  • Distillery: Steel River Drinks make gin on Lustrum commercial park east edge of town. They have occasional party nights and gin schools.


Ruin of Holy Trinity Church
  • 1 Parkwood Hotel, 66 Darlington Rd, Hartburn TS18 5ER, +44 1642 587933. It's more like a pub with basic rooms, most visitors are just here for a meal. B&B double £80.
  • 2 Outram 26, 26 Outram St TS18 3EW, +44 800 334 5332. Simple clean rooms, shared bathroom. Double (room only) £40.
  • 3 Hampton by Hilton, Church Rd TS18 1TW, +44 1642 432520. Boxy chain hotel, comfy, welcoming and central. B&B double £190.
  • 4 Kingswood B&B, 379 Norton Rd TS20 2PJ, +44 7555 053372. Smart friendly guesthouse a mile north of centre. Double (room only) £70.
  • 5 Premier Inn Teeside, Whitewater Way TS17 6QB, +44 333 321 9054. Edge of town chain hotel, good marks for cleanliness and comfort. B&B double £120.
  • 6 Premier Inn Preston Farm, Yarm Rd TS18 3RT, +44 333 321 9053. Similar price and quality at their other branch west on A66. B&B double £120.


As of Jan 2024, Stockton and its approach roads have 5G from all UK carriers.

Go next[edit]

  • Durham is a well-preserved old city, with an impressive Norman cathedral and castle.
  • Newcastle is the place for big city attractions.
  • York has kept its ancient walls, and has several museums and other visitor attractions.

Routes through Stockton-on-Tees
Sunderland ← Peterlee ←  N  S  MiddlesbroughYork

This city travel guide to Stockton-on-Tees is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.