We couldn’t write a love letter to Boro without writing one to the wider Tees Valley too ❤️ The good news is that all of the places we talk about are very easily accessible from Middlesbrough – it’s the road to everywhere! From the glorious Victorian charm of Saltburn to the banks of Billingham Beck Valley (!!), jump aboard and join us on our magical Tees Valley tour!
This is definitely going to be a bit out there, but have you ever been to Billingham Beck? I know, right? It doesn’t exactly sound glamorous but trust me, there’s beauty to be found everywhere, even in Billingham! As you already know, we have the Love Middlesbrough dog Bob, and with dogs comes lots of walking. We live really close by and it has fast become one of my favourite places to go. The whole place is surrounded by trees and wildflowers and wildlife and watching the seasons change is a pretty humbling experience – oh Mother Nature, you truly are an absolute beaut 😍
There’s two sides to the Beck, both offering completely different things. The “official” side includes a conservation area and there’s ducks, geese, swans and kingfishers (though I’ve yet to see one of those for myself). There’s even a path that takes you all the way to Wynyard Woodland Walkway if you just keep on going! It’s worth noting that you can’t take dogs on this side, due to the conservation element, so this is the one for you if you have little ones who love ducks.
If on the other hand, you have little ones who like mud and have a loveable family pet, then the other side is definitely for you! There’s about three different entrances and there’s parking at each one. Top tip: if you’re going any time other than summer I would definitely recommend wellies – it gets pretty muddy down there sometimes!
Tees Valley actually has loads to offer, and I’ve argued with many a southerner over this. “There’s nothing to do in the North East” (actual quote) well, let me tell you something… the North East has plenty to offer. Hartlepool’s Historic Quay is my childhood, all of the primary school trips were to that place and it has to be the most fun I ever had as a child at school. I was so intrigued by all the nautical history that it was a struggle for the teachers to get me back on the bus.
Photo courtesy of National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool
One thing we weren’t allowed to do at school was go on the famous boat (the HMS Trincomalee) due to health and safety, so it was a super treat when we were older and got below the decks. I will warn you, there are wax figures below decks so I’d stay above decks if those aren’t your thing. I’m sure nostalgia helps in the remembrance of how great the Hartlepool museum is, but I highly recommend it for anyone with kids or with a love of history. I’m going to have to go again soon – maybe with the Lasses.
I love Saltburn. It makes me sooo happy, it’s ridiculous. I mean, who couldn’t be happy when they’re looking out on a gloriously blue sky and sea?
In case I’ve been subtle about it, I love anything Victorian, and Saltburn totally feels like it’s barely changed at all since it grew up as a typical Victorian seaside town. Of course, I love the modernness of the Transporter Bridge glass lift, but hello, have you seen the cliff lift at Saltburn? All powered just by water – those Victorians were so clever!
Fun fact: Saltburn was one of the first places in the country to have a hotel (the Zetland Hotel) with its own dedicated train platform.
Also, shoutout to The Seaview restaurant – I went there recently and had fish and chips for the first time in like 15 years, and it was so good!
Morning, afternoon or night, Yarm High Street offers a variety of options. The picturesque high street has a variety of shops, old and new, to suit almost all shopping needs – clothes, gifts, food, electricals or flowers, it has it all. There are numerous cafes, restaurants and bars, offering all types of food. My favourites include Mockingbird Deli, Fourteen Drops and Muse. Yarm has a special history behind it that adds to the uniqueness of the high street, mixing tradition with the modern day. Whether it is day or night, I love a trip to Yarm!
We can always rely on Tim to bring us some top running tips and he’s back with more running related places!…
While it might not be strictly Tees Valley, anywhere in the North Yorks Moors is my favourite place outside of Middlesbrough!
Run Tim, run!
My favourite place within the wider Tees Valley is Saltburn. Living only a stone’s throw away from this tranquil little town, we take frequent walks along the Cleveland Way, heading down to the Valley Gardens. During the day you can get the best fish and chips and lemon top, whilst having a walk along the seafront. Saltburn has a host of lovely independent restaurants and bars including my favourite, The Sitting Room. They serve the best hot chocolate and cocktails too!
The only place we’re missing from the Tees Valley is Darlington and we’re definitely going to have to do something about that! People of Darlington – where should we go first? We’ve heard really good things about the Head of Steam Museum and we deffo liked our very brief visit to Feethams – basically because there was LOADS of choice for food in one big place – perfect!
Hit us up in the comments with your favourite place in the Tees Valley – we want to go everywhere!