Darlington is a town which is situated in the north east of England. The nearest airport, Teesside International Airport, is only a few miles away and there are regular and direct trains which will get you to London in around two and a half hours and Edinburgh in two hours.
The River Skerne flows through Darlington until it reaches the village of Hurworth Place where it joins the River Tees. The river is known for the unique way it catches the light and is home to a variety of animals including otters and water voles.
Beginning as an Anglo saxon settlement, the history of Darlington is fascinating with countless
stories of rebellions, royalty and religion. Becoming known for its wool and linen industry, the town later became known for the Quakers faith. This Society of Friends believed in various philanthropic and social reforms such as the abolition of slavery, charitable works, good education, improved working conditions and temperance towards alcohol! Some Darlington Quakers were highly successful and influential business people and contributed significantly to the economy and prosperity of the town.
The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on Darlington and the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825, often considered to be the world's first passenger railway, was a vital milestone. The railway transported coal from nearby mines and helped establish Darlington as being at the heart of the railway industry. The highly skilled engineer, George Stephenson designed the locomotives along with his son Robert who later went on to develop the famous Rocket.
In modern times, Darlington is a resilient and ambitious town with a growing economy. Key sectors include healthcare, retail, construction, transport and storage, manufacturing and engineering, digital technologies and financial and professional services. The wider Tees Valley area which includes Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton on Tees is home to many growing sectors and contributes tens of billions of pounds to the UK economy with emphasis on health and social care, advanced manufacturing, chemicals and a rapidly expanding digital sector. It is an ambitious place which aims to have created thousands of extra jobs in the next few years as part of both the Strategic Economic Plan and Investment Plan and it is pushing forward to attract further economic growth and investment to the area. The town has already seen some of the civil service relocated to Darlington by the government.
Darlington has several interesting landmarks such as the impressive St Cuthbert’s Church which dates back from the 12th century and is known for its beautiful architecture and historical significance. The Market Hall which opened in 1863, is a beautiful Victorian building which has been and still is home to a variety of unique and traditional stalls. The Hippodrome Theatre is a fantastic example of Edwardian architecture and the Head of Steam Darlington Railway Museum offers interesting insights into the history of the Stockton to Darlington Railway, although the museum is currently closed until next year due to very exciting redevelopments! With sixteen parks and ten nature reserves, Darlington has plenty of areas in which to appreciate nature at its finest.
The town centre, with its numerous interesting wynds and yards (that's a whole new article in itself!) has a good selection of shops and restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.
Darlington is in close proximity to several unique towns, cities and villages. Just a sample of these include Durham, Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Barnard Castle, Gainford and Thirsk. The market town of Richmond, which is approximately twelve miles from Darlington, is often considered to be the unofficial capital of the Yorkshire Dales and this attractive market town is popular with visitors from around the world who wish to explore this beautiful region.
Darlington is a place where you can quickly feel a sense of belonging and the residents of the town are friendly and hospitable. With its fantastic location and strong local industry which is characterised by a diverse range of industries, Darlington can offer an unrivalled quality of life.