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Located on the River Tees, in the northeast of England, Stockton-on-Tees is a large town and port that encompasses parts of County Durham and North Yorkshire. It is mainly known as a centre for ship-repairing and the steel and chemical industries. Nonetheless, the town offers visitors a number of parks, museums and shopping facilities, as well as access to historic cities, the countryside and the largely unexplored coastline of the northeast.
Who to Book With
You can rent a car in Stockton itself or, if coming by plane, at the nearest main airport in Newcastle, 44 miles or one hour’s drive away via the A1 motorway. Here, all of the main car hire companies, including Alamo, Europcar, Sixt, Budget and National, are represented. Use our comparator website to pre-book and get the best offer available.
Best Time to Go
Given its location on the east coast of Britain and the fact it’s sheltered by both the mountains of the Lake District and those of the Pennines, Stockton is actually one of the drier areas of the UK. Average summer temperatures are about 20°C. July is the hottest month.
Need to Know Essentials
When hiring a vehicle, you will need to present the following documents:
- An International Driving Permit or a DVLA driving licence
- A passport or other valid form of identification with photo
- The same credit card as used for the reservation
- A printed copy of the confirmed reservation
For more info, please read our FAQs.
Two main roads serve Stockton: the east-west running A66 takes you to the city of Middlesborough - four miles east - and Darlington - 10 miles west – where you can access the A1. The A19 runs south to York and north to Sunderland.
Further tips on driving in the UK can be found in our Guide to the UK.
From High Street (the country’s widest one), you can easily access on foot the town’s famous outdoor market and its two principal retail shopping centres, Castlegate and Wellington Square. There are some interesting historical and cultural sights in this area. Public transport in the form of buses is the best option when it comes to getting around the other neighbourhoods in Stockton-on-Tees, but car hire is recommended for touring the local area.
Stockton’s railway station is on the Durham Coast Line, which is of limited use to most visitors. The majority of rail travellers use Thornaby Station, just half a mile away from downtown Stockton. Main line Northern Rail services running south and north can be accessed at Darlington.
The two main local bus companies offering services within Stockton and to regional destinations such as Durham, Newcastle and Middlesbrough are Arriva and Stagecoach. Services arrive and depart from High Street.
Taxis are easily available through a range of local and national companies. Taxi ranks can be found throughout the town centre, with by far greatest number concentrated along High Street. Book ahead to be sure of a taxi if you are planning to go out at night.
Local attractions include Preston Park with its adjoining Butterfly Park, the bustling city of Middlesborough with its surprising cultural sights and the historic city and county seat of Durham.
Preston Park Museum and Grounds - Located just three miles from the centre of town on the River Tees, Preston Park features an old house, a mini-zoo with a large aviary, a playground and a number of mock-Victorian era streets in an attractive parkland setting. The park incorporates Butterfly World, designed to provide a suitable tropical environment for butterflies. Other species on view here include hummingbirds, reptiles and the ever-lovable meerkats.
Middlesborough - Just three miles away from Stockton, the hugely underrated city of Middlesborough is well deserving of a visit. It is home to some impressive 19th century industrial and civic architecture, as well as the Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, which houses the UK’s second-most extensive collection of Picasso works along with works by Andy Warhol, Matisse and the iconoclastic contemporary British artist Damien Hirst. Furthermore, it has two major parks, one of which, Stewart Park, contains the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.
Durham - This beautifully preserved historical city is located 20 miles north of Stockton. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Durham has an 11th century castle and a Norman cathedral that’s one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe. It makes for an ideal daytrip from Stockton-on-Tees by rental car. To get here, take the A177, also known as the old Durham Road, north from Stockton and either join the A1(M), taking the exit for Durham at Junction 62, or continue along the A177 all the way.