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Situated in northeastern England, between Yorkshire to the south and Durham to the north, lies the region of Teesside, or the Tees Valley &endash; named for the river that runs through the area. From steam trains to the birthplace of Captain Cook to the grandeur of a coastal Victorian resort, history is alive in this part of England.
Darlington is known as the place where the first public passenger-carrying steam train, George Stephenson's Locomotion, made its inaugural run in 1825. It's no surprise, then, that all signs in town point to the Darlington Railway Centre and Museum, where the original Locomotion can still be seen today. Other sites in the town include the riverside church of St Cuthbert, with its needle-like spire and decorative turrets, along with one of England's largest market squares, which spreads beyond the church up to the restored Victorian covered market, next to the clocktower.
Middlesbrough is the region's largest town, and lies fifteen miles east of Darlington. The town prides itself as being the birthplace of Captain Cook. At the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Stewart Park, you can look at some of the artifacts brought back from the South Seas on his voyages.
On the coast to the south of the Tees estuary, twelve miles east of Middlesbrough, the town of Saltburn is a graceful Victorian resort in a dramatic setting overlooking extensive sands and mottled red sea cliffs. Take a ride on the hydraulic inclined tramway, complete with stained-glass windows, which connects upper town to the pier and promenade. On the eastern side of town, you can stroll through the ornate Italian Gardens, linked to the beach by a miniature railway. And of course, you may prefer to just lounge on the beach and watch the surfers tackle the waves.
Teesside is easily accessible by car via the A1(M) and A19 North/South, a fifty-minute drive to Newcastle and York, while the East/West A66 gives fast links to the Lake District and Cumbria. There are regular train services to Darlington, Middlesbrough and Saltburn from Newcastle, Durham and Bishop Auckland. Teesside International Airport is located six miles east of Darlington, on the A67, and is served by several regular flights to London’s Heathrow Airport, as well as several other European cities.