Middlesbrough is home to some of the most iconic landmarks, buildings and structures in the North East. Whether you want a day in the great outdoors or the weather’s driving you inside, there’s plenty to see and do during your stay.
Activities in Middlesbrough
The North York Moors National Park is a stunning landscape of undulating hills, beautiful walking routes and panoramic vistas. Make the 20-minute drive from our Middlesbrough Central hotel, or catch the train to Great Ayton, and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful scenery that the North of England has to offer, including the famous Roseberry Topping. The distinctive hill rises 1,000 feet above the national park and looks like a model version of the mighty Matterhorn in the Swiss-Italian Alps. The view from the summit is sublime, and there are several National Trust routes you can take to get there, depending on your chosen level of difficulty.
Tees Transporter Bridge
Enjoy a history trip to Ormesby Hall. The 18th-century home is a classic example of a Georgian mansion, and one of the area’s excellent National Trust properties. It was owned by the Penneyman family, and to explore the house today you’d think they only moved out yesterday. It’s in beautiful condition, has a fascinating history, which the room stewards do a great job of bringing to life, and the surrounding gardens are sublime as well.
Tees Transporter Bridge
Also known as the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, the Tees Transporter Bridge is the longest working bridge of its kind on the planet. It spans the River Tees and its suspended gondolas have been bringing people and cars back and forth from Middlesbrough for more than a century.
These days, it’s more than just a transport bridge; it’s one of the most popular visitor attractions in the area. You can ride the lift or take on the stairs to reach the glass viewing platform at the top of the Tees Transporter Bridge for the very best views of the area. Plus, adrenaline junkies can also arrange bungee jumping and zip-line experiences from The Transporter with UK Bungee.
When the sun’s shining, you’ll want to be out and about enjoying the great outdoors. Of course, you can make your way to the North York Moors National Park, or a nearby alternative is a trip across the Tees to the sublime RSPB Saltholme. This enormous wetland nature reserve is one of the RSPB’s flagship, family-friendly reserves in the North East.
It has a wonderful, modern visitor centre, a splendid network of walking routes, and hides where you can get up close to the beautiful local birdlife, such as colourful yellow wagtails, beautiful tufted lapwings, and – if you’re lucky – the powerful peregrine falcons that hunt the reed beds. Explore Saltholme until you get hungry, then visit the cafe and enjoy the view.
If you want to find out more about Middlesbrough and North Yorkshire, pay a visit to the Dorman Museum on Linthorpe Road. It’s an excellent social history museum with extensive exhibitions on natural science and the industrial heritage of Middlesbrough, especially the revered Linthorpe Pottery. It’s a pleasant and interesting way to kill an hour or two, and best of all it’s free to enter.
Captain Cook Birthplace Museum
Another of Middlesbrough’s excellent museums is the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Stewart Park. The museum first opened its doors in 1978, on the 250th-anniversary of the legendary explorer Captain James Cook. The museum commemorates the life of one of the world’s greatest navigators. Tickets are very reasonably priced for the quality and quantity of the galleries. It’s a must-visit for any budding adventurer or fan of maritime history.
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (or mima) is among the town’s most iconic buildings. The angular structure of stone and glass is a multi-million-pound feat of architecture and home to one of the leading collections of modern and contemporary art in the North of England. Entry is free and the main collection includes works by the likes of Ben Nicholson, Eduardo Paolozzi, David Hockney and L.S. Lowry.