Darlington is a market town steeped in history, named as one of the top ten places to live in the UK.

Head of Steam - Darlington Railway Museum is located in North Road Station on the 1825 route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, the world's first steam-worked public railway.

Imagine stepping back in time to Victorian Darlington, the town that became known as the Birthplace of the Railways. Venture into our original 1840’s railway station where time has stood still for over one hundred and fifty years.  Discover our Booking Office with its original Victorian interior. Explore our platform that still has its original footbridge, waiting room, newspaper kiosk and Victorian toilets.  Follow the history of Darlington and the growth of the Railways through our permanent exhibitions and interactives. Journey through time and admire our four historic locomotives including our star attraction, Stephenson’s Locomotion No.1 (on loan from the National Railway Museum).


Locomotive One at the Head of Steam Museum

Stalls at the indoor market in Darlington town centre

Darlington Markets. Each Monday and Saturday between 9am and 5pm, the town centre comes alive as traders offer an unrivalled selection of wares such as: household goods, fabrics, carpets and clothing. 

The market has a heritage stretching back over 1000 years. The Saturday market is currently located in Tubwell Row, Blackwellgate, West Row and Horsemarket and wraps around the covered market. The Monday market is currently located in Prospect Place and Northgate.

Darlington’s Victorian Covered Market is open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm all year round. This wonderful building has been successfully trading since 1863, providing shoppers with a variety of food and non-food items. Many of the stallholders have been trading for over 50 years, with a lot of the shops being passed down from generation to generation. Flowers, fresh meat, hardware, clothing, jewellery, cards and gifts are a small sample of the many goods on offer. After shopping why not relax in one of our varied selection of eateries which includes a pavement café overlooking the picturesque market square?


Feethams Darlington, a £30m leisure complex, which boasts a nine-screen Vue cinema, hotel, bars and restaurants, opened in autumn 2016.

Not far from there, you’ll find the Dolphin Centre, a bustling leisure centre featuring a gym, swimming pool, soft play area and café.

The Dolphin Centre Lobby

The hippodrome in its original form

Darlington Civic Theatre has played host to all manner of entertainments since it opened as the New Hippodrome and Palace of Varieties back in 1907. This summer, it will ‘go dark’ for 18 months to enable a multi-million pound restoration project to swing into action. When it re-opens, in 2017, the grade II-listed building will have a new look, a new name and seats for 1,000 people. It will sit alongside dedicated children’s theatre The Hullaballoon, which will be built next door.

Elsewhere in the town centre, you’ll find a range of quality restaurants and bars, from reliable national chains to quirky independents catering to all tastes. Those looking for something special won’t be disappointed in Darlington, with the Raby Hunt in Summerhouse, on the outskirts of the Borough, one of the only two Michelin-starred restaurants in the North-East. Darlington is also home to Rockliffe Hall, the award-winning five-star hotel, spa and golf complex.


Darlington is a place where people, organisations and businesses work together to make great things happen, for example the annual Darlington Arts Festival, which this year has more than 70 events in a range of venues.

Within easy reach of three National Parks – the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors – Darlington also has lots of green space of its own, with two Green Flag parks including the historic South Park.

Darlington also boasts great transport links. It is easy to get to by road and rail, sitting as it does at the intersection of the A66 and A1(M) as well as being a major hub on the East Coast Mainline, with less than an hour’s travelling time to York and Newcastle.

A platform at Darlington train station with a waiting train

All things considered, there’s only one question left to answer: What are you waiting for?