All the Best Places to Eat, Sleep and Shop in Darlington
Your ultimate guide to Darlington
Where to Shop
Home to the iconic town clock and market square, the town centre is a hot spot if you want that nostalgic, traditional shopping experience. Picking up things on your shopping list and maybe treating yourself to a little something or two, you can make use of the free two hours parking in most of the town centre car parks, and enjoy a leisurely time meandering through the streets at your own pace.
From iconic department stores such as House of Fraser, to big fashion retailers including Primark and River Island, to other well-known high street names, the town centre offers plenty of familiarity and choice but you can also find a plethora of independents in the yards off High Row, Grange Road, Duke Street and Skinnergate. You can browse for a new party outfit from House of Zana, find the perfect gift for any occasion at Bliss Gifts, and indulge in handmade baked treats from Number Eight Bakehouse.
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Where to Stay
If you’re travelling to Darlington and need somewhere to stay, there’s a wide choice of luxurious hotels. If you want to stay outside the centre, you might like the ensuite B&B rooms at The Raby Hunt in Summerhouse, or for a slice of history, you could stay at The George at Piercebridge, beside the site of an ancient Roman bridge. Hall Garth Hotel offers a place to sleep with a nine-hole golf course within its 67 acres, and Houndgate Townhouse (home to popular Saltfish) offers boutique rooms right in the heart of the town.
Darlington is home to several spa hotels and you can upgrade your stay at Bannatyne’s to a spa break, which will allow you to spend the night in the hotel and enjoy use of the Health Club & Spa, including treatments, pool and gym. If you’re looking to really indulge, take a trip to Rockliffe Hall in Hurworth. This five-star luxury resort has rooms within the hall, as well as lodges and self-catering apartments, food in the exquisite Orangery or Nu Sana, golf and sensational spa experiences. It’s such a stunning spot, and definitely one to check out if you’re in the area.
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Where to Eat
Make a real day of it by visiting one of the many amazing restaurants and cafés dotted throughout the town centre. Start as you mean to go on with breakfast at Hash Bar and Kitchen – we recommend the Farmhouse sausage brioche – or Cactus Cafe & Kitchen where they have a whole menu dedicated to their famous buttermilk pancakes.
Enjoy afternoon tea at Robineau Café & Patisserie, where you’ll be served a selection of sandwiches and savouries, homemade fruit scones with vanilla cream and jam, and patisseries handmade in the Robineau kitchens, or visit the famous Darlington Market, another sure fire place to find something tasty to eat and drink. This covered market is where you’ll find lots of fresh, local produce including seasonal fruit and vegetables, delicious cheeses and a wide range of locally reared meats, as well as offering a brand new exciting street food court and entertainment area.
In the evening, Sortie Charcuterie & Bar offer a little bit of escapism from everyday life with a menu of top quality meats, cheese, antipasti and wines. For fine dining look no further than two Michelin-starred restaurant The Raby Hunt, or for something a little more laid back, dinner at Dough, the popular little sister restaurant of Salt in the town centre, is a must.