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Dining Destinations in Darlington and Things You Don't Want to Miss

Darlington town centre
Places to go
September 2022
Reading time 3 Minutes

This market town is full of history, culture and good dining destinations

Here’s our guide to what to do and see.
tapas Old Yard Tapas Bar


The Wynd Café serves up all your favourite breakfast dishes from eggs Benedict to American-style pancakes. For lunch, Phixx Coffee Lounge has great cakes and brownies. The award-winning Old Yard Tapas Bar is the perfect place to share good food, pan-Asian restaurant Bambudda pairs delightful dishes with cool cocktails, and you’ll love the comfort street food at Salt (try their new bao buns). A little further afield is the Michelin-starred Raby Hunt, and The Bay Horse at nearby Hurworth is a lovely pub, serving great food and with a sunny beer garden.

bedroom with four poster bed and bath tub at Houndgate Townhouse Hotel Houndgate Townhouse Hotel


Houndgate Townhouse Hotel is ideally situated in the heart of the town. Dine in their new seafood restaurant Saltfish. Just a few miles north is The Croft Hotel for a cosy stay with log fires and a relaxed bar. The Blackwell Grange Hotel is a stylish 17th century country house hotel, or head to Headlam Hall (and make the most of their spa). For the ultimate hideaway, just outside the town at Howden Hill, choose from Kip & Nook’s stylish cabins and containers or relax at luxurious Rockliffe Hall, with its spa and golf course, just five miles south of Darlington. 

exterior of the cheese and wine shop The Cheese & Wine Shop


Fashionistas should head to House of Zana for sustainable and stylish outfits and Elan for designer clothing and accessories, Joel Alexander for occasion wear, and finds men’s and ladies’ wear down the road at Geoffrey Gillow. You’ll find interiors must-haves at Light Owl and Glenwood Interiors. The Cheese & Wine Shop (Darlington’s only cheese and wine specialist) stock plenty of hard-to-find cheeses, and you can cool down at Archers Ice Cream.

front of a Steam train Head of Steam
Theatre seats Darlington Hippodrome


All aboard! Plenty of family fun awaits at Head of Steam on the 1825 route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway – the world’s first steam-worked public railway. There are always events and exhibitions to get involved in (don’t miss Locos and Lemon Tops – where you’ll discover more about how the railways opened up the seaside to the masses – until September). See a show at Darlington Hippodrome or Theatre Hullabaloo (if you’re with the kids), then relax in the sun by the water at Broken Scar picnic area. Darlington’s famous Brick Train sculpture is a replica of the steam locomotive The Mallard and is made from 185,000 bricks.

Roman Fort Piercebridge Roman Fort

Around the corner

Get a dose of history at Piercebridge Roman Fort. Discovered during gravel quarrying in 1972, the remains of the bridge here are evidence of the engineering achievements of the Romans. At Stanwick Iron Age Fortifications you’ll find an excavated section of the ramparts of the huge iron age trading and power-centre of the Brigantes, the most important tribe in pre-Roman Britain.

Read more: The Great British Dig, looking for hidden treasures in unlikely places

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