The great outdoors

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Perhaps the biggest surprise to visitors to Middlesbrough is quite how verdant the town is. From pockets of greenery to acres of parkland, Middlesbrough’s town centre is a breath of fresh air. The town’s emerald in the crown is Albert Park. With chestnut-lined boulevards, wild flower meadows and a central fountain, a day spent in this Victorian park is a delight, whatever the season. Equally significant is Stewart Park, an oasis of rolling parkland, conifer arboretum and two lakes. It is also the birthplace of the explorer, navigator and cartographer, Captain James Cook.

The expansive wild beauty of the Tees Valley area is hard to resist, with rolling hills, miles of beaches, acres of parkland, wonderful wildlife sites and several areas of special scientific interest. The North Yorkshire Moors and Yorkshire Dales provide the UK with some of its most iconic countryside; there are few who have visited who don’t hold it dear to their hearts. Roseberry Topping was recently included in the 25 best walks in Britain, and the base of this breath-taking landmark is just a short drive from Middlesbrough town centre, offering spectacular views from the crown.

There is plenty to explore along the coast of the Tees Valley. At nearby Seaton Carew the beach extends for more than two miles from just beneath Hartlepool Marina all the way to the mouth of the River Tees. Further along the coast lies Saltburn, a town that has retained much of its original charm as a Victorian seaside resort.