Leisure and amenities

There are many fantastic amenities within the town which means that there is lots to do in Darlington to keep yourself entertained.

Eating out

Whether it’s a special night out at the TWO Michelin Star Raby Hunt on the outskirts of Darlington in the village of Summerhouse, a night out with friends in our Purple Flag awarded town centre or a quick bite to eat before a visit to the Hippodrome theatre or a film with the kids, you’ll find somewhere to suit the occasion and your budget in Darlington.

Find places to eat and drink in Darlington

Where to shop in Darlington

You can find fresh local produce in Darlington’s Victorian indoor market hall and outdoor markets or sample the delights of some of our home-grown independent traders including the Cheese and Wine Shop and Little Quaker Distillery in our historic yards.

There is a real heart to Darlington town centre, making it the perfect place to go for some well-deserved retail therapy. Boasting a number of high street brands, a high number of independent shops as well as Binns department store by House of Fraser and the Cornmill Shopping Centre, a shopping day out in Darlington will not leave you returning home empty handed. If you are thinking of moving to Darlington, the town centre is the place you need for all your shopping requirements.

Libraries, museums and leisure activities

Crown Street Library is a beautiful Grade II listed building in the town centre. Crown Street is comprised of the lending library, a separate area for young readers, an e-library including public computers, a reference library and a gallery, showcasing the work of local and regional artists. With friendly and knowledgeable staff Crown Street library is a vibrant community space which is free for all residents to enjoy.

Cockerton Library is a smaller library on Cockerton Green to the west of the town centre. Close to local bus stops and with a free car park behind the library Cockerton Library operates on a reduced opening schedule compared to Crown Street but still offers a good range of books and access to library services.

Find out more about Darlington's library services.

The Head of Steam, Darlington Railway Museum offers visitors young and old the opportunity to step back in time to Darlington's past as a pioneering railway town.

The centrally located Dolphin Centre, leisure centre in Darlington and Eastbourne Sports Complex to the North East of the town, provide residents with access to some outstanding sports and leisure facilities. These include gym, swimming and (from May 2021) ten-pin bowling as well as an extended indoor soft play area for children at the Dolphin Centre and a gym and outdoor athletics and football pitches at Eastbourne.

Find out more about Dolphin Centre membership

Exploring our parks and countryside

South Park is just one of the green spaces in our town. This Grade II listed site dates back to 1636. Facilities in the park include a café, bowling green, multi-use games area, skate park and aviary. The Grade II listed Victorian bandstand is as functional as it is beautiful, the central feature at annual events like the Proms in the Park.

If you look slightly further afield you can enjoy country and riverside walks right on your doorstep.

🐤 The Little Bird Market returns to Darlington town centre today (Sunday 26th June) between 10am and 3pm 🛍️ The artisan market offers a diverse, quality, shopping experience that celebrates independent producers and makers Details ➡️ https://t.co/VI4BHRiNkF | #LoveDarlo https://t.co/Y5iRVdZnBb
26 June 2022 @08:00
🎶 Live music at Bondgate Tavern Darlington this weekend including: Tonight from 7:30pm - Crash Jones Tomorrow from 7pm - Kenny Craig Both great musicians so make sure you pop in for a listen 🎵 #LoveDarlo https://t.co/A79TsiVJyc
25 June 2022 @16:05
🤹‍♀️ Darlington Community Carnival takes place today (Saturday 25th June) 🎶 There will be entertainment in the Market Place, Pease Monument and Stanhope Park from 10am, with the members parade leaving the Market Square at 11:30am Details ➡️ https://t.co/TILvQ2x7J2 | #LoveDarlo https://t.co/GBvMoBbcdP }
25 June 2022 @08:00
🎶 The first acts for Mish Mash Festival Weekender have been announced 🎷 Shades Collective will be performing dance classics on Saturday 27th August and The Baghdaddies bring world music to the Market Square on Sunday 28th August Details ➡️ https://t.co/dLFMkL0cWT | #LoveDarlo https://t.co/iujS9ZLRBn
24 June 2022 @16:00