Group Visits

Darlington is the heart of the North East and the perfect place for group travel and coach trips. From theatre and live music, to town centre events and tourist attractions, our borough has something for everyone.

We love welcoming group trips to the borough and have plenty on offer, no matter how large or small your group is.

Coach parking

You'll find our designated coach parking at Chesnut Street, Darlington, DL1 1QQ.

Coach parking in Chesnut Street is free every day between 8am-6pm and overnight parking costs £4, so you can stay over and make a real trip out of it.

If you are travelling in a large coach (such as 16, 20 and 24 seaters), you may need to straddle two bays. In this instance, you will need two tickets - one per bay.

Events for group trips

Darlington town centre hosts a fantastic calendar of events for everyone to get involved with. Our Pride Weekender is a firm favourite, offering three days of performances, activities and food in the town and South Park.

Our R&B Festival is also a hugely popular event, which is completely free to attend. We have visitors from across the UK and further afield attend this celebration of live music, with three days-worth of bands and artists to see. 2023 marks the festival's 27th year, and it promises to keep getting bigger and better!

See our full list of events here.


Our Head of Steam Museum has been undergoing a major redevelopment with backing from The National Lottery and will reopen in summer 2024. This will be the best place to learn about the steam railway heritage in the North East, coinciding with the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 2025.

The museum will have a café and shop, themed play area, show field, a new live engineering building, temporary exhibition space and archive, as well as revamps to the existing buildings. Digital and technological investment will bring history to life and plans include a new immersive ride experience the likes of which are only seen in theme parks.

This isn't one to miss and will be ideal for group visits.

Darlington is also home to the Hippodrome, an award-winning theatre that hosts large touring shows and local performances. There is also the Majestic Theatre for amateur dramatics shows and the Forum Music Centre, which showcases new and upcoming music and comedy acts.

Shopping and dining

Our borough is home to a fabulously diverse range of independent shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs.

Whether you're looking for a glitzy party dress, a birthday gift, beautiful baked treats or fun homewares, there's a shop to suit your needs. The Victorian streets, yards and wynds of the town centre are lined with over 150 small businesses that are waiting to welcome you.

Alongside our amazing shops, we have a incredible array of places to eat. We have cuisines from across the globe, including British pub grub, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Italian, as well as street food in our covered market. There are new spots opening all the time too, so the list of places to try keeps growing.

We also have our two shopping centres - the Cornmill Centre and Queen Street. The Cornmill is home to a variety of big high street names, like Next, New Look and H Samuel, so you can shop in household names here too. Queen Street also offers big brand names, like River Island and Ryman, but also features smaller businesses and children's play spaces.

Hotels in Darlington

There are many boutique guesthouses and hotels in Darlington, but two that currently accept coach trip are Mercure and Premier Inn. Both are well equipped to cater to groups of any size and are positioned in the town to put your guests at the heart of the action.

If you want to explore the countryside, there's also Walworth Castle, an original 12th-century castle that combines old and new styles to create a truly memorable experience. Or there's the award-winning Rockliffe Hall if you're looking to add some luxury into your trip, with its spa, golf course and incredible restaurants.

We can't wait to welcome you to the borough and we hope to see you soon!