Had a great time last month with a friend from abroad visiting. We spent a Wednesday morning in Middlesbrough and I thought I’d share our itinerary if you find yourself with a few hours.
We took the train into Middlesbrough Railway Station. On Platform Two we took a few minutes to look at the Best of Boro Paintings by Eamonn McGovern.
These are posters of his paintings of landmarks including Teesside University, the Dorman Museum, Riverside Stadium and more.
Photos from the launch event are on Facebook.
We exited the train station via the exit at platform 2. There is a taxi rank just outside it if you have enough time to go somewhere outside the Town Centre likeThe Captain Cook Birthplace Museum and Stewart Park. We were very restricted in time as my friend needed to catch a train back to London.
We walked up Cleveland Street past Boho 4 – Gibson House toward the Tees Transporter Bridge.
Boho 4 – Gibson House was built in 1872 and is a Grade II Listed Building.
It was named for architect John Gibson (not Steve Gibson, owner of Middlesbrough Football Club).
It was built on the site of the home of John Gilbert Holmes, one of Middlesbrough’s first Shipbuilders, and began life as the National Provincial Bank in the 19th century.
At the top of the front of the building you see Britannia and supporters, an ironworker and a miner, representing Middlesbrough’s industries of the time.
It is now prime office space in the Boho Zone home to digital & creative businesses.
The Tees Transporter Bridge is currently undergoing refurbishments so we could not ride on it. It is still impressive to look at and a great way to bring up Middlesbrough and Teesside’s history of building bridges and structures around the world.
The Transporter is a total of 851 feet (259.3 metres) in length making it the longest Transporter Bridge remaining in the world. The gondola can carry 200 people, 9 cars, or 6 cars and one minibus.
Happily there are some street banners on the road we were walking on featuring a head-on view of the bridge so she could get a better idea of the gondola (similar to the photo at left by Mike Kipling).
Pressed for time we missed the nearby Python Gallery.
We walked back toward the station and turned on Bridge Street toward Middlesbrough College and Riverside Stadium. It is a nice walk on a sunny if cold day. Passing by Ian Horn’s poem on the right, we were caught up in a stream of students heading to classes.
Where alchemists / Were born / Below Cleveland’s hills / A giant blue dragonfly / Across the Tees / Reminds us every night / We built the world, / Every metropolis / Came from Ironopolis.
We walked in through the College building, out the other end to have a look at Temenos by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond.
From there we popped into Brasserie Hudson Quay for a couple of cappuccinos, the great atmosphere and a warm and had a great view of the dock and the old clock tower.
We walked back to the town centre via the Cinema onto Corporation Road past Doc Browns and La Pharmacie. We popped into Gallery TS1 to admire the works by local artists. It’s also a great place for unique souvenirs/cards to send to people as many of the works are inspired by local landmarks.
We passed the Middlesbrough Empire, the Grade II listed theatre, where Harry Houdini once performed and the impressive Grade II listed Middlesbrough Town Hall with four life size statues in niches on the façade of the building representing Music, Painting, Literature and Commerce.
We headed into the shops. If we had a bit more time we would have done the Department Store Dash with BHS, Debenhams, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer all within walking distance of each other. We managed to pop into Primark, The Works and Claire’s Accessories on the hunt for One Direction presents for a little girl back home. (They are big abroad too).
It was great to realise just how many options we have for a warm drink and a snack. Mink,White’s Cafe, Espresso 10, Caffechinno, The Olde Young Tea House, Chilli Cake Deli,Elliott’s and The Baker Street Kitchen along with Esquires, Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee andStarbucks plus the great cafes in the department stores mentioned above.
I pointed out Baker Street as we walked up Linthorpe Road to hit Lots of Loveliness,Psyche and Howl (which was on her list to see because of all the daft photos I share on Faceboook!)
If we only had a couple more hours we would have walked all the way up Linthorpe Road to the Dorman Museum and Albert Park. There were some great exhibitions on.
Keeping an eye on the time we headed back to Centre Square for a visit to mima to see the fabulous William Tillyer exhibition and for a quick pose by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Bottle of Notes inspired by Captain James Cook.
On the way back to the railway station I will admit that with all of the great eating out and cafe options we went to McDonalds. Sometimes fast food is just what you’re in the mood for.
We had a great time!
Would you have done anything differently if you had a guest in Middlesbrough for half a day? Please share your ideas below!
Also published on the Love Middlesbrough blog.