I lived in Middlesbrough for a year or so when my (now ex) boyfriend was studying at the University there. It's not a bad town, contrary to popular opinion - it just has a bad reputation.
They've done a lot to try and turn it around in the last few years with the additon of the MIMA gallery and the free music festival they now host in the city centre every year, which is great fun.
There are plenty of restaurants and shops, with two main shopping centres and plenty of little local owned and run shops to give it a nice student vibe. The travel links could perhaps be better improved, but there is a train station, regular buses and coaches and is accessible from Durham Airport.
The quality of houses in middlesbrough is slowly being regenerated by the council, knocking down the old terraces and starting again, and I for one think it all deserves a round of applause for the efforts :)
[Originally posted on www.helphound.com]
~~Middlesbrough: A beginners guide~~
Like many of those who have written an opinion on Middlesbrough, I have lived in Middlesbrough all my life - and boy, do I wish I hadn't had that misfortune! It's true that the town centre can be a good place to shop - all the shops are together, all the pubs are there, and there's plenty of variety; especially now, with Middlesbrough's new "updated" image - we now have trendy shops that we never had before - a virgin megastore, a schuh, designer shops, etc.
There is quite an extensive and interesting history to Middlesbrough, but I'm only going to give you some basics here, otherwise you would be reading for hours. If you really are interested in looking into it in further detail, a good place to start is www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk/Middlesbrough.htm.
Middlesbrough currently has a population of approximately 150,000.
Middlesbrough's two main 'landmarks' are the Transporter Bridge and Roseberry Topping (which I will upload pics of). The Transporter Bridge came into being in 1911, and is now one of only two left. You may have seen it in Auf Wiedersehan Pet, when a series centered around it. Roseberry Topping is a natural landmark, essentially a 'funny shaped hill' that can be seen from many parts of the town, and from outside it.
Captain Cook, who we have already mentioned a little was an explorer, who sailed his ship, The Endeavour, to explore Australia, among other places back in the 1700s.
Middlesbrough remains one of the cheapest areas in which to live. This is probably because no-one wants to live in it. They should pay us to live here. Sorry...got a little personal again there. :)
There is a lot more to the history of the area though, and it is quite interesting, so give it a look if you fancy it.
~~Housing and Regeneration~~
Recently in the local news, there has been a lot of emphasis on the regeneration of the town. Houses in both Middlesbrough itself and the surrounding areas are being pulled down left right and centre. The most run-down estates have been getting 'regeneration budgets', aimed at improving the quality of life in these areas. This includes ripping down old terraced house, building new ones and...well, that's pretty much it. They don't move the scummy people out of the area, they just give them nice new houses. Big improvement. Not.
Along this same thought pattern, the council has made Middlesbrough 'pretty' in the hope that people will stop beating each other up if they are in a nicer looking town. We now have town centre pavements covered in bonny blue and purple lights, some trees, some chrome benches and a modern sculpture or two. If Middlesbrough didn't have the worst people in the world living in it, it could be a lovely place to live.
~~The University of Teesside~~
The University of Teesside has been around for a good while (I can't seem to find a date anywhere unfortunately), and blends traditional buildings with modern ones. Unlike most mixtures of this kind, however, the university looks excellent. Offering a wide range of courses (on which you can get more info on their website at www.tees.ac.uk), the university brings a massive wealth to Middlesbrough, providing lots of business to local pubs, shops and restaurants.
~~Middlesbrough for the alternative scene~~
I'm sure many of the others who have written an opinion on Midlesbrough have said what a fantastic nightlife it has - but that would be the opinion of Middlesbrough's "trendy" people. From the point of view of someone like myself (myself being a person who likes rock music, not dance), there's now almost no nightlife at all. There is ONE rock-orientated club in M'bro now - The Arena - so if you don't like it there, you're scuppered.
To compare, I recently went out on a night out in Newcastle - one of Middlesbrough's closest big cities. I went with a group of friends (7 of us in all) - all of whom are slightly "alternative" in one way or another. We went out, walked to the city centre, had a fantastic night out, got taxis back and then went shopping the next day.
Now, the major difference is this - through that entire time, we felt safe! We didn't get even ONE comment on the way we looked for the entire weekend -which is extremely unusual when you're used to Middlesbrough.
The last time I remember going out in Middlesbrough town, we were walking home, and some lads coming in the opposite direction decided that we were "freaks" - and apparently this means that at least one of your friends has to be hospitalised -this is the mentality of the Middlesbrough "townies".
And this time was far from being the first occasion when something like it has happened to me and/or my friends - so you can see why I don't really go out anymore; or when I do, it's generally to a pretty quiet pub, and I (as unfortunate and unfair as it is) feel scared almost all of the time, even in daytime...I can't imagine how my friends feel, as I dress pretty "trendy" compared to them, I don't look alternative at all most of the time.
As a result of constant abuse by 'neighbours' of a friend, I will now no longer visit my friends at their house unless I'm with someone else.
The thing many people in the town talk about, along with the 'fantastic' transporter bridge (which is the most famous landmark of the town, that and 'roseberry topping', a funny shaped hill), is Captain James Cook, who was born in Marton, a suburb of Middlesbrough, about 20 minutes walk from the town centre. People in Middlesbrough are immensely proud that the town is the birthplace of Captain Cook, to the extent that EVERYTHING is named after him, including the major hospital in the area, which is now called The James Cook University Hospital. Up until about three years ago, it was simply called South Cleveland. Other 'famous people' that Middlesbrough can lay a claim to are Roy 'Chubby' Brown and Bob Mortimer and Chris Rea. The only famous local that I am actually proud of is filmmaker Ridley Scott (Alien), who attended what is now Cleveland College of Art and Design (in Hartlepool) to study film (the same course that I do I think). Incidentally, it is said that Scott's inspiration for the industrial wasteland of Blade Runner was Middlesbrough, and I can well believe it.
As I have mentioned the art college there, I should really go into a little detail on that, as it is unique. CCAD has been established for over 100 years, and remains the only specialist arts college in the North East of England. It offers a wide range of courses in all things art related. You can find out more information on their website at www.ccad.ac.uk.
In the last couple of years, Middlesbrough has seen further improvements in the entertainment sector. A massive multiscreen UGC cinema was built a few minutes walk from the town centre, along with a new JJB Sports (including a large gym), McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Nandos (chicken) and Etsuko (Japanese food). Recently, the UGC was bought out by large chain Cineworld.
Middlesbrough's dockland, Middlehaven, is set for a £500m transformation. This will see an essential wasteland being turned into a new area of attraction for both business and leisure.
Overall, Middlesbrough would be an exciting and modern place to live, if it weren't for all the damn people. I hope this has been helpful to anyone who is thinking of visiting or moving to the area.
I have lived in Middlesbrough all my life and I quite like living here despite what most people think. Middlesbrough isnt massive but everything you need is in one place. Shops, parks, cinema, restaurants, car parking, train and bus station and pretty good night life. I have to admit there are better places to shop in the north east but Middlesbrough has many shops for all kind of tastes. What really gets me about M,bro is the fact that it has 4 different shopping centres in 1 minutes walking distance of each other. This means we have 2 WHSmiths, 2 Internationales, 2 Principles, 2 Barretts, 2 Bay Trading etc etc. If only they could think of something new to put in Middlesbrough I am sure there are some more shops, arent there? One tip dont go shopping in Middlesbrough when there is a home match on, the stadium is just outside the town. There is no chance of getting parked and the traffic is a nightmare. The restaurants in Middlesbrough are nice. They have a brilliant chinese called Peking Villa, its a family run business and it is a bit pricey but its well worth it. They have loads of pictures of all their customers including the funny Chubby Brown, and he likes his food so if he likes you will love it. Joe Rigatonnis (I think thats right) serve really nice Italian food and the restaurant is not right in the town centre so you dont get all the P**s heads coming in. They also employ alot of italian staff which can be a bit annoying because they do correct you if you pronounce the dish wrong. There are plenty more retaurants but I havent eaten in them put I've heard there all good. The nightlife in Middlesbrough is excellent. It does get a bit crammed on the weekend because you get people coming from all round the Teesside area. Middlesbrough is not the biggest town but its bigger than say Stockton and Redcar. The pubs in M'bro are all reasonably priced and there are always some kind of offers going on so i
t can be a cheap night out. Most of the people in Middlesbrough are friendly and you are bound to meet someone new, there are the occasional fights but what town do you find where there isnt. A new UGC cinema has just been built in the town centre. Its really smart and cheap compared to the other showcase cinema. Its even got a bar which most of you probably wont find surprising but I've never seen a cinema like it. Its got 3 floors and the seating is really roomy and comfortable. There is a McDonalds and Pizza Hut right outside the cinema and also a Video rental store which I havent been in and I really dont know why its there but it looks cool so I will leave it at that. Middlesbrough also has a bit of history. You can find out all about Captain James Cook at Stuarts park which is a really nice quiet park. Its got a bit of wild life like peacocks and rabbits which are nice if you have children. Stuarts Park has no childrens playground because the person who built it said that there were to be no playground built I cant remember why, sorry, but it is nice for a quiet stroll on a Sunday afternoon. Well thats it, I think Middlesbrough is well worth at least one visit, dont you?
As there are no venues listed in the Nightclubs category and as I wanted to consider other aspects besides clubs, I felt this opinion should go here. Firstly, Middlesbrough is not one of the major places you would think of when looking for somewhere to go on a night out. However, there are some good places if you know where to look. The Empire in the centre of Middlesbrough is the town's biggest and best nightclub. Once a theatre amongst its many incarnations, it is now one of the most popular nightclubs in the region if not the North. You will find it listed in the Guide (published with the Guardian) every Saturday for its Sugershack nights, which attract some of the county's best DJ's (Judge Jules recently played there and I believe Fatboy Slim has too). It is built on two levels, with the main, large dancefloor downstairs, along with a small bar. The main bar is upstairs in the quieter area of the club, and being a former theatre, it all looks very grand and impressive, with a balcony looking out over the dancefloor. As well as Sugershack, on Thursday night there is Planet Pop for fans of cheesy pop music. Apart from the Empire, there are several other clubs worth a visit. My favourite is the Tuxedo Royale, a 'floating nightclub' on board a ship which is docked next to the Riverside Stadium (home of Middlesbrough Football Club). At night it looks brilliant, and you can go out on deck and look over the dock towards the lights of Middlesbrough. There are several rooms, over three levels. You come into the reception area, and I believe there is a small bar on this level, although I have never visited it. Upstairs is a medium sized room, with sofas and comfy seats and a bar. This is the place to come to relax after you've been to the bottom level, which is the main dance area. The room is large with two bars, lots of seating and best of all, a REVOLVING dancefloor. Different kinds of music are played in each room, an
d there is something for everyone. The other major nightclub is Liquid. It is situated just off the centre and attracts a very young crowd (some might say TOO young) The dancefloor is quite big and the music is usually dance based. I must say I like Liquid the least out of the three mentioned. It's often quite empty, especially on a Friday and the atmosphere is much better at the other two. Away from the clubs, there is plenty more to do. There are several theatres in Middlesbrough, including Middlesbrough Little Theatre. There is also regular live music and comedy acts at Middlesbrough Town Hall. Recent visitors include Jack Dee and the Bootleg Beatles. A brand new UGC cinema has just opened in the centre of town, replacing the old Odeon cinema, which frankly was in need of closing. The cinema has 11 screens and a bar over 3 levels and has an usually large amount of legroom. However food and drink prices are EXTREMELY high-if you must eat, go to McDonalds next door, which opened at the same time as the cinema. The major eating place in Middlesbrough is the Purple Onion restaurant. The food is top-class, and the service is excellent. For Chinese food lovers, there is China Buffet King, which specialises in All You Can Eat deals-very good value. As well as the positives, there are few negatives about Middlesbrough at night. The crime rate in the town is always claimed to be high, although none of my friends or myself have never experienced any problems, apart from the tramps who often beg for money outside McDonalds. Also, the no-go area of Middlesbrough deserves its name. The area past the Albert Bridge is the town's red light zone, with all the trouble that comes with area's such as these. Apart from this minor problems, Middlesbrough is a good place to come for a night out, with a wide variety of things to do. Come and see for yourself.
Well - I was born in Eston - which I still believe is a part of Middlesbrough. I now live in a small town in Middlesbrough which I have lived ever since. middlesbrough - with it being the most industrialised place in the country with polutioneverywhere is still my home and I have learned to like living here. In the town centre - theres many shops but one inparticular (not really a shop - its a café) is called Café Pronto in which they serve the best coffee around, not to mention the best Hot mixed rolls. Bacon and cheese - YUM - my favorite but best of all the company you get in there is excellent. So if you live here - visit CAFÉ PRONTO on Borough Road or if you're visiting Middlesbrough go there anyway - Its a new experience and a one stop shop for your best Coffee and snacks.
It is spelled Middlesbrough yer know!! I was born in 'Boro and lived there until I was 23, I've spent the last year living in London which has been a bit of a culture shock. I left home because of the lack of quality jobs/careers in the area, I mean... there is nothing in 'Boro compared to London. I wanted to work on the internet in some capacity, but that just wasn't possible in my home town. Why do I miss middlesbrough, my family, friends, the socialising, the place itself. All of it really and sometimes the football team as well!! There are some great pubs/bars and places to eat and everything is so cheap. You can get a pint for as cheap as 80p in some pubs! The nightlife has gone down a bit in terms of nightclubs but there is always the Millenium in Stockton, and some good late bars in the town such as The Cornerhouse, and Chicargo Rock The town centre has seen some improvements in recent years which is good, and Middlesbrough almost got City Status, just getting beat narrowly by Wolverhampton. If you're going to Middlesbrough to study though, you're going to the right place, cheap beer, friendly people, and excellent university facilities. If you're heading up north for a job though, think again. Unemployment is one of middlesbrough's big let downs. Right thats it then, I'm off to find an 80p a pint night!
I was born in Middlesbrough and lived here ever since, to be honest i dont think I ever want to leave. The people here are the friendliest, nicest around, say if you walk into a shop, they will open the door for you and hold it open even if they were 1st and that doesnt only apply to the "gentlemen". I work in Middlesbrough town centre part time and its the busiest day of the week, sometimes people have to stand in a queue for a really long time but they always find time to have a nice chat about the weather or how busy town is and when you're working it makes you smile that people you dont even know talk to you. I did go to London last year fo the 1st time in my life and when i got to Victoria Station, i noticed that people were so busy in theyre own lives that i immediately missed Middlesbrough. i think people from London and busy cities should try to visit the place, ok it isnt the most wonderful place in the world(after all we do have the highest unemployment and teenage pregnancies figures) but some of the people are, thats what makes it special. Oh and for a nice meal try Joe Rigatoni's, my favourite restaurant of all time. Lovely italian dishes, plenty of choice for vegetarians like me aswell. The layout is beautiful too, candles, low lighting, just perfect!
OK, I've never actually lived in Middlesbrough, but I have visited friends at the University and stayed there for a couple of weeks in total and I think it's quite a nice place. Yes, Middlesbrough is polluted, it's got a reputation for being rough and it's obviously not the most affluent city in England, but it's really not that bad. The pollution in London is much worse. As for rough, in my experience the people in Middlesbrough are some of the nicest I've ever met, you can't go into a pub or nightclub without chatting to somebody you've never met before. The nightlife in Middlesbrough is great. Especially considering it's so close to Sunderland and Newcastle, which is so well known for it's nightlife. There are several decent sized nightclubs catering for all different sections of the community, and Middlesbrough people really know how to party! There are plenty of pubs and drinks are very reasonably priced. Also, the Student Union bar is one of the largest in the country! Another benefit of Middlesbrough is that everything is so close together and compact, it's a great city for students as you don't need to get a taxi anywhere, the halls of residence, pubs, nightclubs, town centre, train station and supermarkets are all within walking distance of the University. The range of shops is pretty good, although not the best I've ever seen most of the usual high street suspects are there. Yes, there are rough area's of Middlesbrough, I don't think I'd want to walk through Brambles Farm alone after dark, but the same could be said for any major town or city, this isn't something that’s peculiar to Middlesbrough. I think that Middlesbrough is judged quite unfairly, it's not a very pretty town, but the people are the best.
Middlesbrough has in the press been portrayed as an ugly chemical works with the odd house in the middle of all the heavy industry. Whilst this is true to some degree, (heavy industry is what made Middlesbrough ever since iron ore was found in the Cleveland hills in the nineteenth century) it neglects to consider the beauty of the countryside in the surrounding area, the Cleveland hills are ten minutes away the Darlington Dales are within twenty minutes the coast is ten minutes away and cities like Durham and York are both within an hours travel. Having been born and raised in the Boro people may think that I have a biased opinion about the place but that is not so, it has to be said that there is more litter in Boro than any other place that I have been to especially in the parliament road area. It also has to be said that there are many areas of the town where you do not want to be by yourself after dark, Grove Hill, South Bank, Grangetown amongst others. It doesn’t alter the fact that I love the town and will always have deep feelings for the place. Where else do you get so see Captain Cooks heritage, the finest soccer team in the country, the best night out you can have (you start in Boro for a night out and you will not forget it), have the best designers clothes shops in Britain (psyche UK designer retailer for last few years) and the best restaurants (the purple onion) in such a small town. Visit Middlesbrough you will be surprised by what is behind the grime