Waving the Purple Flag for Darlington

First published: Tuesday 18 May 2021

Darlington is the only town in the north east to have received the prestigious Purple Flag award, which is awarded to town centres which offer a brilliant and safe night time experience. Make Darlington your first choice destination in the Tees Valley. 


The perfect destination for a safe night out

Darlington offers a wealth of cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs that make for a fantastic night life - which is why it has earned 'Purple Flag' status. This prestigious awards means that it's one of the safest places to enjoy a night out.

There is an eclectic selection of venues, so whether you're in the mood for a cosy bar or energetic club, you'll find something great and you'll have the peace of mind that you're in a safe environment. 

With its impressive selection of venues and safe streets, Darlington has been the first and only town in the North East to earn the Purple Flag. This award is only given to towns who offer the 'gold standard' centre for nights out, so when you visit you can be assured you will be offered only the best. This destination offers a welcoming environment, a safe way to get back home, and a fantastic selection of venues. You can rest assured that Darlington is an amazing place for an amazing evening. 

The Purple Flag award helps local businesses

Darlington is a historic market town, boasting a charming town centre which is easily accessible. With its impressive railway heritage, historical buildings and Elizabethan yards, cinemas, and wide range of unique local shops, it's easy to tell just how special Darlington is. The Purple Flag status is important to the town centre and its businesses, ensuring customers of a safe trip and recognising the work everyone has put in to make the town a welcoming environment at night.   

James Buxton, the general manager of the Tapas Bar and chairman of Darlington Pub Watch, explains why the Purple Flag status is so important for the town and for visitors looking for a great night out: "The purple flag is symbolic of the safe and enjoyable nights out we offer. Like the Blue Flag for beaches or the Green Flag for parks, the award follows a rigorous accreditation process. It recognises the choice and diversity of leisure and entertainment, and acknowledges that the town is well-managed and welcoming and has good accessibility and attractive public spaces.

“There is an excellent mix of early evening activities, dining venues, pubs and bars that offer more than just alcoholic beverages, and there is a strong arts and cultural offering. Now, more than ever, is a time for our night-time economy to grow. With hundreds of government officials set to relocate to Darlington, it is a major boost to the region, and a time for us to step up to the plate. Darlington is progressive and adaptive and poised to soar. It is ideally placed with great rail, road and air connectivity and plans to transform key gateways and enrich the town centre even more are well underway. Darlington offers up a wealth of experiences wrapped up in a friendly, North East welcome."



A safe night life and an amazing day out

Darlington is not just a fantastic and safe town for a night out, but also offers brilliant experiences in the day. Visitors can visit a large array of designer and independent outlets in the Imperial Quarter, discover unique shops in the historic yards, browse the Victorian indoor market, go for a swim or a game of bowling in the Dolphin Centre, take a walk through the beautiful South Park, or go for an engaging game of Cluedini. Ensure to pay a visit to the Head of Steam museum and learn more about Darlington's railway heritage. 

After a busy day around down, why not spend an evening watching a show at Darlington Hippodrome or Majestic Theatre, catch a gig at The Forum, or see a film at the Vue? You'll be spoiled for choice. 

Plan your visit

Planning ahead is easy, just take a browse around our site and visit the Love Darlo Facebook page for all of the latest updates.

With its central railway station, Darlington is very easy to reach on the train, or by the bus. There are also plenty of car parks, or grab a marked taxi from outside of the Victorian Market.

Restaurants are often busy, so make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment! 

Whilst you're here, keep a look out for Darlington's Street Angels, who are on hand to help. 

🎶 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
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