|Homes sold in the last 12 months||92||493||236||387|
|Average house prices||£104,212||£136,537||£215,982||£97,719|
In the heart of England's North East, on the banks of the River Skerne, a tributary of the Tees river, lies Darlington - a gem of a market town. Four national parks are within an hour's drive of the town, including the Durham Dales, the Pennines and the Yorkshire moors. If you're after ultra-convenient transport links, excellent schools and a compact town centre which has benefited from extensive investment, make a beeline for the place the locals affectionately call "Darlo"!
Property in Darlington is still affordable compared to the rest of the UK. There are plenty of new builds, as well as period properties at attractive prices and good value Victorian terraces near the town centre, ideal for investment and first-time buyers. In Darlington's West End there are large Victorian family homes dating from railway's golden age, near leafy golf courses and with country views. The town also has a range of modern, executive-style family homes, as well as bungalows and farmhouses. Rented accommodation is also available. The pedestrianised town centre leads to the market square, one of the country's biggest, and the Victorian covered market, beneath the clock tower on Prebend Row. Specialist shops sit alongside High Street staples in Darlington, and there are also two indoor shopping areas. In fact, there is an emphasis on independent stores, especially on Skinnergate. Duke Street is home to a number of art galleries and restaurants; Grange Road houses high-end designer boutiques. Famous as the site of the first passenger railway in the world, Darlington also owes a lot of its development to the influence of local Quaker families who were important philanthropists and employers in Victorian times. Culture is provided by the popular Civic Theatre, the smaller but well-used arts centre and the Forum music and comedy venue. The Grade II listed library on Crown Street was a gift from prominent local Quaker Edward Pease.
As befits a town with such a rich railway heritage, Darlington has superb train connections. It's on the East Coast mainline, with frequent services to London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Newcastle and York are half an hour away by train, the Scottish and English capitals are reached within two hours. The A1 is just outside town and Durham Tees Valley airport less than half an hour away by road.
Ofsted reports on Darlington schools include several that were deemed "good" and a couple considered to be "good with some outstanding features". The town also has a Queen Elizabeth sixth form college, previously a grammar school, in addition to Darlington's further education college. There are two independent schools, and two other schools have become Academies. Darlington Education Village is a pioneering partnership of three schools providing learning for all. Head north to visit "Darlo" for yourself - you'll soon see why the locals are so fond of their home town!
Source acknowledgement: House price data produced by Land Registry
This material was last updated on 30 March 2015. It covers the period from 03 January 1995 to 27 February 2015.
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