Not much time to spare - here's our essential 60-second guide to Middlesbrough
Where is Middlesbrough?
Middlesbrough is right in the 'middle' of Teesside and the wider Tees Valley. It's at the heart of everything - roads, rivers, countryside and between two of the North's greatest historic destinations, Durham and Whitby.
Shops, Restaurants & Nightlife
Shops, restaurants and nightlife are fab in Middlesbrough. It's the Tees Valley's High Street capital.
Home-grown designer department store Psyche regularly rubs shoulders with the likes of Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, having won awards such as the number one store in the FHM 100 Doors awards and Drapers' Independent Retailer of the Year.
Events, Arts & Culture
A lively events programme and Middlesbrough's emerging cultural renaissance reflect the town's ongoing passion for live entertainment, art and music.
Middlesbrough's Town Hall and Theatre boast a rich programme of comedy, music, drama and dance. While mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art hosts a rolling exhibtiion programme of international significance.
Middlesbrough's popular events calendar includes diverse events such as Middlesbrough Mela, Christmas festivities & Animex - an annual, international animation festival.
If you're new to the area, start off with the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum. It celebrates the life of the town's most famous descendant and is set in the locally-loved green surroundings of Stewart Park. (Note: seasonal Winter closure before setting off.) Nature's World, Newham Grange Country Farm, the Dorman Museum and the Transporter Bridge are also worth a visit, especially if the kids are in tow.
Food wise, Middlesbrough's probably most famous for the parmo! It's a not to be missed fast food legend; look out for it on most town menus.
Middlesbrough isn't all bustle and built up town. It's right next to the North York Moors, the Cleveland Way and one of the North East's most famous landmarks, Roseberry Topping. Roseberry Topping's 360 degree views are so spectacular that the Vikings originally named it after their God Odin.
It's impossible to talk about Middlesbrough without mentioning football and sport. Middlesbrough Football Club is supported by thousands of devoted fans, including its Middlesbrough-born owner and entrepreneur, Steve Gibson. Prissick Skate Plaza, opened in 2005, is based on skating and boarding sites in Philadelphia and Barcelona. Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit is a fantastic 1 kilometre enclosed circuit.
Middlesbrough was a major force in the industrial period, growing faster than any other place in the UK. Half the world has been constructed with iron and steel mined from Middlesbrough's hills including Victoria Falls and the Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong Kong. Look out for the 'Made In Middlesbrough' stamp on the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
Forget all your preconceptions of industry; you won't see a skyline like this anywhere else. "Teesside Lights", Middlesbrough's industrial landscape, is an extraordinary man made sight. In fact it was the inspiration for Ridley Scott's Bladerunner, who was born in nearby North Shields.
Middlesbrough is ambitious about the future, particularly green energy and digital technology. Teesside University and local businesses have established a world-wide reputation for digital innovation and animation wizardry. Look out fot Animex, a yearly animation festival that attracts global stars.