Redcar and Cleveland

Redcar is a seaside town in the Redcar and Cleveland district.

The resort near to the mouth of the River Tees has attracted tourists since the railway from Middlesbrough arrived in the town in 1846 and its long sandy beach remains popular with day-trippers.

Redcar and its adjoining district of Coatham are at the centre of around eight miles of golden sands stretching from the mouth of the River Tees to Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The town has also boasted a racecourse since Victorian times.

The 20th century saw Redcar with a mixed but well-separated economy. From around the time of the First World War until very recently, steelmaking was important to the town. Local sources of iron led to the building of a large steelworks at Warrenby on the western fringe of Redcar. Steel made at the plant later went into the building of great structures including the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, the Auckland Harbour Bridge in New Zealand and, in the UK, the Tyne Bridge. A large chemical works was opened by ICI at nearby Wilton in the mid 1950s and the site is today shared by several companies. On the River Tees, about 3 miles from Redcar, is the modern Teesport, which handles 5,000 vessels a year.

Just as the nearby steelmaking industry has declined, Redcar has started to see great regeneration of its tourist potential. While it has not recently offered holiday accommodation to the same extent as some other resorts along the coast, it does have amusements, seaside activities, a boating lake and an attractive new seafront promenade from which a recently-built tower, the Redcar Beacon, can be ascended by lift or stairs for views across the town. The town centre is close to the beach with its High Street running parallel to the sea front Esplanade.

The town has has a busy list of fixtures at its horse racecourse, which was first opened in 1872 to provide better facilities for a much earlier tradition of races on the sands between Redcar and Coatham.

 Town features

Redcar was formerly in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

Redcar has a sandy beach.
Redcar has one of Yorkshire's nine horse racecourses.
The town has a range of shops and supermarkets. Redcar offers bakery goods, clothes, gifts, jewellery and other goods.
The town has a Post Office.
Redcar has bank and building society branches.
The town has pharmacies.
The town has pubs and social clubs.
Redcar has a selection of places to eat.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include fish and chips, chinese, curries, pizzas, burgers, kebabs, sandwiches.
The town has a library.
Redcar has a museum - Zetland Lifeboat Museum (see below).
The town has a leisure centre with swimming pool.
There are public toilets in the town.
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed, other.
Places to stay in Redcar include guest house accommodation.


Redcar Central station

Station managed by: NORTHERN.

NORTHERN - Departure and station info
Link to Northern - external website providing information on all services at this station.

Redcar East station

Station managed by: NORTHERN.
Operator/s: NORTHERN.

NORTHERN - Departure and station info
Link to Northern - external website providing information on all services at this station.

Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Road travel

Redcar can be reached via the A174 A1085 A1042 B1269

Places to visit

Zetland Lifeboat Museum and Redcar Heritage Centre

Esplanade, Redcar
Redcar's original lifeboat 'Zetland', built in 1802, is now the world's oldest surviving lifeboat and well worth a visit. Long before the days of the RNLI, the boat was the 11th to be built by Yorkshireman Henry Greathead. After moving to South Shields, County Durham, early in his life, he built more than 30 life-saving boats. The large open wooden rowing vessel which saved 500 lives in its 78-year service is housed in an old lifeboat station which now charts its history. The boat's historical importance is such that it listed on the National Historic Ship Register. Upstairs is a museum with a fascinating selection of boat models, nautical instruments and displays of past photographs of Redcar's seaside history and the boats that were wrecked on its hidden rocks. The free entry museum is supported by volunteers, donations and fundraising.
More information at  Zetland Lifeboat Museum website.

Saltburn Pier

Lower Promenade, Saltburn-by-the-Sea
Saltburn-by-the-Sea is the location of Yorkshire's only pier, or, at least, its only surviving one. The pier, completed in 1869, crosses the resort town's golden beach at the foot of its water-balanced cliff-lift, which was built to provide an easy connection from the town's railway station. Damage by ship collisions and storms over the years have left less than half the original pier now restored, but with diminishing numbers of such piers around the country it remains a fine example of Victorian seaside heritage. Recent attractions at the pier are an amusement arcade with a more modern interior and the so-called 'yarn-bombing', where a variety of knitted woolly wonders provide a colourful and comical array of attachments to the railings along the pier.

Gisborough Priory

Gisborough Priory

Church Street, Guisborough
The stonework of the 14th century east end of the priory church and part of an original Norman gatehouse survive among the ruins of one of the first Augustinian priories to be built in England. Gisborough was founded in 1119 by Robert de Brus, an ancestor of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland, and dissolved in Henry VIII's reign in 1540. The family-owned priory site is managed by the Gisborough Priory Project which is restoring gardens established on the site around 1700. The site is open from the beginning of March to the end of October. The usual opening is Wednesdays to Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 10am to 4pm, but check the website for any alterations or dates when the site is closed for events. Entry is free, but the site relies upon donations.

For full details see the Gisborough Priory Project  Gisborough Priory Project website
or English Heritage  English Heritage - Gisborough Priory website.
Find on map:  Gisborough Priory

Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum

Mill Lane, Skinningrove
Situated on the site of the earliest mine in the area, opened in 1848, this independent museum celebrates the ironstone mining heritage of the Cleveland Hills. More than 80 Cleveland mines were responsible for around one-third of Britain's iron production, which was shipped around the world. The museum provides a guided tour and the chance to explore the old buildings of the mine, experience candlelit tunnels and view the equipment the miners carried as they went about their work. The museum is open daily, except Sundays, from mid-March to late October.
Find out more at the  Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum website.

Ormesby Hall

Ladgate Lane, Ormesby
Situated around 4 miles south-east of Middlesbrough and 7 miles south-west of Redcar, Ormesby Hall is a fine Georgian mansion set in 250 acres of parkland and farmland with a formal Victorian garden and stories of the life of the family who bequeathed the property to the National Trust.
More information at the  National Trust - Ormesby Hall website.

North York Moors National Park

Part of the Redcar and Cleveland borough is within The North York Moors National Park which stretches across the moors and along the coast in the south and east of the district. For further details about the National Park see our North York Moors page.

Emergency services

Cleveland Police  Cleveland Police website.

Cleveland Fire Brigade  Cleveland Fire Brigade website.

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust  North East Ambulance Service website.

HM Coastguard  Coastguard - Coastal safety webpage.

Local government

Borough (unitary district) council

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

Redcar and Cleveland is a unitary authority based in Redcar. Its boundary runs from the eastern edge of Middlebrough along the River Tees to its long stretch of North Sea coast as far as Cowbar, on the western side of Staithes Beck. To the east and south the edge of the district is within the North York Moors National Park.

In addition to Redcar, places within the district include Marske-by-the-Sea, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Guisborough, Skelton, Brotton and Loftus.

The council is divided into 22 electoral wards. Each has one, two or three councillors. All the council are elected at four-year intervals.

Link to  Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council website.

Political composition after May 2019 election:

151413113TVI21 ECI
59 members | TVI = Teesville Independents | TIG = The Independent Group | ECI = East Cleveland Independent Group | EI = Eston Independent.

Cross-county strategic authority

Tees Valley Combined Authority
Provides a decision-making authority on economic development, transport, infrastructure and skills in the four unitary boroughs (Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland) which for a time made up the county of Cleveland and now with the addition of the Darlington unitary authority. It is made up of representatives from each authority plus the chairman of Tees Valley Unlimited, the local enterprise partnership. A mayor for the Tees Valley Combined Authority was elected in May 2017. Of the boroughs involved, Middlesborough, Redcar and Cleveland and a part of Stockton-on-Tees (south of the River Tees) are part of the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire with the other areas part of the ceremonial county of Durham.
 Tees Valley Combined Authority website.

Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland
Oversees Cleveland Police covering an area made up of the four borough (unitary district) councils of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.
 Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland website.

Fire Authority

Cleveland Fire Authority
The 16-member fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four borough (unitary district) councils of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.
 Cleveland Fire Authority website.

National government region

North East England

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


-1968 In the North Riding of Yorkshire.
1968-1974 The northern part of what is now Redcar and Cleveland borough was placed in the County Borough of Teesside, independent of the North Riding of Yorkshire.
1974-1988 The present borough area was created as the borough of Langbaurgh within the artificially-created county authority of Cleveland (which included Teesside County Borough, districts from the North Riding of Yorkshire and the borough of Hartlepool, County Durham).
1988-1996 As above but with the borough renamed Langbaurgh-on-Tees.
1996- County of Cleveland abolished. Langbaurgh-on-Tees becomes a Unitary Authority as Redcar and Cleveland.

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