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In such a small area, Cleveland was and, still is, known for its heavy industry. Chemical plants dominate the Tees Estuary along with steel and iron ore. One thing you may be surprised by is the area's pockets of rural tranquil.

Cleveland takes its name from the hills, which would prove to be instrumental in the development of Middlesbrough from village to industrial town. On rising from 40 persons 1829 to 40,000 in 1871, it was described by William Gladstone as an 'infant hercules'. Iron ore from the Cleveland Hills would later be the making of Dorman Long, whom in a matter of years would be responsible for iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Nearer to home, Middlesbrough's Newport Bridge and its famed Transporter Bridge. Middlesbrough supplanted Stockton-on-Tees as the main Teesside port of choice.

A short distance away from Middlesbrough is the seaside resorts of Coatham and Redcar. The latter before 1980 had the shortest seaside pier in the UK. Today, Redcar is better known for its racecourse, with 18 meetings from April to November. After Redcar, Cleveland becomes more rural in character with, though interrupted by the seaside resort of Saltburn-by-the-Sea. For similar reasons to Middlesbrough, the resort was a product of the railway age, fronted by a grand hotel (since converted to apartments), and a pier with a cliff lift. Though the ravages of North Sea winds haven't been too kind, it has been restored in recent times.

The most easterly point of Cleveland is the fishing village of Staithes. Main attractions include the Staithes Gallery and the Captain Cook Museum. Further inland, the Cleveland Hills is in view, dominated by Roseberry Topping, its highest point and most distinctive peak.

All of the above's a short distance from the A19, A66, A171 and A174 trunk roads. From the Cleveland Hills, rural landscapes gradually draw us towards Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees. The market town of Stockton-on-Tees was a busy port, though today it is a lively town with a dedicated business centre and an arts centre. Recent investment in the town has made Stockton a suitable conference venue.

Owing to Cleveland's trunk routes, a great number of conference venues are on the outskirts of town centres. These include the MTLC [Middlesbrough Teaching and Learning Centre] on Cargo Fleet Lane. Though in the centre of Middlesbrough, the Thistle Hotel too benefits from its roadside location, being off the A66 dual carriageway.

With first rate road access, the Cleveland area has potential as a good conference venue. If you have a number of delegates from Berwick-upon-Tweed down to York, Middlesbrough, Redcar or Stockton-on-Tees is quite an easy drive away. By rail, there are direct trains from Middlesbrough to York, Leeds and Manchester Piccadilly with local services from Darlington to Saltburn-by-the-Sea via Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough and Redcar.

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