The River Tees

Yarm Bridge over the river Tees on an autumn day

For the latest Coronavirus updates and information including advice and support for residents and businesses visit

To find out how to get a Coronavirus test visit

The source of the River Tees lies on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, it flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the chilly waters of the North Sea.

It runs through a diverse landscape of rolling countryside and picturesque villages to industrial towns and large housing estates. It drains an area of 710 square miles and has a number of tributaries including the River Greta, River Lune, River Balder, River Leven and River Skerne.

Despite the industrial riverbanks, the Tees estuary is surprisingly important for its wildlife and plant life, with each season bringing different experiences.

Before the heavy industrialisation of the Tees, the flats at Seal Sands were home to the common seal. For around 100 years this species was absent from the estuary but they have now returned and can be seen on the flat sands and surrounding areas once more.

You will find some fantastic beauty spots along the banks of the River Tees, but if you would like a change of scenery why not experience the river from the water.


Exploring the river

You will find some fantastic beauty spots along the banks of the River Tees, but if you would like a change of scenery why not experience the river from the water?

River Tees Watersports Centre

Not only is it the centre home to the Tees Rowing, Powerboat and Dragon Boat Clubs, the centre is also home to the Tees Wheelyboat Club. The wheelyboats offer access to the river for wheelchair users. 

Telephone: 01642 628940


RiverShack’s goal is for more people to take time out on the Tees, to have fun rowing boats and learning more about the river.

With bases at Preston Park and Yarm, RiverShack is open every day (depending on the weather).

Visit the RiverShack website

Tees Barrage International White Water Centre

If you'd like a more exhilarating experience on the Tees why not take to the water at the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre. Here you can ride the rapids by raft, learn to kayak and sail or take a trip in a speed boat. There's something for everyone.

Visit the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre website

Teesside Princess

The Teesside Princess is a purpose designed leisure cruiser that lives on the River Tees. It departs from the Castlegate Quay in Stockton and calls at Yarm and Preston Hall Museum and Grounds. Offering day and evening cruises the Teesside Princess is a fun and relaxing way to see parts of the river you wouldn't normal see. 

Visit the Teesside Princess website


Lighting the river

The riverside illumination between the Princess Diana and Millennium bridges, capitalises on the natural asset of the river as it flows through the Stockton Town Centre by lighting its iconic bridges and riverbank. 

The banks of the River Tees have been transformed with a series of breathtaking light installations.

Using a vibrant palette of colours, this permanent illumination adds value to the riverside businesses and restaurants and also plays an important part in the Council’s exciting events programme throughout the year.