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About Saltholme

RSPB Saltholme Visitor Centre & bare branches silhouetted against a wintery sky

Image: Andy Hay

Your visits starts with entry to the stunning visitor centre which gives a glimpse of the wider reserve just waiting to be explored outside.

A brilliant cafe – just follow your nose for freshly brewed coffee, gooey cakes and mouth-watering meals.

A great shop where you can spend a bit of pocket money or splash the cash.

Four wildlife viewing hides, along with viewing screens and the viewing gallery in the visitor centre, to help you get closer to the wildlife that calls Saltholme home.

Still wanting more? From early spring to mid-summer all manner of plants and flowers bloom in the walled garden, designed by celebrity gardener Chris Beardshaw. Close to the centre, it is a lovely spot to pause and enjoy.

With youngsters needing a run around and play to burn off some energy, don’t forget to stop by the adventure play area.

A cycleway across part of the reserve (open during opening hours), there is connection to the wider cycleway network of Stockton and Middlesbrough.

You are free to make the visit be want you want it to be – but if you want our help, you only have to ask one of our friendly staff and volunteers. Passionate about wildlife and Saltholme, their aim is to make sure you have a great time, every time you visit.

Satellite Sites

In addition to the main reserve, we have several satellite sites nearby.

Dorman’s Pool situated just off Huntsmans Drive (opposite the main site) is a birdwatching haven and is for the exclusive use of RSPB members and Teesmouth Bird Club members. There is access all the time (hide open 10-4/5) Ask the team at reception if you need some advice and head over with your membership card and binoculars and get ready to enjoy the wildlife.

Greatham Creek situated approximately 1.5 miles north of the main site, along the A178, is the seal viewpoint. Accessed by a safe path from a small car park, the viewpoint gives stunning views of the harbour seal colony – up to 80 seals can be seen if the tide is right. Ask at reception for directions and information on the best times to view. The viewpoint is open all the time.

Saltern Wetlands is on the north side of Greatham Creek and a public footpath (open all the time) allows access through from the A178 to Greatham village. New habitat is being created as the sea inundates this area at high tide.

Opening times

Saltholme’s main site is open every day except Christmas Day. From 1 April to 31 October we’re open 9:30am to 5pm, and from 1 November to 31 March, 9:30am to 4pm. The cafe is open 9:30am – 4pm all year round.

Entrance charges

£5 per car, but RSPB members get in free. If you are visiting only the cafe and or shop and are staying an hour or less, it is free. Come by bike, public transport or on two feet and it won’t cost you a penny, no matter how long you stay.

If you are new to birdwatching...

Saltholme’s friendly staff and volunteers are here to help – if you want it. You’ll be able to meet them in the centre and in our wildlife hides. No binoculars? No problem - you can hire binoculars from the shop.

Information for families

Saltholme has everything to help your family enjoy and discover more about nature. Rugged pushchairs are available to hire free of charge. There’s adventure play, events and activities at weekends and school holidays, Wildlife Explorer packs available to hire every day and family pond dipping kits are available from April to the end of October. With volunteers to help you make the most of your time, you’ll be able to discover more about Saltholme’s nature together and have lots of fun at the same time.

Information for dog owners

Next to the car park we have a small dog exercise area. We’ve installed four shaded parking bays specifically for dog owners. To protect our wetland wildlife, dogs are not allowed on the wider reserve.

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 54.600995,-1.217496
  • Postcode: TS2 1TU
  • Grid reference: NZ506231
  • Nearest town: Middlesbrough
  • County: Cleveland
  • Country: England

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School visits