Middlesbrough is a large town in North East England and is the principal location in the borough of Middlesbrough. Historically in the North Riding of Yorkshire, in 1968 the town became the centre of the county borough of Teesside, which was absorbed by the non-metropolitan county of Cleveland in 1974. In 1996 Cleveland was abolished, and the Middlesbrough borough became a unitary authority, within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire.
Middlesbrough is different from the other districts in the Tees Valley, as the borough is almost entirely urbanised, thus making it the largest town in terms of area and population, but the smallest district. However, what is locally regarded as Middlesbrough also includes a wider area, including South Bank and Eston, in the neighbouring borough of Redcar and Cleveland.
Middlesbrough is situated on the south bank of the River Tees, a few miles from the edge of the North York Moors National Park.
Teesport, is one of the UK's 3 largest ports, lies 3 miles to the East, and Durham Tees Valley Airport  lies 8 miles to the West, near Darlington. North East of Middlesbrough, the Tees estuary with its colony of breeding seals, has extensive sandy beaches in both directions. Some 7000 salmon and 13,000 sea trout migrated upstream through the estuary in 2000. Saltburn boasts some of the best and most challenging surf in Britain, and beyond, sheer cliffs rise to Boulby Head, the highest point on the east coast of England.