I don’t care what you say: Darlington is the best place on earth

We literally have eight pasty shops

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Darlington? More like, Darling-tonne-of-fun.

I know what you’re thinking. How can a town whose biggest monument is a train made of bricks be seen as the best place in the world? When I saw we were awarded 7th best place to live in the UK, I was quite taken aback. Who decided this? Were they drunk at the time? But then I looked at the locations which beat us…

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Pretty sure nobody actually lives in Northumberland

It was at this point that I realised that not only is Darlington the best town in the UK – it’s the best place in the world. Ever.

You’re never short of places to eat

There is nothing that fills me with more pride than telling people that Darlington is not only home to six branches of Greggs but also a Thomas the Bakers and Cooplands bakery. That’s eight pasty shops for a population of 106,000.

But wait, who would want eight sausage roll distributers? This surely has to be a negative? Wrong. If anything, having eight identical pasty shops is innovation at its best. It’s almost definitely the best method of countering overpopulation – if China had a Greggs for every 13,000 people, nobody would live long enough to cause an overpopulation problem. China could learn a thing or two from Darlington. Fact.

Yes, that is two next to each other

Yes, that is two next to each other

Three minor celebrities and Rent-a-cop are from there

Mark Gatiss, Vic Reeves, Duncan Bannatyne and Rent-a-Cop. What more could you want? I don’t think that I even have to elaborate on this. Have you seen Rent-a-Cop?! It might be the best thing to happen to Darlington, or the world, ever.

You never have to update your address book

Have you ever sent a letter to a friend, but they never got it because you failed to write down their address properly? Of course you haven’t – you live in the 21st century. But you have had to listen to your Nan complain about it cos Doris has upped sticks and moved from Cornwall to Canterbury without giving anyone her forwarding address. Selfish cow.

If Doris lived in Darlo then this wouldn’t be an issue. Once you’re here you’re here till death – Darlington is a life sentence. Your Nan’s address book need never be updated again.

If your gran understood technology, this would be all over her Instagram

If your gran understood technology, this would be all over her Instagram

You haven’t lived until you’ve had a night out in Darlington

Let me paint you a picture.

It’s a Friday night and there is literally only one place to be. You all flock to a mates house – probably in Mowden – for pres. You chuck on your Kong shoes (almost definitely plain black ballet pumps) and walk into town. If you’re celebrating, you’ll start in Sloanes; if you’re really celebrating, you’ll start in Preggo. Regardless, you’ll end up in Steads around nine. Where you’ll see everybody you have ever known and have to repeat which uni you go to at least 23 times.

You’ll grab three or four pitchers with five or six straws and start talking about a) how old you feel – how is it that the foetus-faced kids two years below you are all here? When did they grow up? b) Is that Andy from nursery? Remember when he had to go to hospital in year three because he stuck a crayon in his ear for a dare? Do you think he’s still partially deaf? c) What time does McDonalds close again? Think we can go grab a cheeseburger?

Obligatory Steads selfie

Obligatory Steads selfie

After a couple of pitchers of Blue Lagoon you’re ready for Kong. The squad strut in and head straight upstairs even though you all know that upstairs is like the seventh circle of hell. After the DJ with the 118 118 haircut plays “House Every Weekend” you all go downstairs to pretend to be edgy. Mr Brightside starts playing and everyone loses their shit. You spend a good hour trying to find that friend who seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

You soon forget about them though because OMG Mr Brightside is playing AGAIN. Everyone simultaneously starts a Snapchat story while screaming “OMG (insert basic white girl’s name here) IT’S OUR SONG”.  You go outdoors for a bit, start talking to someone you were in juniors with as if they’re your best friend and an entire hour passes. Someone suggests going back downstairs. You all go back downstairs. Mr Brightside starts playing again and everyone loses their shit.

A great night has been had by all. You start the walk back home. You stop by Speedy Pepper and get some cheesy chips because Amy insists that she’ll definitely 500 per cent die unless she has some carbs ASAP. Everyone gets cheesy chips apart from Heather cos Heather is vegan now. Heather gets ripped to shreds. She insists that she “Doesn’t even really miss cheese that much”. Sure, Heather. Sure.

Yes, a night out in Darlington is predictable – but that’s what makes it great. It’s guaranteed fun.

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There’s a football stadium

So what if Darlington football club can no longer afford to play there after being relegated four divisions? It’s still a stadium and it’s still in Darlo.

Nobody cares what you look like

If you want to walk down high row in a sleeping bag then that is fine. If you want to wear Doc Martens with a Doctor Who T-shirt and shorts in the middle of winter, it’s chill. You do you. I’m pretty sure that’s QE’s version of a uniform anyway (you edgy bunch of bastards, you).

Remember about a week ago when there was that huge controversy about parents turning up to school in pyjamas? That was Darlington.  Nobody cares. And why would you? Who in their right mind would want to make an effort for the school run?

This is what makes Darlington great. It’s a town that places comfort and Greggs above all else.

Admit it. That’s the dream. Darlington is the dream.