Air Trail Tees Barrage Review

During our stay at The King's Head Inn, I was looking for things to do in the Teesside/Stockton-On-Tees area before climbing Roseberry Topping. We ended up visiting Guisborough Forest Walk, RSPB Saltholme and the Air Trail at Tees Barrage. All of these attractions are fairly close together and it's a good idea to combine a couple of attractions and make a day of visiting the area. The Tees Valley really impressed me with how many low-cost 'outdoorsy' experiences they have available to families and I'd definitely say that Air Trail deserves its place in my list of 'Best Family Days Out in North East England'.

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review

This post is going to focus on the Air Trail at Tees Barrage. We absolutely loved it here and the kids had a blast.

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review - view from cafe

First of all, the setting is gorgeous. There is plenty of seating for parents/spectators by the river, vending machines, lockers and a cafe across the bridge. I love that there is plentiful free parking too (use postcode TS18 2QW). It is possible to visit Air Trail via public transport too - see here for details. 

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review  - tees barrage info sign

We pre-booked our sessions online which cost us £9.95 per participant. Family tickets are also available for just £36.95. Participants need to be over 1m to use Air Trail and those between 1m and 1.22m need to be accompanied by a responsible adult aged 18+. If your children are over 1.22m tall, they can take the trail by themselves. A word of warning though - they do need to be able to follow instructions, understand the traffic light system and manoeuvre their safety strap around the track themselves. Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable letting an under 7 on this un-accompanied but every child is different. There were plenty of parents taking part during our trip and they seemed to have lots of fun. There is a height restriction of 2.08m and a weight restriction of 21stone and you should not participate if you have a heart condition, back/joint injury/are pregnant/have had recent surgery/are unwell.

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review - high ropes course

I love that there's an 'air tykes' trail for children aged 2-4 and no taller than 1.22m. Sessions on this track cost £3, last 20 minutes and are a great way to keep little ones entertained while older children take on the bigger trail. Participants on Air Tykes need to be accompanied by an adult (who has to stand next to them while they take on the course).

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review  - Air tykes course

You arrive 30 minutes before your session and are fitted with a safety harness and given a safety briefing. Make sure you go to the loo as there won't be another opportunity for the next 90 minutes....

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review  - safety briefing

Then you are off....... I would estimate up to 50/60 participants can take on air trail at one time.

With Air Trail, your safety strap is always attached to both your harness and the frame - you never have to unclip it and it feels super safe. There are staff on hand to help if anyone gets stuck. Your safety strap is attached to a track above your head and you are free to take on the various obstacles hands-free.

There are three levels with various routes around and stairs taking you up to the next levels. You have an hour on the course and can challenge yourself as much or as little as you please. Heidi was straight around each level and up and down several times, Jack and Harry took it at a little slower pace - they found the second level more challenging as there wasn't anything to hold onto like the first level. I think if you visit a few times, your confidence will naturally increase and grow. Some of the challenges on the very top level made me want to close my eyes - especially the balance beam!

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review

One of the rules is that only one participant can cross a challenge at one time and everyone was respectful of this - this means that there was no pushing/trying to pass each other.

There are two zip wires as part of the course which you can choose to try or skip. Harry has a bit of a fear of heights and during similar trips, has always ended up not being able to make the leap of faith. He joined the queue for the zip wire and I really thought he was going to do it this time but he just couldn't muster the courage, turned around and didn't do it. This was fine - nobody was judging him. The zip wire runs with a traffic light system and the next participant in the queue physically can't ride until the previous participant has left the area.

After going around level one and two a few times, Harry surprised us by joining the zip wire queue again. This time - he did it! Then after that, there was no stopping him. I'm really proud that he pushed himself like this I bet it did wonders for his sense of achievement and confidence.

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review

I thought I'd just sit on the picnic tables and watch on but I couldn't stop myself standing right by the frame and cheering the kids on. Spectators are welcome to bring picnics and it's a nice spot to extend your stay with a picnic for everyone afterwards/before (please note, no dogs are allowed). There's also the Oasis Cafe across the bridge which offers lovely views.

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review - picnic tables for spectators

As well as the Air Trail, Tees Barrage has loads going on including white water rafting, canoeing, paddleboarding, raft building and more. You can find out more here. 

Air Trail is a real gem and perfect for tweens and teens who are looking for a new challenge. They also offer a loyalty card for regular visitors. H, H and J had a brilliant time and although it's not something I fancy myself, Steve is itching to have a go next time too. Air Trail is a one-hour easy drive down the A19 from where I live and a place I think is more than worth the journey time.

PS - We paid for this ourselves. 



  1. Thanks for sharing this, I would never have thought to give Tees Barrage a try as I associated it with just white water rafting and I hate water! Seal watching just by RSPB Saltholme is great and free too! You're right we are very lucky in Tees Valley to have what we have!

  2. Oh wow! I knew Tees Barrage was there (I used to live in Stockton when I was a teen) but I didn't know the Air Trail was there! I think my two would love it, I would prefer to sit and watch though. I'm not good with heights x

  3. This looks like so much fun, my teen would love it as she recently done GO Ape and things like this on NCS. It seems really good value too, I don't think I would be brave enough to go on it mind x

  4. Thank you for the review, proved a great place for my son's recent birthday


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