"An arty hub in Middlesbrough - who knew? In recent years, the town has undergone a real revamp, partly as a trendy art centre, which I'm all for. It's great for the area to have such a prestigious art gallery and it's free. Bargain!"

MIMA: Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

An arty hub in Middlesbrough - who knew? In recent years, the town has undergone a real revamp, partly as a trendy art centre, which I'm all for. It's great for the area to have such a prestigious art gallery and it's free. Bargain!

Info: visitmima.com

The Dickens Inn

This is a popular pub near the university, which used to be our old haunt long before it became trendy. I had my 18th birthday party in the function room upstairs, and many a happy hour was spent on the quiz machines with my friends.

Info: thedickensinn.co.uk

Riverside Stadium

I'm a massive fan of Middlesbrough FC so I love coming here - although for me visiting the Riverside is as much a social occasion as it is to watch the footie. I always bump into so many old faces and friends milling around in the corridors.
Going on match day is a real treat.

Info: mfc.co.uk

Tees Barrage

Before this was built, the river wasn't really part of the social scene in the area, but now there's white-water rafting, canoeing and it's even going to be used as one of the Olympic training camps - so it's become a great sporting hub. Middlesbrough is a place in regeneration, and the Tees Barrage is a real 'wow' attraction, bringing a much younger, livelier crowd to the area.

Info: teesactive.co.uk

CaptainCookBirthplace Museum

You'll find this museum in Stewart Park and it's somewhere we always used to go when I was younger. There are these huge painted totem poles outside for some reason - presumably related to Captain Cook's travels! He was born and schooled locally and is obviously a very proud part of the region's heritage.

Info: captcook-ne.co.uk

Coming soon: Keep an eye out for Kirsten on BBC3 later this year.

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