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PrimeLocation – County Durham

County Durham, situated in north-east England, is a unitary district that includes the City of Durham and the market town of Darlington. The county has considerable mining heritage, and its development was centred on the production of iron and coal. Due to this, County Durham was a world leader in the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th century, and the world’s first passenger steam railway was developed at Stockton and Darlington in 1825.

Home to one of the country’s most internationally renowned universities, which lists radio and television presenter Jeremy Vine among its celebrated alumni, Durham is far more than simply its industrial heritage. Visitors come from all over the country to see its many attractions, such as Durham Cathedral, the county’s vales and coastline, and the Emirates International Cricket Ground.


According to the 2011 Census, County Durham has a population of around 513,000 people who live across the county’s 223,260 hectares, making its population density considerably less than the average for England. 49,000 of those people live in the City of Durham.

Due to its history, the majority of housing in County Durham is the Victorian terracing that sprang up throughout the 19th century to accommodate for the increasing mining population. Although the majority of the population own their own home, over 20% of housing is social rented.

The average age of the population of County Durham is between 35 and 39 years old, and the average salary is £22,400.


The City of Durham itself has a wide variety of schools, both state maintained and independent, as do most of the other major hubs (Darlington, Chester-le-Street and Newton Aycliffe, amongst others).

Most notably, Durham City is home to The Chorister School, which has been established at Durham Cathedral for over 600 years. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was a pupil between 1961 and 1966, as was actor Rowan Atkinson between 1964 and 1966. The school typically has from 200-225 students at any one time.

The city of Durham also hosts a university, Durham University, which holds the distinction of being the third oldest university in England. Until recently, acclaimed author Bill Bryson was in fact the university chancellor, though he stepped down in recent years.


County Durham is bisected by the A1, which passes to the east of Durham City and continues north to Newcastle upon Tyne. Several smaller roads connect the towns of the county, including the A19, which runs nearer to the coast.

Durham Railway station is on the East Coast Main Line, which runs between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh. Durham is also connected to the Tees Valley Line, which has stations in most towns throughout the county.

To the north of the county is Newcastle International Airport, and to the south is Durham Tees Valley Airport, both of which have good services throughout Europe.

Amenities and shopping

County Durham has a number of sites of interest that bring visitors to the area from all over the country. For culture and heritage, the Durham World Heritage Site includes both Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, with the Cathedral being considered one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in all of Europe, if not the very finest.

For the great outdoors, the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to High Force waterfall, England’s highest uninterrupted drop of water.

It’s possible to find all varieties of shops, pubs and restaurants throughout the county, and there are plenty of countryside pubs scattered throughout the Durham Dales. More sophisticated restaurants and wine bars can be found in the city itself, such as Finbarr’s on Waddington Street, which is a quality contemporary restaurant that serves innovative dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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