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The local area guide to living in Durham

Situated in northeast England, Durham is a county with a rich mining heritage. Its high iron and coal production put it at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and it was the home of the world’s first passenger steam railway.

The county’s main draws are the City of Durham, and Darlington, a market town. It also features one of the world’s most highly regarded universities, as well as the Durham Cathedral and the Emirates International Cricket Ground.

Information about the local residents

In comparison with the rest of England, Durham is a sparsely populated county, with just 513,000 residents across 223,260 hectares. Most of the population is focused in the City of Durham, where there are roughly 490,000 residents.

The average salary in the county is around £22,400, and the average age is between 35 and 39 years old. Much of the population are homeowners, although approximately 20% of housing is socially rented. The increase in the mining population in the 19th century led to a higher demand for housing, and so there is a large number of Victorian terraced homes around the county.

Nearby schools

The City of Durham itself has a wide variety of schools, both state maintained and independent, as do most of the other major centres of population such as Darlington, Chester-le-Street, and Newton Aycliffe.

The highly reputed St Godric’s Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School can be found in Framwellgate Moor. There are currently 214 pupils enrolled at the school, all of which are between the ages of 5 and 11. An impressive 97% of pupils achieve Level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths by the age of 11, a figure which is well above the national average of 80%. Parents will also be pleased to hear that the school was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted when it was last inspected in 2007.

At the secondary level, Durham Johnston Comprehensive School is also highly regarded. Roughly 1,500 pupils attend the school, with students being between the ages of 11 and 18. In terms of student achievement, 66% of pupils gain five GCSE grades between A*-C, compared to only 53% of students nationwide. The school was also rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

One of the most famous schools in the City of Durham is The Chorister School at Durham Cathedral, which currently has 214 students on its roster. The school has been open for more than 600 years and boasts famous alumni such as former Prime Minister Tony Blair and actor Rowan Atkinson.

Getting around

The main driving route through County Durham is the A1, which runs east of the City of Durham and offers a direct route to Newcastle upon Tyne – which is home to one of two nearby airports. The other option is Durham Tees Valley Airport, which lies to the south of County Durham. Both airports operate regular services to various destinations in Europe.

Train travel is another easy route into Durham, with Durham Railway Station operating regular services to London Kings Cross and Edinburgh on the East Coast Main Line. The city also connects to smaller towns throughout the county via the Tees Valley Line.

Local shops

There is a rich cultural heritage to be explored in County Durham, starting with the World Heritage Site, Durham Cathedral and Castle – a marvel of Norman architecture.

There are also a number of attractions for nature lovers. The North Pennines Area is commonly regarded as one of the country’s greatest natural sights, and is home to the spectacular High Force waterfall.

Throughout the county there are a wide variety of shops and eateries to sample, including many charming countryside pubs around the Durham Dales. In the City of Durham, and the other nearby settlements, you’ll find a range of restaurants and bars that cater to all tastes and budgets.

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.