Mumsnet Durham covers the whole of County Durham, Durham City, Darlington and Hartlepool. Your Mumsnet Local editor is Sarah and you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
<br /> The city of Durham was described by Bill Bryson as: ‘a perfect little city. If you have never been to Durham, go there at once. Take my car. It's wonderful.' It is home to Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, which together are classed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The whole city is steeped in history and is home to over 600 listed buildings, and its university is claimed by many to be the third oldest in England, after Oxford and Cambridge, having been founded in 1832.
<br />As a county, Durham offers surprises and contrasts, with wild and remote landscapes and a rich industrial heritage. Much of the county was dominated by coal mining, with close-knit communities living in the numerous pit villages that characterise the east of the county. Larger towns include Chester-le-Street, Stanley, Consett, Peterlee, Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor, Barnard Castle, Seaham and Bishop Auckland. The sparsely populated western half of the county includes the picturesque valleys of Weardale and Teesdale, falling within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
<br />Families can take advantage of Durham's outstanding countryside, with fantastic opportunities for walking and outdoor activities. Major visitor attractions include Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, Diggerland, and the Bowes Museum.