Where to live in County Durham

Published Nov 29, 2019 – 3 mins read

County Durham has beautiful coastline and covers part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in between there are several key road networks and rail services making the rest of the UK accessible. With so many places to consider when looking for a place to live in County Durham it can be difficult to decide the best location – here we share some of the places we’d include when considering where to live in County Durham.


The small village of Brancepeth is a quiet and pretty place to live, the village is home to an attractive medieval castle and is set in rural surrounds. Only 5 miles from Durham City Centre, Brancepeth is an ideal place to live for those who need to commute regularly. The village has an 18 hole championship golf course along with a historic, well-kept church.

Brancepeth’s most desirable properties are largely period homes, many of which are listed buildings and have retained their historic features.

Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle is a small, charming town situated on the River Tees, named after the Norman Castle around which the town was built; the ruins of the castle are now in the care of English Heritage and are open to the public.

Property in and around the town is largely historic and stone built, there are several desirable villages dotted around the town where detached, secluded properties can be found.

There are three schools in Barnard Castle; a primary, comprehensive secondary school and independent school located on the eastern edge of the town – Barnard Castle School.

For transport Barnard Castle is located on a network of A roads which allows easy access to the A1(M) and M6. The town is also situated very near to both the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and only a short distance of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.


Just a 20 minute drive from Durham, the town of Consett is a popular place to live in County Durham. The most desirable properties tend to be situated close to Consett Golf Course and have a rural feel whilst still being within walking distance of Consett town centre. Nearby Blackhill and Shotley Bridge are also desirable places to live.

Shotley Bridge

The village of Shotley Bridge is a sought after location in County Durham, adjoining the town of Consett. Shotley Bridge village has several shops, public houses, restaurants and a local primary school. Its location makes it convenient to reach the Tyne Valley, Newcastle and Gateshead.

Many of the properties within Shotley Bridge were built in the 18th and 19th century; they are stone built period homes, many of which are listed buildings.

Bishop Auckland

Home to Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland is a busy market town which offers an array of useful amenities. Durham city centre is only 12 miles away for those who need to regularly commute, Darlington, Teesside and Newcastle are also within easy reach.

There are several good schools in the area both state and private making the area ideal for families. Bishop Auckland’s location also allows residents to reach the Durham Dales, the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales relatively easily.


The historic market town of Stanhope, located on the River Wear, is a popular place to live and visit. Surrounded by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Stanhope is a popular base for those going on walking holidays.

Stanhope has a range of amenities and facilities including a doctors and dentist along with shops and a post office. Property in Stanhope includes many 18th century buildings some of which are listed.

For commuters Stanhope is within a reasonable distance of both Durham and Newcastle, with it taking roughly an hour to reach each via car.


Located on the Durham heritage coast, Seaham is a popular harbour town. The marina has recently undergone redevelopment and the North Terrace is popular with residents and visitors, offering an array of shops and places to eat and drink.

Seaham is also a great location to begin or end a coastal walk, many visitors enjoy taking a photo with “Tommy” the World War I statue.

Located around a 20 minute drive from Durham and around 30 minutes from Newcastle, Seaham and the surrounding area appeals to many who like to live beside the seaside but still be within a reasonable commute of their place of work.

Whilst there are many wonderful properties available in Seaham, the neighboring villages are also popular places to reside, such as Seaton Village.

County Durham property finders

Our property finders would be delighted to help you decide the best possible place to live in County Durham to suit your lifestyle and property requirements. For a no obligation discussion regarding our services and your search please contact us today to speak with a member of the team.