Fauna Durham is a refuge both for the black grouse (the North Pennines are their final English stronghold) and the red squirrel at Killhope Mine

Best thing The Angel of the North, an iconic and welcoming sight, with a wingspan wider than the height of the Statue of Liberty

Local food Bacon Floddies, traditionally served with egg and sausages; pease pudding collecting plates; brides would sit in the Venerable Bede’s chair in St Paul’s church,
Jarrow, to enhance their fertility

Inventions In 1825, George Stephenson opened the world’s first public steam-locomotive railway between Stockton and Darlington

Myth Although Norfolk is famed for mustard, Mrs Clement set up the first commercial production of the fiery powder using her secret recipe in 1720 in Durham

Worst thing Although this depends on your point of view, Durham was the first city to introduce congestion charging in 2002

Etymology Recorded in 1000 as the Anglo-Saxon Dun Holm, which means ‘hill-island’

Houses and churches Durham Cathedral and Castle (World Heritage sites); Auckland Castle; Raby Castle

Oldest Escomb Saxon Church is one of the oldest in its original form in Britain and also houses the oldest sundial

Literary connections The Venerable Bede; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Craig Raine

First Durham native Ivy Close won Britain’s first beauty contest in 1908

What they say ‘I got off at Durham… and fell in love with it instantly, in a serious way. Why, it’s wonderful— a perfect little city… If you have never been to Durham, go there
at once. Take my car. It’s wonderful.’ (Bill Bryson)

Heroes Sir Anthony Eden; David and William Horsley, who built the first film studio in Hollywood in 1911; Cicely Neville (‘The Rose of Raby’) who gave birth to Edward IV
and Richard III

Events Gateshead Spring Flower Show; Durham Miners’ Gala; Midsummer Cushions, Bishops Auckland, are highly decorated threelegged stools placed next to

Population 880,200
Acreage 686,847
County flower Spring gentian
Miles of footpath 2,267
Hours of sunshine 1,335.2
Highest peak Mickle Fell
788m/2,585ft
Life expectancy 77.5 years
Did you know? William
Collingwood grew the world’s