A County Durham town that has been described as 'run down' and 'beleaguered' has been named in the UK's ugliest locations. 

Stanley, which is known as one of the many former mining towns of the county, ranked highly but for all of the wrong reasons in The Telegraph's list of ugliest towns across the UK.

The former pit location was ranked among the 1250 towns that populate the UK and was named as one of seven of the ugliest places, both in terms of looks and how the high street looks.  

In the rankings, it got a score of 28 out of 50, based on shop fronts, historic architecture, litter and traffic, views and greenery.

The Northern Echo: Shutters across businesses in StanleyShutters across businesses in Stanley (Image: GOOGLE MAPS)

Despite scoring eight out of ten for its views, lending it to its near countryside location, it was scored three in shop fronts and four in historical architecture. 

Travel journalist Helen Pickles noted that the mix of charity shops, betting shops and takeaways detracted from the nearby countryside views in Stanley.

The description in the Telegraph read: "On the top of a low hill, with views over fields and woodland, and the sprawl of Newcastle in the distance, Stanley has an enviable location.

"But, like many County Durham former mining towns, landscape views can’t make up for the loss of its major economy.

The Northern Echo: Stanley high streetStanley high street (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

"During the 19th century, the town grew on the back of the highly productive local coal seams. (A half colliery-wheel memorial on Chester Road is a sober reminder of one of Britain’s worst mining disasters at West Stanley pit in 1909, which killed 168 miners.)

"When the pits closed last century, little replaced them.

"A rash of new housing on the outskirts has boosted the local population, but the town now feels beleaguered by encircling roads and roundabouts."

The Northern Echo: A boarded up business in StanleyA boarded up business in Stanley (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

But the stinging endorsements don't stop there, as journalist Helen Pickles gives her own assessment of Stanley. 

She says: "The main shopping strip, Front Street, is pedestrianised with trees and benches, and is a jumble of hairdressers, bargain shops, takeaways and betting shops.

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"The staff are cheery, although several shops are boarded up and most are unattractively hidden by metal roller blinds when closed.

"At one end is a modern sports centre opposite an indoor bowls arena. Most colour is in the startlingly modern ‘drive-thru’ Starbucks which does a lively trade both inside and out."

However, she goes on to say that just a ten-minute drive away there is plenty to do, by adding: "Within five to 10 minutes’ drive there are countryside walks – one takes in impressive Causey Arch, the world’s oldest-surviving single arch railway bridge – plus Beamish open-air museum, with its excellent reconstructions of north-east town and village life from the 1820s to the 1950s."