What do you think makes a pretty village? Is it the stone cottages, the tranquil rivers meandering past a village green or countryside views that go on for miles?

We asked The Northern Echo readers on Facebook where the prettiest villages in and around County Durham are to visit, especially throughout the summer months of the year when the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming.

From the results, we have put together a roundup of some of the most recommended which were voted for by you.

Keep this list somewhere safe in case you want to wander around any of the serene locations in the area anytime soon.

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Some of the prettiest villages in County Durham according to locals


Among the many comments from readers revealing what they think are the prettiest villages in County Durham was Brancepeth, known for its ivy-covered cottages, castle and famous golf course.

Last year Brancepeth was also included in The Telegraph’s roundup of the poshest places to live in the UK and was ranked in 8th place.

The Brancepeth Golf Course website comments: “The modern village as we see it today has evolved since the sale of houses and land in the 60s.

“Modern housing has been blended with the existing main street in such a way as to retain its essential country style.

“Development has been carefully controlled by the planners and only ‘in fill’ building can now take place thus preserving the rural ambience of the village.”

It adds: “The village provides an attractive approach to the Golf Course and there are wonderful views of the Castle and Church which can only be seen from the course.”


Locals also gave a shoutout to Teesdale for being one of the prettiest areas in the county.

Wondering why? Hotels.com says: “Castles, museums and scenery await you in Durham's southernmost dale.

“Explore Teesdale on foot starting from Barnard Castle, fondly called ‘Barney’. The remaining castle ruins include a 3-storey keep, the great hall built in the 14th century, and a tower.

“Meanwhile, you can admire the paintings of European masters and other decorative art pieces at the 19th-century Bowes Museum.

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“Built like a French chateau, the museum’s top attraction is a clockwork-driven Silver Swan music box.

“Lastly, complete your trip to Teesdale when you drop by England’s largest waterfall, the High Force.”


Additionally, readers recommended Redworth for those looking for more picturesque places to explore.

One person posted: “Redworth and Heighington, great villages and beautiful too.”

Redworth is home to the popular Redworth Hall, a “stunning 17th-century Jacobean Manor House, situated in the blissful tranquillity of its own 26 acres of landscaped grounds”.

Have you visited Redworth?Have you visited Redworth? (Image: Google Street View)

From relaxing getaways at the Retreat Spa to dining at 1744 Restaurant and The Lounge, there is plenty to indulge in all whilst soaking up countryside views.


The pretty village of Heighington suggested by The Northern Echo readers offers a shop, hairdressers, village hall and two pubs around its scenic village green (it's close to Redworth too).

The parish council website says: “Heighington is situated in the borough of Darlington in County Durham and is approximately 6 miles north-west of Darlington, 3 miles south of Shildon and 3 miles south-west of Newton Aycliffe.”

It adds: “The church, St Michael’s is situated in the middle of the village green and dates back to Norman times.”

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A handful of people on our Facebook post praised Shadforth for being one of the prettiest villages in County Durham as well.

The village Facebook page writes: “Shadforth village is 3 miles east of Durham. It has a great community spirit with things going on all year round (including the monthly coffee morning with its famous bacon sandwiches).”

In Shadforth, you can see rows of cottages among a local pub, surrounded by stunning landscape.