County Durham
County Durham ˈ is a ceremonial county
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

 and (smaller) unitary district in north east England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 is Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county (in its own unitary Borough
Darlington (borough)
Darlington is a local government district and borough in North East England. In 2008 it had a resident population of 100,500 It borders County Durham to the north and west, North Yorkshire to the south along the line of the River Tees, and Stockton-on-Tees to the east.-Council:Traditionally part of...

) is the town of Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

. The county has a mixture of mining and farming heritage, as well as a heavy railway industry, particularity in the southwest of the county in Darlington, Shildon
Shildon is a town in County Durham, in England. It is situated 2 miles to the south east of Bishop Auckland and 11 miles north of Darlington. It is 13 miles away from Durham, 23 miles from Sunderland and 23 miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne...

 and Stockton
Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in north east England. It is the major settlement in the unitary authority and borough of Stockton-on-Tees. For ceremonial purposes, the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire as it also incorporates a number of smaller towns including...

. Its economy was historically based on coal and iron mining.