"Far more than any other single factor, coal made County Durham; provided its bread and butter and shaped its landscape and even the men (and once upon a time the women and children too) who worked it - a heritage at once tragic and splendid."
The Companion Guide to Northumbria. Edward Grierson. 1976.
The Wear continues on its winding way as it passes through fields in this former coal mining countryside and the bridges are a mixture of old and new. Bishop Auckland has an impressive old railway viaduct, now converted for road use and an ancient bridge. Another major railway viaduct crosses the Wear on this stretch and other railway bridges once associated with the coal trade formerly crossed the river close to Willington.
Bishop Auckland is a pleasant town and the Bishop of Durham has his palace here. There are riverside walks, the town itself being on the south of the river.