Situated in the centre of the county, the 3 Towns Partnership stretches from Tow Law in the west to Willington in the east and is centred on Crook. This AAP borders the other AAPs of Bishop Auckland and Shildon,  Mid Durham,  Spennymoor and  Weardale.

The 3 Towns Partnership is predominantly ‘rural’ in nature with a population of more than 25,000 .  Covering an area of over 6700 hectares (25.9 sq. miles), the AAP has a population density of 3.6  (people/hectare), which is larger than that of the county (2.3).

Crook is a market town with a population of approximately 10,000 and is situated about 10 miles south-west of Durham. The A689 is the main route to, and through, the town, and leads up into the scenic upper reaches of Weardale, Wolsingham and Stanhope.

Willington is a former-pit town with a population of approximately 4,500 (2001 Census) and is in close proximity to Crook and Bishop Auckland.  Tow Law is a town with a population of 2,100 people and is situated a few miles south of Consett.  The main road through Tow Law is the A68 which starts near Darlington and continues through to Edinburgh.