Everyone is welcome on Alston Moor, an ideal place for walkers, cyclists and all countryside-lovers. Set in the heart of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty, it is not only full of delightful rivers and streams, wonderful flowers, and spectacular hills, but also bears testament to a long history which includes an important but little-known Roman fort and centuries of lead, silver and zinc mining with a parallel history of welfare provision, way ahead of its time.
Walks range from gentle village and riverside strolls to the long climb to Cross Fell, following the Pennine Way. Local walks leaflets introduce you to circular routes from the centres of Alston, Nenthead and Garrigill; the South Tyne Trail takes a route from the source of the Tyne into Northumberland; and Isaac’s Tea Trail links Alston with Allendale. Visit Ashgill Force, a blissfully unspoiled waterfall – walk behind and look out through the veil of water, or just enjoy its stunning setting.
Cyclists with a taste for adventure will enjoy the C2C route, linking Whitehaven in the west to Tynemouth in the east, passing through Garrigill and Nenthead en route. Four cycling routes for experienced cyclists start from Alston, and electric bikes are available for hire for those daunted by the hills.
The South Tynedale Railway operates from the old Victorian station, with preserved steam and diesel locomotives, and has its own associated walks.
Alston town has a good selection of independent shops and places to eat, set around its marketplace and cobbled street. For those staying longer, there is a wide choice of accommodation, from small bed and breakfast places to delightful country house hotels.
Ask at Alston Local Links (01434 382244) for advice about the area.
Before making a special journey for an event please check with Local Links.
Photo of cyclists on Market Cross – Photography by Simon Danby