Alston is the highest market town in England and boast good local amenities. It has many independent shops, eateries, cafes and pubs, including Saddlers Baker which makes fresh bread and baked goods from scratch, Alston House which serves delicious home cooked meals made using locally sourced produce and the Cane Workshop which sells award winning Jams and Chutneys. From the outdoor clothing shop, where you can stock up on supplies to the fish and chip shop where you can grab a tasty treat, there is plenty to do in Alston.
The area is close to the borders of Durham, Northumberland and is a gateway into the Lake District making this an ideal base to get out and explore this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Killhope Lead Mining Museum, the South Tyne Railway and Yad Moss Ski Slope are some amazing local attraction to name just a few. For those who enjoy the outdoors, walking and cycling, the Pennine Way, Coast to Coast and Isaacs Tea Trail runs right through Alston. The rolling countryside with unspoiled panoramic views of moorland is home to an abundance of wildlife and some amazing natural beauties including Ashgill waterfall. Alston, Nenthead and Garrigill have a strong history of being Lead and Coal mining towns/villages. One of the last working drift mines in England is just 3 miles north of Alston.
Please see links below to see all the holiday cottages we have in and around Alston:
6 Globe House, Alston - Sleeps 2 - 1 bedrooms - 1 bathrooms - same level accommodation
The Boat House, Slaggyford - Sleeps 4 - Studio Apartment - open plan - kitchen - shower room - views over the village green
Barn End, Leadgate - Sleeps 4 - 2 bedrooms - 1 bathroom - 1 downstairs toilet - Stairlift
Coachmans Cottage, Alston - Sleeps 4 - 2 bedrooms - 2 bathrooms - traditional cottage
Church Gaytes Cottage, Alston - Sleeps 4 - Pet Friendly - Central Location - Grade II Listed
South Loaning Apartment, Alston - Sleeps 5-6 - sixth person in pull out bed by arrangement - large apartment - views over surrounding countryside - private parking
Ghyll Burn Cottage, Leadgate - Sleeps 6 - 2 bedrooms - 1 double sofa bed - 1 bathroom - quirky upside down property
Salvin House, Alston - Sleeps 8 - 4 Bedrooms - 2 Bathrooms - Pets Welcome - Central Location
Come for a ride on England’s highest railway!
It’s an award winning family day out with vintage coaches hauled by heritage engines and you’ll see some fabulous scenery as you travel through the South Tyne valley to Slaggyford in Northumberland. Maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of a red squirrel or a roe deer as you travel along. The stations and trains are accessible and there are accessible toilets at both stations and café facilities at Alston.
The railway follows the former route of British Rail’s Haltwhistle to Alston branch line. Opened in stages in 1851 and 1852, the line survived for over a century until its closure was announced in 1973 and carried out in 1976.
A voluntary society was formed to take over the entire route but its first efforts failed. However, a reformed group successfully opened the first stage of a narrow gauge railway in 1983. Since then the railway has grown and prospered.
Click here to book your tickets! Pre-booking is advised.
The Alston Moor Heritage and Transport Collection is to be seen on the right as you approach the railway station and houses a fine collection of everything from the transport past. This museum is well worth a visit and contains a collection of over 1000 items. Welcomed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers. A visit here will take you back in time!
Epiacum is the roman name for Whitley Castle, a Scheduled Ancient Monument at Castle Nook Farm, Alston. The site has been extensively researched by English Heritage and been classified as the "most significant monument in the region" - it is around 15 miles from Hadrian's Wall.
The 1000 acre farmstead of Whitlow and Castle Nook demonstrates a continuous and ongoing relationship between the landscape and the people who have lived in and visited this place over at least the last 3000 years. It overlooks the meeting of five valleys which connect communities, markets and producers across and beyond the high hills of the North Pennines.
The 2010 English Heritage LIDAR survey identified that the landscape has been valued and managed in many different ways. This is supported by historic documents and deeds citing the landholding and some of the people who have lived here.
The Fort is easily reached walking from their car park on the A689 (Alston to Brampton road). The nearest postcode is CA9 3BG. The Pennine Way and Isaac’s Tea Trail walking routes pass the side of the site, and you can also walk up from the Kirkhaugh station on South Tynedale Railway and the South Tyne Trail.
This is the highest golf course in England. Alston Moor offers a challenging 18 holes of golf, over its 10 greens and 18 tee positions (mens and ladies).
The club, is situated 2 miles south of Alston in 132 acres of parkland, high meadow and pasture land. 15 miles south of Hadrian's Wall, within the AONB, it offers spectacular views of the North Pennines.
With its small but friendly membership, the course is ideal for golfers, of all ability, who enjoy playing the game, at their own pace, in stunning surroundings.
Visit their website here.
The North Pennines has some of the darkest skies in the country where you can see 1000s of stars on clear nights, so it’s the perfect place for stargazing. Here, you are away from busy towns and cities where there is lots of light spillage which creates that familiar orange glow and blocks out the stars.
For more information, see their website here.
Alston & District Angling Association beats cover approximately 10 miles of the Upper South Tyne for salmon and sea trout fishing.
The Upper South Tyne flows through an AONB, with a variety of pools and runs, fast flowing in places, with deep holding pools and nice fly water in others. The river is a true spate river, drawing its waters from the Northern Pennines, the river fishes best on a falling water.
Alston Angling Association promotes catch and release and ask you to return fish to protect future stocks on the river.
Yad Moss is in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 11 kilometres south of Alston. When conditions are good you can enjoy over 4kms of varied intermediate skiing and plenty of ‘characterful’ off-piste.
Being England, the snow at Yad Moss is unpredictable and the amount of skiing they get varies every year. Due to being a completely natural ski slope they cannot normally guarantee skiable snow more than a couple of days in advance. In good seasons they can get over 40 days skiing and enjoy some truly superb conditions. Depending on the snow pattern the first runs can be as early as November and our last, as late as mid April.
For more information click here.
Pubs - serving food
SPAR Alston, Co-op, Alston Wholefoods, Market Cross Alston, The Swans Head, Mellow Yellow, Alston Emporium, The Cane Workshop, Gallery 1611, Alston Pharmacy, Alston Post Office, Hi-Pennine Outdoor Shop, Mad Hatters Hardware, Nenthead Community Shop and Post Office, Livewell Beauty, TLC Hair design, North Pennines Cycle, Busy Bees Cleaning & Laundry, All Things Ecommerce Ltd, Garrigill Post Office and village shop, The Hive at Nenthead, The Nook Farm Shop, Alston Library and Tourist Information Centre, Cumberland Honey Mustard, Alston Fruit and Veg on the Market Cross
All roads surrounding Alston have incredible views and harsh bends which some may be cautious of but one things for sure, bikers and cyclists love the challenge.
In 2017 the AA voted the A686 Haydon Bridge to Penrith one of the best drives of the North East. The main landmark of this drive is the famous Hartside Pass which was the home to Hartside Café. Unfortunately Hartside Café was forced to close its doors back in March 2018 due to a devastating fire. That hasn't made this road any less popular however and we hope in the future we will see a return of the famous Hartside Café!