The countryside around Alston, England’s highest market town, provides some of the area’s finest walking country – including the lofty Cross Fell – the highest English hill outside the Lake District!
North Pennines escarpment
The imposing North Pennines escarpment represents an unmistakable western frontier for the North Pennines and is a dramatic backdrop to the attractive, red sandstone-built, fellfoot villages.
Alston is well worth a visit – a wealth of small independent shops await you, galleries, unspoilt street scenes and a choice of quality eateries to while away an hour or three!
Places to visit, things to do
Visit the Explore Alston Moor & the Cumbrian North Pennines portal to discover the amazing range of activities available across the AONB. At the heart of this site is an interactive map which will allow you to search by activity, interest and location.
South Tynedale Railway – Train rides along the gorgeous South Tyne Valley from Alston – 01434 382828 (talking timetable), 01434 338214. Why not take the train out and wander back along the South Tyne Trail?
High Cup Nick – Take a wander from Dufton up to this classic U-shaped valley.
High Cup Wines is based at Townhead Farm at Keisley (between Dufton and Murton) at the foot of High Cup Gill. This is the only commercial vineyard and winery in Cumbria (and the North Pennines). 017683 53714 or 07779 774672.
The Hub Museum, Alston. Vibrant local history and transport museum, packed full of bygone forms of transport.
Epiacum Roman Fort – Discover the remains of Epiacum Roman Fort, in the South Tyne Valley, near Alston.
Brough Castle – The starkly impressive Brough Castle stands on a ridge commanding the strategic Stainmore Pass, on the site of a Roman fort.
Hartside Viewpoint & Cafe – (01434 381036) – Stunning views await you from Hartside – across to the Lake District and to the Solway Coast AONB and Scotland!
The Village Bakery, Melmerby – (01768 881811). Organic cafe, bakery, bake shop and gallery.
Talkin Tarn Country Park – (01228 817200 and firstname.lastname@example.org). Explore ancient woodlands, easy footpaths, glacial tarns. Enjoy tearoom treats, stunning views, family adventures. Experience fun activities, peace & tranquility, unique wildlife.
Pennine Painting – Art holidays and gallery at Rose House Studio and Gallery in Garrigill (01434 381092).
St John’s Pool, Garrigill – Swimming pool, sauna and a jaccuzi available for hire (01434 382713).
The Poetry Path, near Kirkby Stephen – call Kirkby Stephen Information Centre on 017683 71199 for details.
Farmers’ Markets at Brampton, Brough and Penrith.
Go Lakes – the official tourism website for Cumbria.
Visit Alston Moor – excellent website for the Alston and surrounding area – places to stay, things to see and do, food and drink, events