The Local Area

The Local Area

The charming historic town of Alston nestles in the South Tyne Valley in a peaceful rural setting, surrounded by some of the highest hills in the Pennines. The parish of Alston Moor lies at the centre of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Alston sits at the cross-roads of five historic trans-Pennine routes, including the A686 which was recognised in AA magazine as one of the world's top ten drives.

Stay in our apartments and discover the "wild heart of Britain"

you can wake up to birdsong

you can breath the fresh air and feel the sense of freedom of our wide open spaces.

The North Pennines is one of the wildest areas of countryside in England. Less well-known than the adjoining Yorkshire Dales to the South or the Lake District to the west, it attracts many artists and other creative people who find inspiration for their work in the surrounding landscape. Whilst in Alston, make sure you visit the The Hive, a beautifully converted Wesleyan Chapel in nearby Nenthead, now a cafe, gallery and craft shop, and the cane workshop, just round the corner from our cottages in Alston, and watch out for exhibitions by local artists in St Augustine's Church during the summer holidays.

If you come by car, please don't just stock up at your local supermarket before you come…but support our local shops.  You can buy most essential everyday needs in Alston, and we have an extremely good wholefood shop and a bistro-bakery, as well as a chemist should you need medicaments or toiletries and just 5 minutes drive out of Alston is a farm shop and cafe. Less than five minutes walk from our cottages are the picturesque market square and cobbled main street, where you will also find traditional pubs with log fires and real ale. Here we have the best of both worlds - pubs and shops around the corner but splendid open countryside within less than 10 minutes walk.

The North Pennines AONB is also a Geo-Park, the first to be designated in England. The area's special geology has created unique habitats supporting a rich variety of wildlife and flora as well as many tumbling upland rivers and waterfalls, one of the most spectacular being High Force on the River Tees near Middleton in Teesdale (less than half an hour away). In the past the area was one of the most important sources of lead for the cathedrals of Europe and Nenthead Mines was one of the biggest lead mining complexes.  You can visit the extensive remains at any time, but on open days there is the chance to look inside the buildings and to go down the mine. You can also visit the North of England Lead Mining centre at Killhope to find out more about the local mining history.

There are many opportunities for walking and cycling in the area. The Pennine Way and Pennine Cycle Way pass through Alston and the C to C cycle route passes through the parish of Alston Moor.

Alston also has its own narrow gauge railway, The South Tynedale Railway, which runs along the scenic South Tyne Valley to Lintley Bank.

To find out more about the local area, follow the links below:

or contact Alston tourist information centre:

tel: 01434 382244