Showcasing Alston Moor

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(Credit: Ashgill Force by Sarka-jo Cole)

Despite the imposing and, in winter, sometimes treacherous physical divide of the Hartside pass over the Pennines, Alston Moor still lies within the county of Cumbria also encompassing some of Northumbria and County Durham.

After Hartside, the landscape opens into rolling moorland, offering tranquillity and an abundance of wildlife found nowhere else in Cumbria. It differs, not only in geological and visual impact but also by providing solitude and character in quaint villages such as Garrigill and Nenthead and, what it boasts to be the highest market town in England, Alston.

The origins of the conurbations lie in their lead mining heritage, with further evidence visibly dotted across the landscape and less visible in their intertwining underground networks. Whilst the mines are long since closed for extraction, Nenthead mines offer open days and informative tours for visitors and the rivers of the South Tyne and Nent cascade off the moors producing some beautiful waterfalls, the most famous of which, Ashgill Force, is a short walk from Garrigill.

(Credit: Ashgill Force by Sarka-jo Cole)

Alston itself boasts numerous pubs and accommodation options with a partially cobbled main street and pretty independent shops and cafes, art galleries and a cane workshop whose owner is famous for her award winning Stokoe House marmalades. Alston also hosts a volunteer lead, narrow gauge railway that runs throughout the summer and an adjacent path along the course of the South Tyne into Northumbria to meet the impressive Victorian structure of Lambley Viaduct and then continues north to meet Hadrians Wall at Haltwhistle.

For more information head to Moorland Immersion – Guided Experiences – Beldy Chapel Experience

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