Alston Days Out: Top 10 Destinations for a Full Day Adventure

by | Activities, Attractions, Things to do in Alston, Visit Alston, Visit Alston Cumbria

Discover the Best Day Trips from Alston

If you’re staying in Alston and looking for an exciting day trip, you’re in luck! The surrounding region is packed with incredible destinations that offer a mix of history, natural beauty, and unique attractions. Here are some of the best full-day outings from Alston, each providing a unique experience to make your visit truly memorable.

Alnwick Castle and Garden

Alnwick Castle with beautiful gardens in the foreground, perfect for Alston days out

Alston days out: Enjoy a magical day at Alnwick Castle and Garden.

Distance from Alston: 40 minutes

Alnwick Castle and Garden offer a magical day out for history enthusiasts and garden lovers alike. The castle, famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter films, boasts stunning medieval architecture and a wealth of history. Adjacent to the castle, Alnwick Garden is a beautifully landscaped area featuring the Grand Cascade, Poison Garden, and a large treehouse restaurant.

  • Castle Tours: Explore the historic interiors and exhibitions of one of England’s largest inhabited castles.
  • Garden Walks: Stroll through the meticulously designed gardens, enjoying the diverse plant collections and unique water features.
  • Treehouse Restaurant: Dine in one of the world’s largest treehouses, offering a unique and memorable dining experience.

Beamish Open Air Museum

Historic buildings and tram at Beamish Open Air Museum, ideal for Alston days out

Alston days out: Step back in time at Beamish Open Air Museum.

Distance from Alston: 1 hour 10 minutes

Beamish Open Air Museum offers an immersive journey into England’s past. This living museum recreates life in the North East during the 1820s, 1900s, and 1940s, providing a fascinating insight into the region’s history through interactive exhibits and authentic buildings.

  • Historic Buildings: Visit reconstructed homes, shops, and workplaces to see how people lived and worked in different eras.
  • Period Transport: Ride on historic trams and buses to explore the expansive museum grounds.
  • Hands-On Activities: Engage in traditional crafts and trades, from blacksmithing to baking, with demonstrations throughout the day.

City of Durham

Durham Cathedral and the River Wear, a great spot for Alston days out

Alston days out: Explore the historic city of Durham, a perfect day trip.

Distance from Alston: 1 hour 15 minutes

Durham is a city steeped in history and charm, offering a mix of cultural landmarks, beautiful architecture, and scenic river walks. The highlight is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Durham Cathedral and Castle, both of which are must-see attractions.

  • Durham Cathedral: Explore one of the finest examples of Norman architecture, renowned for its stunning interior and historic significance.
  • Durham Castle: Take a guided tour of this 11th-century castle, now part of Durham University, and learn about its rich history.
  • Riverside Walks: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the River Wear, with picturesque views and opportunities to relax in riverside cafes.

Gretna Green

The famous blacksmith's shop at Gretna Green, a romantic option for Alston days out

Alston days out: Visit the romantic Gretna Green, a historic destination.

Distance from Alston: 1 hour 30 minutes

Gretna Green is a famous destination for romance and history, known for its historic blacksmith’s shop where many eloping couples have married over the centuries. It offers a charming blend of history, shopping, and scenic beauty.

  • Blacksmith’s Shop: Visit the iconic site where countless couples have tied the knot since the 18th century.
  • Shopping Village: Browse a variety of shops selling unique gifts, local crafts, and Scottish goods.
  • Countryside Walks: Explore the beautiful surrounding countryside with peaceful walking trails.

Kielder Forest and Reservoir

Scenic view of Kielder Water surrounded by lush forest, an excellent choice for Alston days out

Alston days out: Discover the natural beauty of Kielder Forest.

Distance from Alston: 1 hour 15 minutes

Kielder Forest is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering vast woodlands, a stunning reservoir, and an array of activities. It’s perfect for a day of hiking, cycling, or simply enjoying the natural beauty.

  • Forest Trails: Discover miles of walking and cycling paths through serene woodland.
  • Kielder Water: Enjoy water sports, boat trips, or simply relax by the largest man-made lake in Northern Europe.
  • Wildlife Watching: Spot local wildlife, including red squirrels, ospreys, and deer, in their natural habitat.

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island, a unique destination for Alston days out

Alston days out: Experience the tranquility of Lindisfarne, a unique destination.

Distance from Alston: 2 hours 15 minutes

Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island, is a place of rich history and spiritual significance. Accessible by a causeway during low tide, it offers ancient ruins, beautiful landscapes, and a peaceful atmosphere.

  • Lindisfarne Castle: Explore this historic fortress with stunning coastal views.
  • Priory Ruins: Visit the remains of the Lindisfarne Priory, an important site in early Christian history.
  • Island Walks: Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the island with its scenic walking trails and wildlife.

Northumberland National Park

Rolling hills and scenic landscapes in Northumberland National Park, perfect for Alston days out

Alston days out: Enjoy outdoor adventures in Northumberland National Park.

Distance from Alston: 1 hour 20 minutes

Northumberland National Park is an ideal destination for those who love the great outdoors. The park offers breathtaking landscapes, historic sites, and endless opportunities for adventure.

  • Hiking Trails: Trek through diverse landscapes, from rolling hills to rugged moorlands.
  • Hadrian’s Wall: Visit the remains of this ancient Roman fortification, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Stargazing: Experience some of the darkest skies in England, perfect for stargazing and astronomy enthusiasts.

Muncaster Castle

Historic Muncaster Castle with beautiful gardens, a historic choice for Alston days out

Alston days out: Explore the historic Muncaster Castle.

Distance from Alston: 2 hours

Muncaster Castle is a historic treasure set in stunning grounds, offering a mix of history, gardens, and family-friendly activities. The castle has been home to the Pennington family for over 800 years.

  • Castle Tours: Discover the history and legends of this ancient fortress.
  • Gardens: Explore the beautiful gardens, including the Himalayan Garden and MeadowVole Maze.
  • Hawk & Owl Centre: Enjoy fascinating bird of prey displays and meet the resident birds.


scenic view of Lake Windermere with boats, ideal for Alston days out

Alston days out: Enjoy a relaxing day at Windermere, the heart of the Lake District.

Distance from Alston: 1 hour 50 minutes

Windermere, located in the heart of the Lake District, is a popular destination known for its stunning lake, outdoor activities, and charming town. It’s perfect for a day of relaxation and adventure.

  • Lake Cruises: Take a scenic boat trip on England’s largest natural lake.
  • Hiking and Biking: Explore numerous trails with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
  • Town Attractions: Enjoy the local shops, cafes, and attractions like The World of Beatrix Potter.


Derwentwater Lake with Keswick in the background, a vibrant option for Alston days out

Alston days out: Explore the vibrant town of Keswick, nestled in the Lake District.

Distance from Alston: 1 hour 20 minutes

Keswick is a vibrant town nestled in the Northern Lake District, offering beautiful scenery, outdoor adventures, and cultural attractions. It’s a great base for exploring the surrounding fells and lakes.

  • Derwentwater: Enjoy boating, kayaking, or a leisurely walk around this picturesque lake.
  • Theatre by the Lake: Catch a performance at this renowned theatre with a stunning lakeside setting.
  • Outdoor Activities: Engage in a variety of activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Alston Days Out

Alston days out offer a diverse array of adventures, each within a few hours’ drive, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply a change of scenery, these destinations provide memorable experiences that highlight the beauty and charm of the region. So pack your bags, plan your route, and get ready to explore the best day trips from Alston.

Staying at Salvin House: The Perfect Base for Alston Days Out

After a day of exploring these incredible destinations, there’s no better place to unwind than Salvin House. Located in the heart of Alston, this charming accommodation offers comfortable rooms, exceptional hospitality, and a cozy atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious meal at their on-site restaurant, relaxing in the beautifully landscaped gardens, or simply soaking in the historic ambiance of the area, Salvin House provides the perfect base for your Alston days out. With its convenient location and warm, welcoming environment, your stay at Salvin House will be the perfect complement to your adventures.



Rob Lawson is a property investor and communications consultant who grew up in the South Tyne Valley. With a deep passion for historical preservation, he fell in love with Salvin House and committed to restoring it to its former glory. With a vision that blends respect for its heritage and modern comforts, Rob has revived this historic gem for future generations to appreciate.


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