Discover the South Tyne Trail: An Unforgettable Walking Experience

by | Activities, North Pennines AONB, Salvin House, Walks

This article is part of our Discover Alston series. You can find more articles here


If you’re looking for a unique walking adventure in the UK, the South Tyne Trail offers an unforgettable experience. This scenic route winds through the picturesque North Pennines National Landscape, following the course of the South Tyne River and the formar Alston Branch railway. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, this trail provides a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical sites, and charming local attractions.

Why Walk the South Tyne Trail?

Map of the South Tyne Trail highlighting key landmarks and routes

A detailed map of the South Tyne Trail, showcasing the scenic route and notable landmarks.

Walking the South Tyne Trail is a journey through some of the most stunning and unspoiled countryside in England. Stretching approximately 23 miles from Tynehead to Haltwhistle, the trail offers diverse scenery, from lush woodlands and open moorlands to tranquil riverside paths. It’s an ideal way to immerse yourself in nature, escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and enjoy some peaceful solitude.

What You Can See Along the Way

Old rail bridge along the South Tyne Trail surrounded by greenery

An old rail bridge on the South Tyne Trail, a testament to the region’s rich railway heritage.

As you walk the South Tyne Trail, you’ll encounter a variety of landscapes and landmarks. Starting from the source of the South Tyne River, you’ll pass through beautiful valleys, rolling hills, and charming villages. Notable sights include the remains of old mining activities, historic railway structures, and stunning viaducts that offer breathtaking views.

The trail is rich in wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for red squirrels, deer, and a variety of bird species. Bird watchers will particularly enjoy spotting species such as the dipper, grey wagtail, and, if you’re lucky, the elusive kingfisher along the riverbanks. The diverse habitats along the trail support a rich array of flora and fauna, ensuring there’s always something interesting to see.

Wildlife and Birdwatching


Curlew spotted along the South Tyne Trail in its natural habitat.

curlew seen along the South Tyne Trail, one of the many bird species that inhabit the area.

The South Tyne Trail is a paradise for wildlife lovers. The river and surrounding woodlands provide a perfect habitat for many creatures. Along the way, you might spot red squirrels scampering in the trees or hear the call of buzzards soaring overhead. The river itself is home to otters and, occasionally, salmon can be seen during their migration season.

For birdwatchers, the trail offers numerous opportunities to observe both common and rare species. The river attracts a variety of water birds, including herons and ducks. Woodland areas are alive with the songs of warblers, finches, and tits. Remember to bring your binoculars and a camera to capture these moments.

Walking to Slaggyford and Riding Back

Little Buffet Car at Slaggyford Station on the South Tyne Trail

The Little Buffet Car at Slaggyford Station provides a charming and nostalgic stop along the South Tyne Trail.”

One of the highlights of the South Tyne Trail is the opportunity to combine walking with a ride on the South Tynedale Railway. You can walk to Slaggyford, a charming village along the trail, and then enjoy a scenic ride back to Alston on a heritage steam train. This delightful journey provides a unique perspective of the countryside and a relaxing end to your walk.

A Refreshing Stop at the Nook Cafe

Old bridge on the South Tyne Trail with lush vegetatio

An old bridge encountered on the South Tyne Trail, offering a glimpse into the area’s historical infrastructure.”

Halfway along your walk, make sure to stop at the Nook Cafe. This quaint cafe offers a welcome respite with delicious homemade cakes, hearty sandwiches, and hot beverages. It’s the perfect spot to rest your legs, refuel, and enjoy some local hospitality.

Stay at Salvin House Alston

View from Salvin House in Alston overlooking the South Tyne Trail

The picturesque view from Salvin House in Alston, overlooking the scenic South Tyne Trail.

After a day of exploring, rest your weary feet at Salvin House Alston. This charming bed and breakfast offers comfortable accommodations with a touch of history. Located in the heart of Alston, Salvin House provides easy access to the South Tyne Trail and other local attractions. The welcoming hosts, cozy rooms, and delicious breakfast make it an ideal base for your walking adventure.

Connect with Nature

Red squirrel spotted along the South Tyne Trail

A red squirrel seen along the South Tyne Trail, showcasing the rich wildlife of the area

Walking the South Tyne Trail is more than just a hike; it’s an opportunity to connect with nature, explore historical sites, and experience the charm of rural England. Whether you’re drawn by the wildlife, the scenic landscapes, or the allure of a steam train ride, the South Tyne Trail promises a memorable adventure. So lace up your walking boots, pack your essentials, and set out to discover the beauty of this remarkable trail.




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *