Exploring Famous Viaducts Near Alston

by | Attractions

Stunning and Historic Viaducts near Alston

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Cumbria, Alston is not only known for its quaint charm and stunning scenery but also for its proximity to some of the most impressive viaducts in the UK. These viaducts near Alston are engineering marvels, remnants of the golden age of railways, offering both historical intrigue and breathtaking views. Here’s a guide to some famous viaducts you can explore near Alston.

1. The South Tynedale Railway Viaducts

Gilderdale is one of two Viaducts near Alston spanning Gilderdale Burn

Gilderdale Viaduct, a part of the South Tynedale Railway, offers spectacular views over the lush Gilderdale Burn valley.

Gilderdale Viaduct Located just a short distance from Alston, the Gilderdale Viaduct is part of the South Tynedale Railway, a narrow gauge heritage railway. This viaduct spans the Gilderdale Burn and provides a fantastic viewpoint over the lush valley below. Walking or taking a train ride over this viaduct gives you a unique perspective of the surrounding countryside.

Kirkhaugh Viaduct Another gem along the South Tynedale Railway, the Kirkhaugh Viaduct, spans the River South Tyne. It’s a beautiful stone structure with multiple arches, offering a sense of nostalgia for the days when steam trains ruled the tracks. The viaduct can be viewed from the train or by following nearby walking paths.

2. Lambley Viaduct

Viaducts near Alston: Lambley Viaduct near Alston over River South Tyne

The Lambley Viaduct, with its impressive Victorian architecture, spans the River South Tyne and offers breathtaking panoramic views.

Lambley Viaduct is one of the closest viaducts near Alston and a must-visit for its impressive architecture and scenic surroundings. Spanning the River South Tyne, this viaduct was completed in 1852 and stands as a testament to Victorian engineering prowess. Now part of a scenic walking route, the Lambley Viaduct offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and is a favorite spot for photographers and nature lovers.

3. The Haltwhistle Viaduct

Viaducts near Alston: Haltwhistle Viaduct near Alston offering views of South Tyne Valley

The Haltwhistle Viaduct is one of the most interesting viaducts near Alston. Once part of the Alston Line, it now serves as a scenic walking and cycling trail with views of the South Tyne Valley.

The Haltwhistle Viaduct is a stunning example of Victorian engineering. This viaduct was part of the Alston Line, connecting Alston to Haltwhistle. Now part of a walking and cycling trail, it offers beautiful views of the South Tyne Valley. The path along the viaduct is accessible and provides a great opportunity for a leisurely walk with historical significance.

4. The Smardale Gill Viaduct

Viaducts near Alston: Smardale Gill Viaduct near Alston in Smardale Gill Nature Reserve

he Smardale Gill Viaduct, with its 14 arches, stretches across the picturesque Smardale Gill in the nature reserve, offering stunning views.

Located to the south of Alston, the Smardale Gill Viaduct is an integral part of the Smardale Gill Nature Reserve. One of the more unusual viaducts near Alston, it was once part of the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway, and boasts a stunning design with 14 arches and stretches across the picturesque Smardale Gill. The surrounding area is perfect for walking, with paths that provide excellent vantage points of the viaduct and the beautiful, untouched nature around it.

5. The Ribblehead Viaduct

Viaducts near Alston: Ribblehead Viaduct near Alston in the Yorkshire Dales

The Ribblehead Viaduct, part of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, features 24 massive stone arches and the dramatic scenery of the Yorkshire Dales.

One of the most famous viaducts near Alston, and famed worldwide, the Ribblehead Viaduct is located a bit further from Alston but is a must-visit for any railway enthusiast. This iconic viaduct, part of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, is renowned for its 24 massive stone arches and the dramatic scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. The viaduct is accessible by train and car, and there are numerous walking trails around it, offering different perspectives of this monumental structure.

6. The Belah Viaduct (Historical Interest)

Viaducts near Alston: Belah Viaduct near Alston lost historical railway landmark.

The Belah Viaduct, though no longer standing, remains a site of historical interest, offering a glimpse into the past engineering feats near Alston.

Though no longer standing, the Belah Viaduct near Kirkby Stephen was once one of the highest viaducts in the country. Completed in 1861, it was an impressive wrought-iron lattice girder structure. While you can’t visit the viaduct itself, the site remains a point of historical interest, and the surrounding area offers wonderful walking trails where you can imagine the grand scale of this once-great structure.

Tips for Exploring

  • Wear Comfortable Footwear: Many of the viaducts near Alston are best accessed by walking trails, so sturdy shoes are a must.
  • Bring a Camera: The views from and of these viaducts are spectacular, perfect for capturing memorable photos.
  • Check Train Schedules: If you’re planning to ride the South Tynedale Railway, check their schedule in advance as services may vary seasonally.
  • Pack a Picnic: Some viaducts near Alston are in remote areas, making them perfect spots for a scenic picnic.

Exploring the viaducts near Alston, when you stay at Salvin House Alston, offers a unique combination of history, engineering, and natural beauty. Each viaduct has its own story and provides a window into the past, making your visit both educational and incredibly scenic. So, lace up your boots and set off on a journey through time and nature, discovering the wonders of these magnificent structures.




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