Hartside Cafe Set to Reopen: A New Chapter for a Beloved Landmark

by | Alston, Food, News, North Pennines AONB

In exciting news for both locals and visitors, Hartside Cafe is set to reopen after the approval of its rebuild plans. This iconic establishment, located at the summit of the Hartside Pass, around five miles from Alston, has been a cherished stop for travellers exploring the breathtaking Pennines. The cafe, which sadly burned down in 2018, will soon rise from the ashes to reclaim its place in the hearts of many.

A Storied Past

Exterior of the old Hartside Cafe before the fire.

The original Hartside Cafe, a popular stop for travellers, cyclists, and motorcyclists, known for its stunning views and welcoming atmosphere.

The original Hartside Cafe was more than just a place to grab a bite; it was a refuge for weary travellers, cyclists, and motorcyclists alike. Situated at an elevation of 1,903 feet, it offered stunning panoramic views of the Eden Valley, Solway Firth, and the Lake District. Over the years, it became a beloved spot for those making the scenic journey along the A686 road.

The cafe’s charm lay in its simple yet inviting atmosphere, where hearty meals and warm beverages were served to those braving the often chilly and windy conditions at the summit. Its remote location and welcoming vibe made it a perfect pitstop for adventurers and sightseers.

The Tragic Fire at Hartside Cafe

Remains of Hartside Cafe after the 2018 fire.

The charred remains of Hartside Cafe after the devastating fire in 2018 that left the beloved landmark in ruins.

In March 2018, a devastating fire gutted the Hartside Cafe, leaving only memories in its wake. The loss was felt deeply by the local community and the thousands of visitors who had come to consider it a landmark. The cause of the fire was never definitively determined, but the impact was clear: a beloved institution had been lost.

For years, there were discussions and hopes about rebuilding, but the process was slow and fraught with challenges. The remote location and the need to preserve the natural beauty of the area added layers of complexity to the rebuilding plans.

A New Beginning for Hartside Cafe

Architectural drawing of the rejected larger Hartside Cafe plans.

The rejected plans for a much larger Hartside Cafe, which were deemed unsuitable for the location.

Fast forward to 2024, and the dream of seeing Hartside Cafe back in business is about to be realised. The local planning authority, Westmorland and Furness Council, has approved the rebuilding plans. The new cafe is designed to retain the charm of the original while incorporating modern amenities to enhance the visitor experience.

The plans include a structure that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sensitive, ensuring that it blends seamlessly with the stunning landscape. The new cafe will feature improved facilities to accommodate the growing number of visitors who flock to Hartside Pass.

Explore Hartside from Salvin House

Scenic view of the road leading up to Hartside Pass.

The picturesque road leading up to Hartside Pass, offering stunning vistas and a thrilling journey for travellers heading to Hartside Cafe.

For those planning to visit the new Hartside Cafe, Salvin House offers the perfect base for your explorations. Nestled in the picturesque surroundings of the Eden Valley, Salvin House provides comfortable and charming accommodation with easy access to the Pennines and beyond.

Staying at Salvin House allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds: the serenity of a countryside retreat and the excitement of exploring local attractions like Hartside Cafe. Whether you’re an avid cyclist, a passionate hiker, or someone who loves a scenic drive, Salvin House positions you perfectly to experience the beauty and history of the area.

Looking Forward

The reopening of Hartside Cafe is more than just the return of a beloved eatery; it symbolises resilience and the enduring spirit of the community. As the cafe prepares to welcome visitors once again, it stands as a testament to the shared efforts to preserve and celebrate local heritage.

So, plan your visit, enjoy the stunning vistas, and savour a meal at the new Hartside Cafe. And remember, Salvin House is ready to welcome you, providing the ideal starting point for your adventures in this beautiful corner of England.




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