Mountain Biking in Alston: Top 5 Routes in the Alston Moor Area

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


Discover the Thrill of Mountain Biking in Alston: Top Trails in Alston Moor

Mountain biking in Alston offers an exhilarating experience with its diverse terrain and stunning landscapes. Nestled in the North Pennines, this area provides a plethora of trails suitable for all skill levels, from novice to expert. Here are the top five routes for mountain biking enthusiasts looking to explore Alston Moor.

1. Cross Fell Mountain Bike Ride

Mountain biking in Alston on the Cross Fell route, showcasing high-level bridleways and expansive views.

Riders tackling the challenging Cross Fell Mountain Bike Ride, the highest point in England outside the Lake District.

Cross Fell, the highest point in England outside the Lake District, offers a challenging yet rewarding ride. This 22 km route starts and finishes in Garrigill and includes high-level bridleways across exposed moorland.

  • Significant height gain over 11 kilometers, mostly cycle-able gradient.
  • Offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Pennine landscape.
  • Suitable for experienced mountain bikers due to its strenuous nature.

2. South Tyne Trail

Mountain biking in Alston along the scenic South Tyne Trail, featuring viaducts and riverside paths.

Cyclists enjoying the diverse terrains of the South Tyne Trail, with highlights like the Alston Arches and Lambley viaduct.

The South Tyne Trail is a fantastic route following the River South Tyne from its source to Haltwhistle. Spanning almost 23 miles, this trail is open to both walkers and cyclists and offers a mix of terrains.

  • Scenic route along the former Haltwhistle and Alston railway line.
  • Includes two large viaducts: The Alston Arches and The Lambley viaduct.
  • Ideal for a two-day adventure in the North Pennines.

3. Alston Packhorse Trail

Mountain biking in Alston on the Packhorse Trail, traversing historical mining areas and varied terrains.

Exploring the historical and scenic Alston Packhorse Trail, a 29 km route starting and finishing in Nenthead.

The Alston Trail is a 29 km circular mountain biking route that starts and finishes in Nenthead. This route takes you through a landscape rich with the echoes of the area’s lead mining past, passing through the small town of Alston and the villages of Nenthead and Garrigill, as well as over the high moors.

  • Combines historical exploration with challenging terrain, offering a mix of on-road and off-road sections.
  • Features 912 meters of ascent, providing a rigorous workout and rewarding panoramic views.
  • Suitable for intermediate to advanced riders due to the varied terrain, including boggy ground and steep sections.

4. Flinty Fell Route

Mountain biking in Alston on the Flinty Fell Route, featuring off-road sections and scenic views.

Riders navigating the rugged and scenic Flinty Fell Route, an off-road version of the Alston to Garrigill Loop.

This 28km mountain bike route is an off-road version of the Alston to Garrigill Loop, offering a more rugged experience with sections that shadow the main circuit wherever possible.

  • Fairly strenuous with several alternatives to shorten the route.
  • Mixes off-road sections with scenic views.
  • A great way to explore the historical and natural beauty of the Alston area.

5. Yad Moss and Burnhope Seat


Mountain biking in Alston on the Yad Moss and Burnhope Seat route, through remote moorlands and steep climbs.

Riders navigating the rugged and scenic Flinty Fell Route, an off-road version of the Alston to Garrigill Loop.

Yad Moss and Burnhope Seat route offers a challenging ride through some of the most remote and scenic parts of the North Pennines. The route starts from the center of Alston and takes riders through rough moorland and past ski facilities.

  • Rugged and remote, ideal for advanced mountain bikers.
  • Stunning views of the surrounding moorland.
  • Includes steep climbs and technical descents.

Mountain Biking in Alston

Mountain biking in Alston is an adventure not to be missed, with routes that cater to every level of rider. From the challenging heights of Cross Fell to the scenic pathways of the South Tyne Trail, each route offers a unique glimpse into the beauty and history of the North Pennines. Whether you’re seeking strenuous climbs, technical descents, or leisurely rides through historic landscapes, Alston Moor has it all. Make Salvin House your base, and you’ll have the perfect starting point for exploring these incredible trails. Happy riding!

Salvin House Alston: The Perfect Base for Mountain Biking

After a day of conquering trails and enjoying the natural beauty of Alston, there’s no better place to rest and recharge than Salvin House. This charming accommodation provides the perfect base for your mountain biking adventures, offering comfortable lodging, secure bike storage, and a friendly atmosphere. Enjoy the convenience of starting your rides right from the heart of Alston and returning to a cozy and welcoming retreat at Salvin House. Whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker or a beginner, Salvin House ensures a memorable and hassle-free biking experience in Alston Moor.




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