The Top 5 Best Driving Roads Near Alston: A Petrolhead’s Dream

by | Activities, Alston, North Pennines AONB

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

If you’re a car or motorbike lovet visiting Alston, you’re in for a treat. This quaint town in Cumbria is surrounded by some of the finest driving roads the UK has to offer. Whether you’re behind the wheel of a sporty coupe or gripping the handlebars of a powerful motorbike, these routes will get your adrenaline pumping. Here’s a cheeky rundown of the top 5 best driving roads near Alston. Buckle up, folks!

Driver navigating a sharp turn on Hartside Pass, one of the best driving roads near Alston

A motorbike leans into a sharp turn on Hartside Pass, showcasing the thrill and challenge of this popular driving route, one of the best driving roads near Alston.

1. Penrith to Haydon Bridge: The Ultimate Joyride

First up on our list of the best driving roads near Alston is the Penrith to Haydon Bridge route. Named as ‘One of the Greatest Drives in Britain’ by the AA and Top Gear, the A686 road is a rollercoaster of a drive, packed with sweeping bends, scenic straights, and the kind of tight corners that make you feel alive. Starting in Penrith, you’ll navigate through the stunning North Pennines, passing through quaint villages and breathtaking landscapes before hitting Haydon Bridge.


  • Twisty Bends: Perfect for testing your car’s handling or leaning into curves on your bike.
  • Stunning Views: Keep an eye out for the picturesque vistas of the North Pennines.
  • Traffic: Relatively low, giving you plenty of opportunities to open up the throttle.

2. Alston to Middleton-in-Teesdale via B6277

For those seeking a mix of beauty and beastly driving, the route from Alston to Middleton-in-Teesdale via the B6277 is a must. This road slices through the heart of the North Pennines, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a driver’s delight with long stretches of open road, punctuated by sharp turns and sudden dips.


  • Open Roads: Plenty of space to enjoy some spirited driving.
  • Historic Sights: Middleton-in-Teesdale is a charming market town worth exploring.
  • Nature: You’ll be surrounded by the raw beauty of the North Pennines.

3. Alston to Hexham via B6295

Another gem among the best driving roads near Alston is the B6295 from Alston to Hexham. This road offers a fantastic mix of tight, technical sections and fast, flowing stretches. The route takes you through charming villages and lush countryside, making it as enjoyable to drive as it is scenic.


  • Varied Terrain: A mix of fast straights and technical turns.
  • Village Charm: Pass through quaint villages like Allendale.
  • Accessibility: Easy to reach and not overly crowded.

4. Blanchland, Edmundbyers, and Stanhope via B6278

The B6278 road through Blanchland, Edmundbyers, and Stanhope is a true gem among the best driving roads near Alston. This route takes you through the heart of the Durham Dales and offers a delightful mix of scenic beauty and driving pleasure.


  • Scenic Detour: The single-track road to Blanchland offers spectacular views, making it a worthwhile detour despite the occasional sheep.
  • Charming Hamlet: Blanchland is a beautiful little hamlet perfect for a pause and a stroll.
  • Desolate Moorland: The B6278 provides a mix of fast sweepers and tighter sequences over desolate moorland, all well-sighted for safe driving

5. The B6278: Stanhope to Barnard Castle

Last but not least, we have the B6278 from Stanhope to Barnard Castle. This route is known for its stunning moorland scenery and exhilarating driving experience. The road twists and turns through the countryside, offering plenty of opportunities to enjoy the drive.


  • Scenic Beauty: The moorland scenery is simply stunning.
  • Challenging Drive: A mix of tight bends and fast straights.
  • Historic Sites: End your journey at the historic Barnard Castle.

Important Tips for the Best Driving Roads near Alston

While exploring the best driving roads near Alston, always be conscientious of locals and other road users. Stick to speed limits and be aware of local policing. Respect the beauty of these areas by driving responsibly and ensuring safety for everyone, especially when passing through towns and villages, or where fields are open to the road.

Salvin House: The Perfect Base

For an unforgettable driving or motorcycle holiday, make Salvin House in Alston your base. This charming accommodation offers easy access to all the fantastic routes mentioned above, providing a comfortable and convenient starting point for your adventures.


There you have it, folks—the best driving roads near Alston. Each route offers its own unique thrills and scenic wonders. Whether you’re a car enthusiast looking to test your machine or a motorbike rider seeking the perfect ride, these roads will not disappoint. So, grab your keys, fire up that engine, and hit the road for an unforgettable driving experience in the heart of Cumbria!





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