Undiscovered Britain: The Ultimate Summer Break in Alston

by | Alston, Salvin House

A Hidden Gem in the Heart of the North Pennines

When summer rolls around, the UK boasts an array of staycation options. Yet, for those craving a quirky and charming escape, Alston, nestled in the North Pennines, stands out as the ultimate summer holiday destination. From its rich history and stunning landscapes to its unique attractions, a summer break in Alston offers a distinctive experience for holidaymakers looking for something special.

A Journey Through Time: Alston’s Historic Charm

Wandering through Alston is like stepping back in time. The cobbled streets and Georgian buildings exude a quaint charm that’s hard to resist. The town’s rich history is palpable, from the 17th-century St. Augustine’s Church to the South Tynedale Railway, where you can ride a vintage train through breathtaking countryside. As you stroll through the town, you’ll find an array of independent shops and cafes, perfect for a leisurely afternoon of exploration.

South Tynedale Railway: A Nostalgic Adventure

Picturesque view of Alston town in the North Pennines during a summer break in Alston

Experience the charm of Alston during your summer break. Nestled in the North Pennines, this town offers a perfect mix of history, nature, and unique attractions.

One of the highlights of visiting Alston is the South Tynedale Railway. This narrow-gauge heritage railway offers a delightful journey through the stunning landscape of the South Tyne Valley. As the steam locomotive chugs along, you can soak in the serene beauty of the countryside, making it a perfect outing for families and history buffs alike. The railway also hosts special events throughout the year, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

Historical Landmarks

Alston is rich in historical landmarks that add to its quaint charm. The 17th-century St. Augustine’s Church is a must-visit, with its beautiful architecture and serene surroundings. Additionally, the town’s Market Cross, dating back to 1765, is an iconic feature that harks back to Alston’s bustling market days. Exploring these landmarks offers a fascinating glimpse into the town’s past and enhances your summer break in Alston.

Outdoor Adventures: Nature at Its Best

View across South Tyne Valley during a summer break in Alston

The breathtaking view across South Tyne Valley, a highlight for nature enthusiasts enjoying a summer break in Alston. The North Pennines offer a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking and cycling.

For nature enthusiasts, Alston is a paradise. The surrounding North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers a plethora of outdoor activities. Hiking trails abound, with routes suitable for all levels of experience. A favourite is the Pennine Way, which provides stunning vistas and a chance to truly immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty. If you’re an avid cyclist, the winding country lanes and challenging hills offer an exhilarating ride.

Hiking and Walking Trails

The North Pennines is a haven for hikers. The Pennine Way, one of Britain’s most famous long-distance trails, passes through Alston, offering breathtaking views and a sense of adventure. For those seeking a less strenuous walk, there are numerous shorter trails that showcase the region’s diverse landscapes, from lush meadows to rugged moorland.

Cycling Adventures

Cyclists will find Alston’s surroundings perfect for a ride. The winding country lanes and scenic routes provide both challenging climbs and leisurely rides. Local bike hire shops make it easy to explore the area on two wheels, and the fresh air and stunning scenery make every pedal stroke worth it.

Unique Attractions: Discover the Unexpected

Entrance to Killhope Lead Mining Museum during a summer break in Alston

Discover the history of lead mining at Killhope Lead Mining Museum, a quirky and fascinating destination near Alston, perfect for a summer break in Alston.

A summer break in Alston isn’t just about natural beauty and history; it also boasts some quirky attractions that add to its unique appeal. For a truly unique experience, visit the Nenthead Mines, one of the most fascinating historical sites in the area. This former lead and zinc mine offers guided tours that take you deep into the history and workings of mining life.

Nenthead Mines

The Nenthead Mines are a captivating destination for anyone interested in industrial history. This site, once a bustling centre of lead and zinc mining, now offers guided tours that explore the underground tunnels and surface buildings. The tours provide a deep dive into the harsh yet intriguing lives of the miners and the significant role this industry played in the area’s development. It’s an educational and exciting experience for visitors of all ages.

Alston Moor Golf Club

For golf enthusiasts, the Alston Moor Golf Club is a hidden gem. This nine-hole course is set against the backdrop of the stunning North Pennines, offering both a challenging game and breathtaking views. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a casual player, the experience here is unforgettable.

Culinary Delights: Savour the Local Flavours

Charming exterior of Alston House during summer break in Alston

Savour the delicious cuisine at Alston House during your summer break in Alston, featuring locally sourced ingredients and expertly crafted dishes.

No holiday is complete without indulging in local cuisine, and Alston does not disappoint. The town’s pubs and restaurants offer hearty meals made from locally sourced ingredients. From traditional English breakfasts to sumptuous dinners, you’ll find something to tantalise your taste buds.

Local Pubs and Restaurants

Alston’s culinary scene is vibrant and diverse. The local pubs, such as Alston House and The Cumberland Inn, serve up classic British fare with a local twist. Freshly caught fish, locally sourced meats, and seasonal vegetables make every meal a delight. The warm, friendly atmosphere in these establishments adds to the overall dining experience.

Saddlers Bakery

A visit to Alston wouldn’t be complete without stopping by Saddlers Bakery. This bakery is renowned for its artisan bread, pastries, and cakes. Using locally sourced ingredients, Saddlers offers a mouth-watering array of treats that are perfect for a picnic or a cosy snack after a day of exploring. The bakery’s commitment to quality and flavour makes it a must-visit spot for any food lover.

Where We Stayed: Salvin House Alston

Salvin House in Alston, the perfect accommodation for a summer break in Alston

Salvin House in Alston offers elegant and comfortable accommodation, making it the ideal place to stay during your summer break in Alston.

The cornerstone of any great summer break in Alston is the accommodation, and in Alston, Salvin House reigns supreme. This historic house blends classic elegance with modern comforts, making it the ideal base for exploring the area. Salvin House’s beautifully decorated rooms and welcoming atmosphere ensure a memorable stay. Whether you’re lounging in the garden, enjoying a hearty breakfast, or cosy up by the fireplace in the evening, this boutique accommodation provides a perfect retreat after a day of adventure.

Salvin House is more than just a place to stay; it’s part of the Alston experience. The attention to detail, from the antique furnishings to the sumptuous linens, creates a luxurious yet homely feel. The hosts are incredibly welcoming, offering insights into the best local spots and ensuring your stay is as comfortable as possible. It’s the perfect blend of charm, comfort, and convenience, making it the best place to stay in Alston.

Why Choose a Summer Break in Alston?

A summer break in Alston encapsulates the essence of a perfect holiday. Its combination of historical charm, stunning natural landscapes, unique attractions, and delightful culinary experiences makes it an unforgettable destination. Staying at Salvin House Alston ensures you have a comfortable and stylish base from which to explore all that this quaint town has to offer. So, if you’re seeking a quirky and enriching staycation, Alston should be at the top of your list.

Places to Visit in and Around Alston




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