Walking Alston Moor: Discover the Iconic Alston Moor Loop

by | Attractions, Hiking in Alston, Things to do in Alston, Visit Alston, Visit Alston Cumbria, Walking Alston Moor, Walks

Find Your Feet with Walks near Alston

Nestled in the North Pennines National Landscape, Alston Moor offers some of the most breathtaking and serene landscapes in England. For those passionate about walking, Alston Moor provides a perfect mix of scenic beauty and challenging trails. One of the most popular routes for enthusiasts of walking Alston Moor is the Alston Moor Loop, a 28.5 km journey that showcases the best of this beautiful region. This guide will take you through this remarkable walk, with tips, insights, and recommendations to make your experience unforgettable.

Starting Point: Alston

Alston Marketplace bustling with activity while walking Alston Moor

Exploring Alston Marketplace is a delightful start to walking Alston Moor.

The Alston Moor Loop begins in the charming town of Alston, renowned for its cobbled streets and historic buildings. As you set off from Alston, you will head down to the River Nent, a river rich in natural features and beauty. This initial leg of walking Alston Moor follows part of Isaac’s Tea Trail, a 36-mile route that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration.

The River Nent and Isaac’s Tea Trail

Gossipgate Bridge spanning the River Nent during walking Alston Moor

The picturesque Gossipgate Bridge on the River Nent, a highlight of walking Alston Moor.

As you follow the River Nent, you’ll notice significant erosion along the riverbank, a result of the infamous Storm Desmond. Despite this, the trail provides captivating views and a peaceful walking experience. This part of the journey is also marked by numerous steps at Nenthall and the picturesque Gudham Gill meeting the River Nent.

The Scenic Route to Garrigill

Garrigill village green on a sunny day while walking Alston Moor

The charming Garrigill village green is a peaceful stop while walking Alston Moor.

After leaving the River Nent, the path takes you to Garrigill, a quaint village with beautiful riverside scenery. This section of walking Alston Moor follows the South Tyne Trail, which cuts a deep gorge through the valley. The trail offers a mix of riverside paths and elevated routes through woodland and fields, providing opportunities to spot local wildlife, such as red squirrels and herons.

Garrigill to Nenthead

Stunning views from Isaac's Tea Trail while walking Alston Moor

Enjoy breathtaking views along Isaac’s Tea Trail during your walk on Alston Moor.

Leaving Garrigill, the trail continues along the South Tyne Trail, where the river widens but retains its enchanting beauty. As you progress, you’ll cross over the Pennine Way and eventually reach Nenthead, known for its historic mining sites. This section is relatively easier, making it ideal for walkers of all levels.

The Historic Mines of Nenthead

Historical Nenthead Mines encountered while walking Alston Moor

Discover the historic Nenthead Mines as part of your walking Alston Moor adventure.

Nenthead is rich in mining history, and as you pass through, you’ll encounter the remains of Nenthead Mines. This area is perfect for history enthusiasts interested in learning about the region’s industrial past.

The Challenge of Flinty Fell

View from the top of Flinty Fell while walking Alston Moor

Take in the stunning vistas from the top of Flinty Fell while walking Alston Moor.

For those seeking more adventure, consider a detour over Flinty Fell. This climb is challenging, with indistinct paths covered in thick, wet moss, but it rewards you with stunning views and a sense of achievement. Alternatively, you can take the planned route around Flinty Fell for a less strenuous option.

Natural Wonders: Ashgill Force

Ashgill Force waterfall seen while walking Alston Moor

The impressive Ashgill Force waterfall is a must-see while walking Alston Moor.

Continuing the journey, you’ll come across Ashgill Force, one of the hidden gems of walking Alston Moor. This waterfall is particularly beautiful, with paths that allow you to walk behind the falls for a unique perspective. Nearby, a cave offers an additional point of interest, though it requires some agility to navigate through.

Final Leg: Nenthead to Alston

Gossipgate Weir on the River Nent while walking Alston Moor

Gossipgate Weir adds to the scenic beauty encountered while walking Alston Moor.

The final stretch of the Alston Moor Loop brings you back to Alston. This part of the route offers gentle slopes and scenic views, perfect for reflecting on your walking Alston Moor experience.

Stay at Salvin House Alston

Relaxing by the fire with coffee and biscuits at Salvin House after walking Alston Moor

Unwind by the fire with coffee and biscuits at Salvin House after a day of walking Alston Moor.

When walking Alston Moor, the best place to stay is undoubtedly Salvin House. This charming Georgian holiday cottage offers comfort and convenience, making it an ideal base for exploring the area. After a long day of walking, you can return to Salvin House to relax and recharge.

When are You Walking Alston Moor?

Walking Alston Moor is an experience like no other, combining natural beauty, historical sites, and the charm of local villages. The Alston Moor Loop is a perfect introduction to this wonderful region, offering something for every type of walker. Whether you’re looking for gentle paths or challenging climbs, the Alston Moor Loop has it all. Remember to stay at Salvin House for the best walking Alston Moor experience. Happy walking!



Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best starting point for walking Alston Moor?

The best starting point for walking Alston Moor is the charming town of Alston, known for its historic buildings and scenic surroundings.

What are the must-see attractions while walking Alston Moor?

Must-see attractions while walking Alston Moor include the Nenthead Mines, Flinty Fell, Ashgill Force, Garrigill village, and Isaac’s Tea Trail.

Where is the best place to stay when walking Alston Moor?

The best place to stay when walking Alston Moor is Salvin House, offering comfort and convenience for walkers.

What type of walking trails can I find near Alston Moor?

Near Alston Moor, you can find a variety of walking trails ranging from gentle and easy to moderate and challenging, catering to all levels of walkers.

How long is the Alston Moor Loop, and what should I expect?

The Alston Moor Loop is a 28.5 km (17.7 miles) trail that begins in Alston and features diverse landscapes, historical sites, and beautiful riverside paths, including highlights such as the River Nent, Isaac’s Tea Trail, Nenthead Mines, Flinty Fell, Ashgill Force, and Garrigill village.



Rob Lawson is a property investor and communications consultant who grew up in the South Tyne Valley. With a deep passion for historical preservation, he fell in love with Salvin House and committed to restoring it to its former glory. With a vision that blends respect for its heritage and modern comforts, Rob has revived this historic gem for future generations to appreciate.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *