Alston and the North Pennines
As seen on BBC2's Britain's Heritage Heroes
Alston in the North Pennines is surrounded by a unique landscape of moorland, hills, rivers and waterfalls and is England's highest market town. This intriguing town with its cobbled streets and fascinating nooks and crannies was the location for ITV's productions of Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist.
Enjoy marvellous views over the Eden Valley, Lake District hills and Scottish borders as you climb up to Alston via Hartside, a route named as one of the World's Top Ten Most Scenic drives by the AA.
Alston and the North Pennines have long inspired artists and writers, the poet and writer W H Auden loved the area and today Alston is an inspiration to the craftspeople who live and work there. There's a host of unusual shops in the town including quality crafts and galleries, plus many places to eat.
Places to stay in Alston range from hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) to self catering cottages - many with great views and there's a Youth Hostel in the town.
Take a ride on one of the lovingly restored steam and diesel engines on the South Tynedale Railway, a round trip from Alston to Kirkhaugh takes around 50 minutes through the beautiful scenery of the South Tyne valley. Visit The Hub Museum with its interesting local history and bygone transport collection.
The North Pennines used to be one of the wealthiest lead mining centres in Europe.
Designated Britain's first UNESCO European Geopark, the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a haven for special wildlife and plants.
Alston is an ideal walking and cycling centre with the Pennine Way passing through the town and great opportunities to get away from it all in the surrounding countryside. The C2C, Walney to Wear and Pennine cycle routes all pass near the town making their way through some stunning scenery. You can also go fishing on the River South Tyne. Alston also offers many local events and attractions.