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Newshield and West Allendale

This route climbs out of Alston and heads down to Nenthead before exploring the fascinating upper reachesCyclist photo by Dave Willis, courtesy of the Cumbria Photo Library of the West Allen Valley. It provides a solid days riding, with a mix of valley lanes and some sizeable climbs on fell roads. On a misty or windy day the high points of Black Hill and Willyshaw Rigg will prove challenging to say the least, but given a blue sky and a fair breeze there can be few better spots to be on two wheels. As well as the stunning North Pennine landscape along the way there is plenty to see particularly if you are interested in industrial heritage.

Allendale was once a very important centre for lead mining and every now and again you will spot the remains of the flues that once drew fumes up long tunnels from smelters in the valley bottom.

CAUTION: this route features steep descents into Nenthead and on the Loaning into Alston. 

  • Start/Finish: Alston, GR NY 718 465
  • Distance: 22 miles (35.5km)
  • Grade: Long - Challenge
  • Refreshments: Cafés: Alston
  • Pubs: Alston, Nenthead 

Download this Cycle Route and Map:


Further information

Alston Tourist Information Centre (Local Links), Town Hall, Alston
Telephone: 01434 382244
Penrith Tourist Information Centre, Middlegate, Penrith
Telephone: 01768 867466