South Tyne Rail Trail: Alston and Kirkhaugh

EASY 6 reviews

South Tyne Rail Trail: Alston and Kirkhaugh is a 3.9 kilometer point-to-point trail located near Alston, Cumbria, England that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

Distance: 3.9 km Elevation Gain: 71 m Route Type: Point to Point

kid friendly


nature trips


rails trails


no shade

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a linear walk with the initial leg using heritage rail line. Services run seasonally so check that trains are running before you travel. A linear walk between the Northumberland village of Kirkhaugh and the Cumbria town of Alston in the North Pennines, with the initial leg enjoying a trip on the South Tynedale Heritage Railway. Your journey begins in Alston, a market town which sits high and remote in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and claims to be the highest market town in England. Begin with a journey on the South Tyndale Railway, a pretty narrow-gauge train journey through stunning Pennine scenery, alight at the nearby village of Kirkhaugh and then walk back to Alston using the South Tyne Trail, a simple and easy-going stone track that runs directly alongside the rail line. This fabulous trail gives a surprisingly accessible way to discover the landscapes of the high and lonely Pennine moors. The beautiful River South Tyne will be visible for much of your walk, look out for deer and soaring birds of prey and you may even glimpse a red squirrel. The walking half of the route is almost entirely flat with a stone-covered surface for the whole length. You will need to negotiate a bridge over the railway (with a handful of shallow steps) plus some simple bridle-gates and a couple of weighted swing gates. The path is fenced away from the train line and the surrounding fields so is ideal for dogs and children. The train journey is via the South Tynedale Railway which runs only a seasonal service so check the website timetables before you travel ( The single journey (of just one stop) takes about 15 minutes, or you may prefer to buy a Rover Ticket and take the full heritage rail trip to Slaggyford and then alight at Kirkhaugh during the return leg (a train journey of 45 minutes). Dogs are welcome on the trains for a small fee. Check any other access requirements with the railway provider. Allow 1 hour plus the extra time for the train journey.

17 days ago

I would recommend this trail to everyone. it is nice and flat so well suited for anyone who struggle with incline or tougher terrain, young children, dogs or with bikes. the trail is very well kept with plenty of benches and picnic tables. There are some beautiful views and scenery; and the trail is very open to plenty of sun but can feel the wind due to dips at either side of the walkway at times. There is a nice little cafe and set of toilets at the start/end of the walk also.

6 months ago