Alston Moor Loop

Including Nenthead, Ashgill Force, Garrigill and Alston

17 Miles

22nd April 2017

Outward Leg

The first leg of this route is out on the open moorland between Nenthead and Garrigill, with views across to Hartside.

Heading out through Nenthead Mines...

 

 

 

 

 

Tough going on the climb up Flinty fell.  Thick moss, deep bogs and no distinguishable path.

If (when) I do this route again, I will be going AROUND Flinty fell, not over it...

 

Looking back down to the mines...

 

Somewhere near the top...

 

With a shake hole...

 

 

Second Leg

The second leg of this route runs on the South Tyne Trail from Ashgill Force, through Garrigill and on to Alston.  Down in the bottom of the valley, it still has the occasional view of the surrounding hills, but the river is the main focus of attention, cutting its way through a deep gorge towards Garrigill, then opening up after. The rock stucture throughout, is something to behold.

Heading down the path to Ashgill Force is a little passageway...

 

But the exit is a bit narrow, and it takes you out onto a bit of a steep bank.  It's manageable, but not if wearing a backpack...

 

The beautiful Ashgill Force.  Notice, you can walk around behind the falls...

 

 

 

A regular perch...

 

Heading down stream to join the South Tyne, the water has cut a deep gorge into the ground...

 

River, down to the left...

 

 

A watchful mother...

 

 

Get the magnifying glass out to see the Red Squirrel.  It was surprisingly close, but the wide angle of my camera makes it look 10 miles away...

 

First glimpse of Garrigill...

 

The gate to Garrigill...

 

Garrigill village center...

 

Back on the trail...

 

 

Footbridge near Dryburn...

Footbridge near Dryburn, on the South Tyne Trail

 

 Stile at Low Sillyhall...

low sillyhall

 

Deux Chevaux at Low Cowgap...

Deux Chevaux at Low Cowgap

 

Fairhill, approaching Alston...

Fairhill, approaching Alston

 

Reaching Alston, there's plenty of refreshment options here, including two service stations, a Co-Op, and numerous cafes and pubs...

 Reaching Alston

 

The Final Leg

Heading out the back of Alston, down to the River Nent...

heading down to the river nent

 

The River Nent river bed, featuring 'The Scream'...

river nent river bed

 

The Nent is another river that doesn't disappoint...

waterfall on the nent

 

Below Blagill...

below blagill

 

Gaining a bit of height at Blagill gifts you some great views of the river...

The River Nent

 

Back down by the river, after rejoining at Foreshield Bridge, attempts are being made to protect the river bank...

Trail defenses

 

But other sections are on borrowed time...

Borrowed time

 

A glimpse of Lovelady Shield Hotel...

lovelady shield hotel

 

The bridge at Nenthall...

The bridge at Nenthall

 

Steps at Nenthall...

Steps at Nenthall

 

Trail signage...

Isaac's Tea Trail sign

 

Nentsberry...

Nentsberry

 

Into the woods...

Into the woods at Nentsberry

 

After exiting the final field (upper left of picture) upon reaching Gudham Gill (right of picture) turn around for another reminder of the past...

Gudham Gill and mine head

 

Gudham Gill meets the Nent...

Gudham Gill meets the Nent

 

A gravel path back to Nenthead, the village isn't short of character...

Miniature village in Nenthead

 

This is a highly recommended route, although quite a long one.  Could have been made easier by skirting around Flinty Fell, rather than over it, but either way, it's a cracker.