Saturday 24 September 2022

Hello Alston

Good morning, a week later and I am still at it. Sorting the photos I mean. It is difficult to stop snapping when you are in a beautiful part of the country. The hand automatically goes for the camera when something stunning comes into view. I just have to get that, and the numbers mount up. 202 whittled down to a few dozen. 
I found a free car park in Alston next to the children's playground. No restrictions I could have stayed there all night. I went walkabout. Alston is very hilly with cobbled streets. You need a good set of calf muscles to tackle the inclines. It is thought to be the highest market town in England. 
I am not sure what this building is, but it is unoccupied and looks neglected. Possibly a church I think.   
Some quirky little shops. This is Mellow Yellow gift shop on Front Street. I am in this picture, can you see me mother. The shop has a small frontage but stretches way back into a second room. It is jam packed with unusual gifts and clothing. The lady is charming, so helpful, and her prices are very reasonable. I bought a small gift for my cat sitting friend. 

See the Post Box topper. There are a lot about. 

I went to the Railway Station. It is the start of the South Tynedale Railway. There is further information on their web site. No trains running today. 

There is a tinder track alongside the railway line so I took a walk along there. 

Lovely views to enjoy on a sunny day. 

I walked along the track for about an hour then walked back into Alston. Then I went in the opposite direction and followed the river south. I still hadn't thought about where I would stay that night. I hadn't found a B & B so it might have to be the car again. That's ok, I still have some food left. 

Turning around to go back to Alston I remember I had seen a sign for the Youth Hostel. I will have a look at that. I wasn't sure if it was still open because there have been a lot of changes within the YHA. Some of the hostels have been sold off to private enterprises. 

There was a picnic bench in the hostel grounds so I took advantage of that and had a bite to eat. The notice on the door said it was open at 4.30pm. Luckily while I was sitting there a man came out, he asked if I was booked in. I said no but I wondered if he had any vacancies. He went back inside and his wife came out. She said she could give me a room to myself because they were very quiet. Just the job. 

I had another walkaround in Alston, and fetched my car. B & B was £32. It is a lovely clean hostel with friendly people running it. Might be a good idea to book in advance if you are thinking of staying there. They told me that they would have to close some of the time during the winter months because the cost of heating the place was not going to be possible with so few customers. Check here. 

I left at 9.30 in the morning and chose the A689 towards Crook. I wanted to go to Weardale. I have memories of driving a tanker from Derby to the Water Treatment plant there. 

I stopped a couple of times on the way there to take photo's. This is Killhope Leadmining Centre. No time to stop and take a look. 

My brain is scrambled I have to stop now. I will be back with pics of Wearhead. We will catch up soon. Toodle pip.   ilona


  1. Great photos of Alston and good to se the quirky shops are still in business. The YHA there certainly offers value for money as I feel
    many of the hostels have become prohibitively expensive and far removed from the original ethos of what they were set up to be. You didn’t miss much by not stopping at the lead mining centre. It was good at the beginning but changed hands and went downhill from there.

    1. I noticed that about the YHA. I think they are trying to modernise their business model. Independent hostels can pay a subscription to be included on their web site so they don't miss out on any bookings. Still part of the organisation but run separately

  2. I know that feeling of wanting to take lots of photos! I'm so glad photography has gone digital - I always take far more pictures than necessary, and love that it is so easy to delete unwanted ones now :)

    1. I am trying not to take so many but sometimes if you look at a subject from a different angle you get a different picture.


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