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Lambley to Alston 14 March 2020

South to Alston does not have the same ring to it as North to Alaska but unfortunately, the local coach company does have Alaska on its itinerary so Alston will have to do.

Does anyone remember North to Alaska, it was both a song and a film the song being the lead in to the film? North to Alaska was sung by Jonny Horton and the film starred John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Capucine and Fabian among others. It was released in November 1960 and it supposedly told the story of the gold rush in the late 1890s which coincidentally mirrors the lead and silver mining in the area around Alston at about the same time.

The major differences being that mining in the Alston area had been going on a lot longer than the Alaskan mining but gold is still being mined in Alaska in large quantities while the silver ran out long ago in Alston. The other difference is that Alaska is a bit bigger than the area around Alston and I think they have polar bears. There are no polar bears around Alston but then they do not have a valley quite like the one that runs from Lambley to Alston. The Romans liked it so much they walked down it and built a fort on the side of it something they never did in Alaska.

Just like the Romans, we are walking down it for the first walk in March. We tried to do this last in January 2018 but there was too much snow in Alston so we ended up in Brampton instead. Hopefully, it will be a bit different this time.

There are three walks to choose from on this trip, the longest is 11.5-miles and heads roughly along the Pennine Way also known as the Maidens Way, which is the old Roman road leading south to Roman fort of Whitley Castle just to the north-east of Alston. The second route of 11-miles comes south from Featherstone Rowfoot and crosses Lambley Viaduct and follows a route either along the South Tyne Trail or just to the east of the Trail. The 9-mile route starts just past the village of Lambley and also does a mixture of the South Tyne Trail and the footpaths to the east of the Trail.

If you would like to join us for a walk and maybe kick over a nugget or two of silver or sing the theme tune to North to Alaska you can get in touch with us from our Contact Page and you can download the walk descriptions here and the GPX routes here. If its gold you are looking for it looks like a journey to Alaska might be an option.

The image for this walk was taken the last time we were in the area in February 2016. This happy group of walkers are standing on Kirkhaugh Station which forms part of the South Tyne Railway, a preserved 2-foot narrow-gauge heritage railway. Unfortunately for them, the trains do not start running until late March.

Alston Weather

Walk No. 6 Lambley to Alston 14 March 2020
Area: Cumbria Map: OL31, 43

9 miles Moderate
Start: A689 Road Grid Ref: NY673578
Bowden’s Banks – South Tyne Trail – Eals – Eals Bridge – The Bog – Parson Shields – Williamston – Barhaugh Park – Underbank – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Randalholm Bridge – Alston

11 miles Moderate
Start: Featherstone Rowfoot Grid Ref: NY684605
Footpath to South Tyne Trail – Lambley Viaduct – South Tyne Trail – Eals – Eals Bridge – The Bog – Parson Shields – Williamston – Barhaugh Park – Underbank – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Randalholm Bridge – Alston

11.5 miles Moderate
Start: Lambley Farm Grid Ref: NY674594
Oxen Hill – Pennine Way – Burnstones – Merry Knowe – South Tyne Trail – Lintley – Pennine Way – Whitley Castle – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Harbut Lodge – Alston

Pub The Cumberland Inn Telephone: 01434 381875