Things to do nearby The Old Dairy
Located in the rural peaceful hamlet of Leadgate, The Old Dairy is perfectly placed to get away from it all. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, you'll be itching to get out and explore! Grab your rucksack, pack a picnic and head out along the country roads and footpaths that crisscross this quieter part of the county. The charming North Pennines village of Alston is a short drive away. At 1000 feet above sea level, this remote village with its cobbled streets and bandstand is certainly worth a visit - you'll soon see why it's been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Set high on open moorland in the heart of the North Pennines Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Alston is a wonderful base for a break involving walking, cycling, historical exploration or just relaxation. It has been used on numerous occasions as a film location thanks to the appearance of its characterful town centre. It has a very special atmosphere all of its own and a fantastic range of things to do.
For those armed with walking boots Alston is wonderfully placed. The town is located on The Pennine Way and the South Tyne Way offering well maintained tracks for long days out. For an epic day you can head to Cross Fell, the highest point on the Pennine Way or venture to Haltwhistle on the South Tyne Trail. There is a vast range of easier walking right from the door though, including riverside potters and moorland rambles. Alternatively pick up a leaflet from the Town Hall which will guide you round the historic town walk there's also information on a walk round the film locations for Oliver Twist. There's so much to interest you along the way.
Railway enthusiasts will be delighted with the South Tynedale Railway, a charming narrow gauge line which runs from Alston to Slaggyford through incredible Pennines scenery. The trains are hauled by vintage steam and diesel locomotives and you can find out more about the history of the line at the Discovery Centre or perhaps take a look at the engines in the workshop. There's also an excellent cafe for a treat during your visit. The line also opens up more linear walks from Alston, why not enjoy a potter along the South Tyne Trail to Slaggyford then get the train back?
The rich history of the area is woven through the town and its surroundings. The industrial heritage can be explored at the Nenthead and Killhope Mines where you can investigate how these communities have been born out of the industry. The landscape itself has also been shaped by the quest for lead, zinc, iron and silver.
There are great places to eat dotted around the town and beyond with traditional pubs and quirky cafes aplenty. There are also independent shops with delightful treasures to take home and a monthly market in the town hall. Several artists, potters and crafts people make the area their base and there are many studio open days and workshops. Alston also has a fine reputation for producing Cumberland Mustard and Alston Cheese
This landscape is also peppered with evidence of Roman history. Just outside Alston is Epiacum Fort; one of the best preserved of its kind in the UK. You can take a walk to it from Alston on the Roman Maiden Way. Alternatively why not take a drive north to Hadrian’s Wall country? A wild and beautiful landscape offering plenty of attractions with walks for all abilities, wonderful far reaching views and plenty of history. Hadrian’s Wall itself offers a good guide to start exploring the area; pay to visit one of the museums or just soak up the atmosphere of the wall for free, many sections of the Hadrian’s Wall Path national trail run right alongside the wall, so you are walking in the very footsteps of the Roman soldiers.
The Eden Valley is a hidden gem with the Pennines to the east and Lake District Fells to the west. The beautiful rural landscapes around the River Eden are a mix of lush green countryside, traditional towns and attractive sandstone villages. The enigmatic stone circle of Long Meg near Little Salkeld is nearby which is worthy of a visit in its own right; or plan it into a longer walk; you could also take in the mill for some freshly ground flour to take home. For those with a liking for cake visit The Village Bakery in Melmerby.
One of the best ways to see the Eden Valley is by train setting off from Langwathby and travelling south towards the Yorkshire Dales or north to Carlisle. Running through some of the most attractive scenery in the Eden Valley and Yorkshire Dales, the Settle-Carlisle railway is world famous for its Victorian architecture, tunnels, huge stone viaducts, and remote wayside station buildings yet it is part of the main UK rail network. The diesel sprinter trains now carry well over a million passengers each year and provide a vital link for the remote communities they serve.
The closest Lake District lake is Ullswater, a majestic ribbon lake with a steamer service from Pooley Bridge, Howtown, Aira Force and Glenridding, take a round the lake cruise or take advantage of the boat to do a linear walk along the shore or even up over the High Street fells. To the west, the lake is surrounded by high fells whilst to the east the land falls gracefully to the lush rolling countryside of the Eden Valley. Popular walks from Ullswater include Helvellyn, St Sunday Crag, High Street and Place Fell.