Use the South Tynedale Railway for a short one way along the South Tyne Trail. River and rail enthusiasts will enjoy it most but the scenery around is lovely in the summer months.
Although train lovers may get the best out of this walk there are also some splendid views of the Pennine fells and the South Tyne River itself for mere walkers. I decided it was essential to visit Slaggyford (the name did it for me) even though the train line stops a mile short at present. Apart from the name it is always interesting to visit somewhere different and the extra distance is worthwhile. From Slaggyord join the Pennine Way and follow it all the way back to Alston. I always believe it is better on a one way walk to take the train first and walk back. It alleviates any stress of trying to conform to a train timetable.
The return walk stick close to the track until reaching Kirkhaugh where it climbs a little to the Roman Fort on the fellside. The walking throughout is very pleasant and helpfully on a good path. However it is the train ride on the highest narrow gauge railway in the country which is most memorable. Constructed mainly by volunteers makes the train trip a classic example of pioneering British spirit.
Full details of the South Tynedale railway
After the short climb over Kirkhaugh the route passes the remains of a Roman Fort. It was a staging post for the long route up to Hadrian’s Wall…not far to go!
Anyone else collect N (Narrow) gauge model railways when they were young? I did and had a great collection. For some reason the South Tynedale railway reminded me of it.
Make sure you follow the rail tracks which crosses to the western bank after the Sewage Works. The return on the moors is via the Pennine Way and is therefore straightforward to follow.
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