Alston is a splendidly isolated market town in the upper reaches of the South Tyne Valley. For such an isolated place it is well served by transport links, with roads that link it to Teesdale, Weardale, west to Penrith (via an equally isolated café at Hartside Cross), West Allen Dale and north along the valley to Brampton and on to Carlisle. The town is surrounded by high moorland, and most of the roads eventually cross high ground to arrive at Alston (I've normally come from Teesdale, a very scenic route).

Alston has an impressive amount of high quality food shops, including the Moody Baker.

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