Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


Van-ventures of the long weekend kind

 A combination of weather, work and every day commitments have firmly kept us off the hills for anything more than day trips or walking from home. Last week we suddenly realised that we had a couple of days free (during the bank holiday weekend) and a promise of half decent weather by those meteorological folk who can enthusiastically wax lyrically about atrocious weather fronts - they seem to love their jobs...

Any hoo - early Saturday morning we hastily packed the van with the bare essentials, food - tick, bedding - tick, warm stuff - tick, camera - tick, Moss' paraphernalia - tick tick tick. Then we headed to a new to us place - Alston in Cumbria and promptly fell in love with it.
Our first night was at the highest point of the area at a place frequented by motorcycles, bikers and vanlifers. At 1903ft it has the most gloriously airy and light feel to it, however when the weather is wild - it would not be a place I'd want to stay. 
Originally a large carpark for a popular café (now long gone with several failed attempts at replacing it) the views are sublime. And, if a constant and steady stream of visiting bikes is not your thing, by early evening, they'd all gone. And it was quiet - just us and three other vans and miles and miles and miles of hills, views and sky.
When we first arrived, we took Moss for a pootle over the fells, although grouse shooting moors as long as you kept your dog on a lead and stayed on the paths and tracks you can walk. We first checked out the rather stately cairn then trekked up to the trig point where once again the views took our breath away.

The next morning we went down into the village of Alston for a wander around and discovered to our delight that their steam train was up and running and put on a puffing good show for us. 

Alston is full of old quirky buildings, cobbled streets and charm, sadly we suspect that a sizable chunk of the housing were either second homes or holiday lets like so many of these 'desirable' holiday locations tend to have.
Even the gloriously pompous old bank (a Martins Bank) appeared to be apartments - hopefully for residents rather than holidaying folk - locals need affordable housing too.
I won't overwhelm you with any more photos, as I did take .. one or two .. LOADS ..! 

Right, I better stop waffling, I have work to get on with, have been waiting for a break in the weather before I can start and by the looks of things - it is now or never!

Speak soon x


  1. I know your overnight stop well :-), such a shame the original place burned.
    Alton is a lovely place and despite it being Bank Holiday, did not look too busy, glad you all had such a lovely weekend.

  2. Alston definitely looks worth having a stop and wander!

  3. Lovely. I first discovered Alston myself, last year. It's a very beautiful area. Xx

  4. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  5. Alston looks fabulous, quirky architecture and independent shops, what a great place to have on your doorstep. Love the cat weathervane.
    Moss looks very noble in that top photo. xxx

  6. Wild and wonderful! I bet moss thoroughly enjoyed his pootle about. Love the shop door sign saying 'Nope'. Think I might out one of those on my bedroom door for the kids :) x

  7. Looks like a great place for an overnight stop in good weather. I like the carrots but my favourite shot is Moss of course :)

  8. Ahh, Alston is quite near where our static caravan is, 20 mins away in Melmerby. We were up at Hartside , where you parked up, quite recently. We walked there from Melmerby across the fells, passing your lovely stone pillar. Quite an epic 11 mile trek. Love Alston too. Did you pop in the Turks Head for a drink? It's very characterful. I love the south Tyne Railway and the cafe there is a gem. X

  9. Love the look of that primrose yellow house! x

  10. What a lovely visit you had there. Thanks for sharing. I, for some unknown reason, did not comment until today. Now I realise it's the last trip out you took with Moss, oh I shall miss her. xx


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