Masonic House lies in the very heart of Alston, nestled between centuries old inns and churches on a narrow lane just off the cobbled main street.
Built in the 1600's, Masonic House has recently been refurbished to provide a comfortable and stylish interior, with a small forecourt to the front of the cottage in which to relax and enjoy the views of St Augustine's church and the distant hills.
From the front entrance you enter into a large welcoming kitchen. The kitchen has everything you would expect from a country kitchen, from its handmade oak units, the large Belfast sink and double oven to more modern expectations, such as the American style fridge offering ice and filtered water, to the dishwasher and washing machine. The kitchen is set around a large oak table, perfect for family and friends to gather around and waste away time over meals and drinks.
The kitchen leads into the lounge, which offers two plump leather sofas and a tartan armchair, where you can relax in front of the fire after a day of walking the fells or exploring. The lounge has period features from its time as a stable, with its arched stable window. The lounge Is equipped with a good selection of local books, a large TV and DVD player and a selection of board games.
Upstairs you will find the bedrooms and bathroom. The house offers a spacious kingsize bedroom, with a large triple wardrobe, a good sized double room and comfortable bunkroom. The bathroom is bright and modern, with a bath with shower over.
Masonic House is on Kings Arms Lane, which is just a few metres off Alston's main cobbled street, just behind the famous Angel Inn, which was built in 1621. The house overlooks St Augustine's church and is located next door to St Wulston's shared Catholic and Methodist church.
It is only a 5 minute walk to the South Tyneside Narrow Gauge Railway , the highest narrow gauge railway in Britain. Being in the very centre of Alston, a great selection of inns, shops, cafes, restaurants and walks are only moments away.
For the keen walker, Alston is situated on the Pennine Way, South Tyne Trial and Isaacs Tea Trail.
Alston was once described as being in the middle of nowhere and the middle of everywhere. It is only 18 miles to Penrith, 20 miles to Ullswater in the Lake District, 23 miles to Hexham and 25 miles to Hadrian's Wall. Newcastle is only 45 miles away.
Outside school holidays we offer short breaks Monday to Friday or Friday to Monday but if you have any requests please get in touch and we shall do our best to accommodate you.
Cumbria is often said to be the most beautiful county in England. Historically part of Cumberland, Alston lies within the North Pennines, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is surrounded by beautiful views of the surrounding fells and the South Tyne Valley. Although part of Cumbria, Alston is only 15 miles from the magnificent county of Northumberland with the ancient city of Hexham only 20 miles away to the northeast and Newcastle only 40 minutes away by car.The Lake District National Park, considered one of England's most outstanding areas of natural beauty, serving as inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians, in only 20 miles to the west.
High up in the North Pennines, Alston claims to be the highest market settlement in England, being about 1000 feet above sea level. It is also remote, about 20 miles from the nearest town. From every direction Alston is approached over a broad, heather-clad Pennine landscape which has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Set on the upper reaches of the River South Tyne, it lies within the Eden district of Cumbria.Alston has a steep cobbled main street with a distinctive market cross, and many stone buildings dating from the 17th Century. Next to the entrance to the Church, is a building dated 1681. The Angel pub to its left is dated 1611, and the white building left of the pub is dated 1687. It is a bustling town, with a reputation for delicious locally made specialities such as Cumberland Mustard, and Alston Cheese.Alston Moor grew as a lead mining community over four centuries ago, with Alston town serving the mining families. You can see the history of the lead mining industry in the area at the Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre, nearby.Alston is the starting point for the South Tynedale Railway, England's highest narrow gauge railway.St Augustine's Church was built in 1869, but records show a church has existed here as long as 1145 AD. Inside the church is an interesting clock, brought from Dilston Hall, the home of the Earl of Derwentwater.The A 686 from Penrith in Cumbria to Corbridge in Northumberland, which passes through Alston, was chosen by the AA Magazine as one of their 'Ten Great Drives'. Between Alston and Melmerby, the road climbs the Hartside Pass to a height of 1904 ft, from where there are magnificent views across the Solway Firth to Scotland. This long and steep climb also forms part of the Sea to Sea Cycle Route.