"Alston is a an intriguing little town with a very steep, cobbled main street and it relies mainly on tourism since the lead industry ended over one hundred years ago."
The road bridge in Alston carries the A685 road to Penrith via Hartside and is an old stone bridge on the outskirts of the town. It seems to have been rebuilt in the 19th century as it had originally only single arch. A previous bridge wes destroyed in the 1771 flood. Several routes converge here, from Hexham, Haltwhistle and Brampton, as well as from Weardale and Teesdale. The bridge linked the former lead-mining district with both east and west parts of the country before the arrival of the railway.
Alston is a popular town for visitors who may have stopped on their way to the Lake District or on a tour of the area. The town's main street is steep and cobbled with an old market cross half way up. There are several pubs and cafes and some interesting shops. Cyclists favour Alston's many cafes and in summer motorcyclists ride through on the popular Hexham - Hartside- Penrith road.