A walk of approx 9 miles partly along Isaac’s Tea Trail and partly across open moorland
Start from either the Spar supermarket or the railway station both of which offer ample parking
Route: Take the main A686 Hexham road out of Alston. After approx a quarter of a mile take the minor road on the right, North Loaning. This climbs steeply to meet the B6294. Turn left and follow this road until it meets the main A686. Cross the road (with care) and take the minor road to Clarghyll. In a few hundred yards Isaac’s Tea Trail joins from the left and this is followed for the next mile or so. When the road goes left take the track going straight ahead. Follow this for a few hundred yards then take the signposted track on the right. This climbs up to meet the A686 once again. Cross this road and continue on Isaac’s Tea Trail first past the former Pottery then through the former wood. Some woodland still remains ahead on the right. At the end of this (Long Cross) leave the footpath and turn right to follow the fence across the open (boggy) moorland. After approx a mile and a half the trig point at the summit of Hard Rigg is reached. Continue on for another half-mile to Blacklaw Cross where the Carriers’ Way path is met. Turn right and follow this down until the tarmacked road is reached. Do not take this but take the track on the right. When the road at Blagill is reached turn right, follow the road round then take the minor road on the left. At the farm take the public footpath on the right and follow this to Gossipgate taking the bridge over the river then the footpath on the right back in to Alston.
Variation: To reduce the road walking at the start of the walk take the path by the railway line from the railway station followed by the riverside path/ minor road out to Randalholme then follow Isaac’s Tea Trail to join the above route. This adds a mile or so to the route.