Alton Station

Alton, Staffordshire

About this Landmark

Alton Station is nestled in the Churnet Valley on the outskirts of the village of Alton. Alton Towers with, amongst its other attractions, wonderful landscape gardens is a very short drive away.

This property is taking part in  50 for Free 2017 - click here for more information.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Logs availableLogs available
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • ShowerShower
  • Washing MachineWashing Machine

Beds 2 Twin, 2 Double

  • Sleeps 8
  • 4 nights from £456
  • equivalent to £14.25 per person, per night

Living in a station

You cook in the small private waiting room, the main waiting room being reserved for a suitably long table to while away your time in front of a fire, amid remnants of the days of railway glory. A double bedroom has been made in the ticket office, while the rest of you will sleep in the Stationmaster’s house. During our original work on the house, a disused flue was found to have been blocked with porters’ waistcoats; and the plumbing we installed produced at first a strange chuffing sound – doubtless the yearning of this house for the sound and smell of great engines wreathed in steam.

Carefully restored Landmark amid beautiful scenery

The railway has gone; but in its heyday the platforms took 12-coach excursion trains from the Potteries. Its architect was probably H.A. Hunt, an architect-engineer who designed other stations on this line, which opened in 1849. Built by the North Staffordshire Railway (the ‘Knotty’) to a befitting standard for the Earl of Shrewsbury, then owner of Alton Towers, it stands in marvellous surroundings, both beautiful and interesting. Alton Castle, reconstructed by the Pugins, rises out of the trees across the valley of the Churnet. Alton Towers itself, with its famous garden, lies immediately behind.

Floor Plan

‘Ideal for walks – just go along the tracks in either direction and see where you end up.’

‘As a Railway Children addict for years, Alton Station did not disappoint.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Alton Station is on the outskirts of the village of Alton, home to the world-famous Alton Towers Resort. Explore the area around Alton by taking a circular walk or take a trip to Ashbourne, the southern gateway to the Peak District and, from here, you can visit the renowned beauty spot of Dovedale with its famed stepping stones.

Admire the rich collections of pottery in the Wedgewood Museum and have a go at throwing your own pot at the Gladstone Pottery Museum.

A ride on the steam trains of the Churnet Valley Railway, based in nearby Froghall, and the Foxfield Railway, in Blythe Bridge, is a fun way to explore in style.

The lavish, late 17th century Sudbury Hall, also houses the Museum of Childhood, full of delights to interest all ages. 

 

For more information on things to do during your stay at Alton Station, please see our Pinterest page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Alton Station
Alton, Staffordshire
Clear directions

‘Ideal for walks – just go along the tracks in either direction and see where you end up.’

‘As a Railway Children addict for years, Alton Station did not disappoint.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Directly from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Uttoxexter – 8 miles
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    Yes, 1 parking space although we do not have exclusive use of the space.
    There is one flight of steps down from the parking area to the Landmark
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is a combination of electric night storage heating and convector heaters. There is also a woodburning stove.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc.
    There is also an electric cooker and a dishwasher.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are three bathrooms in total. There is one free standing shower and two baths both with hand-held showers.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs in the property are steep.
  • Are any rooms outside the main accommodation?

    Yes the Stationmaster's House is a few feet acroos the platform to the accommodation in the Waiting Room.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    The former platform is the only outside area at this property.
    A public footpath runs along the former track bed.

    Booking and Payment

  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact [email protected]
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

A station on the Churnet Valley Line

Alton Station was built in 1849 as part of the Churnet Valley branch line for the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR). The plans for the Churnet Valley Line had been laid in 1845, the first of the years of railway mania, but it was not begun until 1847 by which time improved methods of engineering and construction had been developed, and railway architecture was at its most inventive and attractive.

Unique Italianate style

The stations on the NSR were a particularly fine group, the majority being in a Tudor or Jacobean style, but with the odd appearance of Domestic, Rural and Italianate Styles. The NSR employed a London architect called Henry Arthur Hunt to design these stations for them. For a long time, the station was attributed to A.W. Pugin but Hunt seems the most likely candidate to have designed Alton Station, even though his other stations were Tudor or Jacobean. Conclusive evidence remains elusive and it is strange that Alton is unique among NSR stations in being Italianate in style.

Age of expansion

Alton had a temporary station when the line opened for passengers and freight on 13th July 1849. But in 1850 the main station buildings were ready to receive passengers. Most were day visitors who came in their droves from the pottery towns to visit the famous gardens at Alton Towers. Around 1880, the goods yard and sidings were enlarged and a 30 lever signal box built. In 1882 a separate booking office was added on to the rear of the waiting room and in 1884 £200 was spent on lengthening the platforms and building a special pathway leading from the platform to the road up to the Towers, known as The Avenues.

The branch line in decline

In 1924 Alton Towers itself was sold to a consortium that planned to run it as a full-scale public attraction and business on the line boomed. However, after nationalisation in 1948, the line began to decline and in 1960 passenger services on the line were cut to almost nothing. Four years later, as part of Dr Beeching’s overhaul, it was reduced to single track with total closure following in 1965. The stationmaster lived on in his house for a year or two, but the waiting room soon began to suffer from neglect and vandalism and Staffordshire County Council bought sections of the line with the station buildings in 1969.

Finding a new use

In 1970, having failed to find anyone locally to take on Alton Station, the County Planning Officer approached Landmark, who in 1972 took on the stationmaster’s house and the waiting room block. At the time, funds were only available to make the stationmaster’s house into Landmark accommodation. The house needed little work to make it habitable again. The only major change was to turn the kitchen into a third bedroom and to make a new, and combined, kitchen and dining room with an arch inserted between this and the sitting room, to make both rooms larger and lighter.

The waiting room was simply made sound, repainted in LMS colours and left to complete the picture until funds became available or some other use could be found for it. The station embarked on a new lease of life as an inspiring place to stay and since then thousands of people have enjoyed living in and learning about this remnant from the height of the Railway Age.

In 2008, the time had come for a thorough refurbishment of the accommodation. Landmark was able to make funds available to incorporate the waiting room block into the accommodation, turning the booking office into an additional bedroom, the ladies' waiting room into a new kitchen and the lamp or porters’ room into a shower room. New internal doors were made leading into the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, registered in the floor tiling. Care was also taken to ensure that the external appearance of the waiting room block did not change, even where a door had to be blocked internally. All surviving original features have been retained: Minton tiles on the floor, interior finishes (the "panelling" is in fact plaster - for better wear), the shelving, hatch and ticket barrier associated with the booking office, the brackets for fire buckets and oil lamps outside. The London Midland and Scottish Railway colours, which had survived on the walls, have been repainted. In the stationmaster’s house, the kitchen was turned into a bathroom and the sitting room was made slightly smaller to allow for a corridor between, now that visitors also have the whole waiting room to enjoy.

Select a changeover day to start your booking...


What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?
Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.