"In searching for sources of the South Tyne, the place to visit is Cross Fell. It stands 2,930 feet above sea level, and has an annual rainfall of 70 inches. In fine weather it provides a marvellous viewpoint over several counties - Yorkshire, Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland."
Waters Of Tyne. T H Rowland. 1991
The final stretch of the South Tyne going south from Alston passes initially through farmland where sheep graze quietly on the hills adjacent to the river, with the road and the moors beyond. There are three footbridges on the way to the pleasant old village of Garrigill where an old stone bridge crosses a rocky chasm.
The road from here to the source of the Tyne is a narrow one and is a public road for about three miles, passing three old stone bridges to the east giving access for walkers or to farms. Near the last of these bridges the road peters out and it is just a track for a while until it crosses another footbridge by an old farm building and becomes surfaced again. The river is becoming ever narrower and climbing gently, with the moors on either side until one more small footbridge, little more than ten feet long is reached, and soon the source of the Tyne appears. An obelisk marks the spot where the infant river emerges from the hillside and not far away are the sources of the other two great rivers of the North East, the Wear and the Tees. Cross Fell is only a few miles west and Penrith and the Lake District not too far away. The local Helm Wind blows here, a strong easterly wind which can blow for days. It is here, high amidst a former lead mining district, is where one arm of the Tyne begins, some 40 miles before it joins the main river.