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Hamsterley Forest

Bishop Auckland
County Durham
DL13 3NL

Tel: +44 01388 488312

Add Hamsterley Forest to your Itinerary

Hamsterley Forest

Guide Prices

Forest Drive Toll Per Car £6 (£10 Bank Holidays from Easter to 31 August). £10 per mini bus. £15 per coach. Annual Discovery Pass available.


  • VAQAS VB Attraction
VAQAS VB Attraction


  • Visit EnglandQuality Assured Visitor Attraction Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2014
  • Regional and MiscellaneousTripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016


  • Certificate of Excellence 2016

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Average
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  • Terrible

Recent Reviews:

  • marrdc
    Trip Type:
    Great day out
    5 of 5 stars
    Monday, 22nd May 2017
    Spent the day at the Forest while in the areas. Good trails for walking and cycling. Although we had no children with us the play area is probably the best I have seen. Read full review
  • emibeth23
    Dover, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Fantastic day out
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 10th May 2017
    We decided to visit Hamsterley Forest on a whim today as we are staying at Barnard Castle. What a surprise!! I wish we had had the entire day free to explore. It has plenty of parking, really good... Read full review
  • NewcastleLucky
    Darlington, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Needs better organisation on a busy Bank Holiday.
    3 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 2nd May 2017
    It is a lovely forest with great walks, cycling, play areas, picnic areas etc. We visited on Bank Holiday Monday on the way back from a weekend away, and were shocked at how busy it was, but it just... Read full review



  • Access Statement - Please see below

Parking & Transport

  • Parking (charge) - £6 to park all day, £10 on all bank holiday weekends from Easter to August inclusive

Provider Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted - also allowed in cafe. (stick & flick policy on dog waste)

Access Information

Opening Times

2017 (1 Oct 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)
Monday - Sunday08:00 - 17:00
Bank Holiday08:00 - 17:00

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Nearest major road is A68. Follow brown 'Hamsterley Forest' signs from A68 north of Bishop Auckland.

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Hamsterley Forest Orange Walk, Hamsterley ForestA route around the Bedburn valley giving elevated views over the forest and showing varied habitats of mixed woodland.

Sunday, 10th September 2017 - Sunday, 10th September 2017

Seasonal Wild FoodJoin experienced forager Bruce Ferguson from Wild North Discovery on an exploration of the wild food that comes into season in the autumn. This is the time of year to gather nuts, collect and process wild fruits, harvest wild roots and enjoy the flavours and textures of our wild growing mushrooms...
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Cycling at Hamsterley Forest , Hamsterley ForestHamsterley Forest is one of the Northeast’s premier mountain bike destinations, with over 2000 hectares of forest to explore on 33 miles of waymarked trails and countless more miles of seldom travelled forest road Hamsterley Forest has something for cyclists of all-abilities.

Walking at Hamsterley Forest , Hamsterley ForestWhen you walk around Hamsterley Forest you are walking through a former agricultural and shooting estate. Three walks start from the notice board in the Bedburn car park opposite the cycle hire and two further walks start along the valley from Grove and Blackling Hole car parks.

Hamsterley ForestHorse Riding at Hamsterley Forest , Hamsterley ForestEnjoy miles of waymarked horse-riding routes that let you explore the heart of this beautiful forest. Please note, dedicated horse box parking is located in the Grove car park, 2 miles along the Forest Drive from the Bedburn entrance.

Gruffalo Spotters Trails at Hamsterley Forest , Hamsterley ForestBring the Gruffalo and other characters to life with our brand new Gruffalo Spotters trail and exciting augmented reality app. Download The Gruffalo Spotter app at home, then visit Hamsterley Forest.

Saturday, 22nd July 2017 - Saturday, 22nd July 2017

Hamsterley Forest - The Boy Who Grew WingsA magical woodland adventure, Hamsterley Forest is brought to life with aerial acrobats flying through the air as the story unfolds. Mythical creatures which are part bird, part human tell a story of how they can soar to great heights while remaining connected to what matters most to us here on...
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Friday, 24th February 2017 - Sunday, 31st December 2017

Gruffalo Spotting at Hamsterley Forest The wait is over… we’re very excited to invite you to the forest to become a Gruffalo Spotter! Follow clues and search for signs along our new interactive trail — using The Gruffalo Spotter app #GruffaloSpotters
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Saturday, 3rd June 2017 - Saturday, 3rd June 2017

Hamsterley Forest - Family Bushcraft SleepoverSet up a tarp shelter, light a fire, cook a meal and sleep out in the wild woods! The activity leader, Bruce Ferguson, is qualified through the Institute for Outdoor Learning to teach bushcrafts to groups and has been involved in bushcrafts and teaching woodland skills for over 30 years....
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Wednesday, 31st May 2017 - Wednesday, 31st May 2017

Monday, 14th August 2017 - Monday, 14th August 2017

Hamsterley Forest - Youth Wilderness Survival ChallengeYour light aircraft has crash landed in dense forest hundreds of miles from civilisation. It is bitterly cold and wet and there are grizzly bears in the forest; you need fire and shelter to get you through till the rescue teams arrive. How will you survive? You scavenge in the wreckage and find one...
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Saturday, 2nd September 2017 - Saturday, 2nd September 2017

Night SafariHunt for the illusive night life of the forest including bats, owls and creepy crawlies of all descriptions. Join professional naturalist, Bruce Ferguson of Wild North Discovery, on a night time expedition in search of some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the forest. In particular we’ll use a...
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Saturday, 5th August 2017 - Saturday, 5th August 2017

Monday, 28th August 2017 - Monday, 28th August 2017

Sunday, 29th October 2017 - Sunday, 29th October 2017

Hamsterley Forest - Family BushcraftsBuild a shelter, light a fire, cook a meal and make something to take away. You’ll need to build a shelter, your own den in the woods. You’re going to eat so you’ll build and light your own camp fire (but no matches!). You’ll cook your food and then sitting round the fire you can have a go at...
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Sunday, 18th June 2017 - Sunday, 18th June 2017

Sunday, 15th October 2017 - Sunday, 15th October 2017

Hamsterley Forest - Wilderness Survival Skills - BushcraftAn introduction to the basics for survival with a top northern bushcraft teacher: shelter, fire, food and water. Learn how to build an emergency shelter using the natural materials you find around you.
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Sunday, 27th August 2017 - Sunday, 27th August 2017

Hamsterley Forest - Wilderness Survival Skills - Fire LightingCentral to survival fire lighting is one of the oldest skills known to mankind; fire warms, dries, makes water safe, cooks food, lifts morale. Learn several different ways to generate a flame without using matches including with flint and steel. Find out about collecting, preparing and using a...
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Friday, 9th June 2017 - Saturday, 10th June 2017

Hamsterley Forest Music Festival 201712 hours of live music, amazing entertainment, scrumptious Street Food, Rocket Town Brewery.
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Sunday, 2nd July 2017 - Sunday, 2nd July 2017

Hamsterley Forest MarathonA 4 lap (marathon) or 2 lap (half) beautiful route run entirely in Hamsterley Forest. Quite hilly but suitable for road shoes. Organisation and booking is through the North East Marathon Club. Meet at the Grove Car Park No dogs
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