2000 hectares of mixed scenic woodland lying between the Wear and Tees valleys on the edge of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hamsterley is a delightful oasis of broadleaved and coniferous woodland, sprawling along the sides of a sheltered valley. Visitors to Hamsterley have no shortage of options when it comes to activities. With waymarked walks*, cycle routes* and horse riding trails*, all levels of fitness and ability are catered for.
**free maps of all our trails are available from either the cafe or information point. You can also find free downloadable maps from our website www.forestry.gov.uk/hamsterleyforest
There is also a forest play park which is open all year round with a new area of Viking Themed play equipment aimed at the kids, as well as a Gruffalo Spotters trail . A Discovery Pass is available to buy which gives free parking all year round plus other benefits for only £49.00 per annum.
Horse Riding is welcomed in the forest and some quieter routes away from the main recreational hub can be found.
Hamsterley Forest is a big magnet for mountain bikers with a number of fantastic sections of exhilarating single track. Families are also well catered for with a multi-user trail along the tranquil Bedburn Beck with exciting play areas to keep the children active and occupied for hours! Relax at the end of your visit with some homemade cake at the Hamsterley Cafe and Ice Cream Kiosk.
For the extreme end of mountain biking Danny Harts Descend Hamsterley has a number of orange graded downhill trails. Go to the latest info on the only North of England Downhil Centre at https://www.descendbikepark.com/
Please note, we have no (or very limited) phone coverage anywhere in the forest
Forest Drive Toll Per Car £6 (£10 Bank Holidays from Easter to 31 August). £12 per mini bus. £18 per coach. Annual Discovery Pass available £49
We now have a new pay on exit system in place. Number plate cameras will record your entry, just input your car registration at a pay station just before you leave and pay. All our pay stations accept card payment ONLY (except the one next to the Café which takes both cash and cards)
- VAQAS VB Attraction
- Visit England VAQAS 2019
- Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2017
- Regional and Miscellaneous TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good115
- fairynuff4313newcastleTrip Type:CouplesWalks need marking out watch out for bikersSunday, 2nd August 2020The road was blocked on route better signage would help. Some of the walks are poorly marked. We enjoyed the day however it would be so much better if bike trails were separate to walking trails... Read full review
- samueljames2801Did the Gruffalo trail and loved it! - perfect for prams, buggies and wheelchairs.Sunday, 2nd August 2020They looks like there is LOTS to do here, however this review is just for one small part. We went to do the Gruffalo trail and loved it! The blue walking route is 3km long and is packed with... Read full review
- northern_family_manSunderland, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyGreat place to go so "kids can be kids" again!Friday, 7th August 2020We decided to come here for a family visit in early August, we came in two separate cars and had 4 children with us aged 5 to 9yrs and everybody had a great time! We arrived around 12pm and managed... 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
- Dogs Accepted - also allowed in cafe. (stick & flick policy on dog waste)
|Cafe (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)|
|Monday - Thursday||11:00||- 15:00|
|Saturday - Sunday||09:00||- 17:00|
|Bank Holiday||09:00||- 17:00|
Map & Directions
Nearest major road is A68. Follow brown 'Hamsterley Forest' signs from A68 north of Bishop Auckland.
Public Transport Directions
Unfortunately, there is no public transport available to the forest