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*, bike hire, cycle routes* and horse riding trails*, all levels of fitness and ability are catered for. Cycle hire is available on site - www.woodnwheels.org.uk
**free maps of all our trails are available from either the cafe, information point or the bike hire shop. 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 £45.00 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 Forest Cafe and courtyard.
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 (£45)
Please note our Pay and Display machines only take coins and can't give change. We currently have one machine that takes card payments-this is located next to the washrooms in the main car park. You can also pay for parking at the café (and also at our info point, though this is only staffed at limited times)
- VAQAS VB Attraction
- Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2017
- Regional and Miscellaneous TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016
- Certificate of Excellence 2018
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good101
- simonleeds13Leeds, United KingdomTrip Type:Family£6 parking!Friday, 2nd November 2018Beautiful setting and great walk with the contrasting colours and crisp air. We did the gruffalo trail with our nine month old and managed easily with a pram on the walk. Lots of activities to do to... Read full review
- Peter JTrip Type:CouplesNovember walkSunday, 4th November 2018My partner and I visited today for the first time in around 18 months. We love the place usually but today that all changed. We took the dog on the long orange walk of 4.5 miles and enjoyed at least... Read full review
- yettiwalksTrip Type:Friends getawayGun shots all day long.Saturday, 24th November 2018A beautiful place with stunning woodland walks.Unfortunaly the sound of gun fire from the shoots ruined our time hear,trying to relax and enjoy the surroundings was impossible when we knew such cruel... 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)
|Season (1 Oct 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)|
|Monday - Sunday||08:00||- 17:00|
|Bank Holiday||08:00||- 17:00|
|Season (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)|
|Monday - Sunday||09:00||- 17:00|
* Opening Dawn to dusk. Forest drive 9:00 - 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