Tel: +44 01388 488312
Hamsterley Forest is a delightful 5,000-acre oasis, sprawling along the sides of a sheltered valley adjacent to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and home to walking, cycling, running, wellbeing and play trails to suit all ages and abilities to enjoy a full day in the forest.
Regular visitor? Why not sign up for an annual membership for just £49 and enjoy free parking for a full year?
Walking - Follow the forest’s four beautiful trails right into the heart of the forest for some spectacular wildlife watching opportunities, passing through oak woodlands, forest sculptures and near picturesque waterfalls. Early morning walkers may spot roe deer feeding, adders basking on rocks or even salmon leaping upstream on the beck.
A highlight throughout the year is the Riverside Walk, perfect for an hour’s stroll passing meadows vibrant in colour and texture through the Summer, peaceful and quiet in the winter with early morning frost covering the fields.
Mountain biking - Whether you've just bought your first bike, or you're looking for your next adrenaline fix shredding through rock gardens, Hamsterley Forest offers a fantastic opportunity for natural cycling.
Alongside various events (including Hammsers8 and Hammers TT), the forest is also home to Danny Hart’s Descend Bike Park, the only dedicated downhill and 4x park in the North East.
Running - Hamsterley Forest offers opportunity for all runners. Choose from a number of waymarked running routes ranging from 1km to 7km and explore this stunning forest.
The network of marked trails makes running through the forest more accessible, helping you gain the confidence to hit the trails and enjoy all the benefits of being active outdoors.
Lace up your trainers and explore on a solo run or sign up for one of our regular running events with our dedicated fitness coach to larger-scale events including Forest Runner (5km and 10km race), a winter trail race and of course our weekly parkrun.
Wellbeing - Spending time amongst trees and taking time to get back to nature is scientifically proven to boost mental and physical health. Take some time for yourself and explore our wellbeing trail, a mindful walk through the forest that invites you to truly relax.
Panels along the trail prompt you to stop, notice and connect with the wellbeing benefits of the forest environment. With unrivalled areas to explore the senses it really is a time out from the rest of the forest and our busy lives.
Viking Wildplay trail - Set along a pushchair friendly path straddling both sides of the bubbling Bedburn Beck, our 1km family-friendly trail provides a bucketful of opportunities to play in mature woodland as well as the integrated equipment.
All the ingredients for a day of adventure are here – from forts and boats to mud and water and sticks-a-plenty to build that perfect den.
Gruffalo sculptures - The ever-popular Gruffalo trail is one not to miss – venture into the deep dark wood to discover the Gruffalo, Gruffalo’s child and other characters from the magical world of Julia Donaldson. Can you find all the wooden sculptures during your visit?
Weekdays and weekends in off peak times: Up to 1 hour - £2.00, All day - £7
Peak - Bank holiday weekends: Peak - £10.00
Coaches/Minibuses charges: Minibuses - £12.00, Coaches - £18.00
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 2021
- Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2017
- Regional and Miscellaneous TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Travelers Choice 2022
- Very Good123
- E5657KSlaurasTrip Type:FamilySpurlwood walk waterfall not greatThursday, 1st June 2023I wouldn't recommend the Spurlswood walk for seeing the waterfall as this was highly disappointing. The waterfall is not worth that walk and also not signposted. We actually missed it and had to... Read full review
- S5745EYjulierNorthumberland, United KingdomTrip Type:CouplesK LINE IS AWESOMESunday, 4th June 2023My other half said do you fancy going for a forest cycle ride . Little did I know he had the K line, Transmission and Accelerator routes in mind . Considering I haven’t been on a bike for 12 years... Read full review
- Fairynuff1Lovely forest spoilt by Middle aged men in LycraTuesday, 6th June 2023Lovely forest. Many complain about parking charges I have no issue as it's maintaining this woodland. However something needs to be done about the mountain bikers that won't slow down. Yes they want... Read full review
- Access Statement - Please see below
Parking & Transport
- Parking (charge) - Weekdays and weekends in off peak times: Up to 1 hour £2.00, All day £7.00 Peak - Bank holiday weekends: Peak £10.00 Coaches/Minibuses charges: Minibuses - £12.00, Coaches £18.00 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)
- Dogs Accepted
|2023 (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)|
* Forest open all year round (24 hours a day) for access on foot or by bicycle. Main Bedburn car park is open 24 hours a day. Forest Drive and associated car parks are open 9am-4pm (weekends Apr-Oct, 9am-5pm). No overnight parking.
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