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, 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 £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 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 £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 Good112
- BrianG_325Stockport, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyGreat for kids and adultsMonday, 9th September 2019Visited twice in the space of 3 days with two sets of grandchildren Great walks to be had and plenty to keep the children entertained- excellent play areas dotted throughout the trail Read full review
- RavellingBillingham, United KingdomNice walks. Take a picnic!Wednesday, 18th September 2019We walked with our dog, mid-week, during term time so it was fairly quiet. The trails are well-maintained, but shared in places by people, bikes and dogs. Unfortunately, some cyclists aren't good... Read full review
- DavzzpPreston, United KingdomTrip Type:CouplesGreat morning walkThursday, 10th October 2019We came here with the dog early morning for a good walk. We did the orange walking route we thoroughly enjoyed it took us 1hr 45 some fantastic scenery and a very relaxing walk. We stopped off at the... 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 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