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 £47.00 per annum, £49.00 as of 1 April 2019.
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 (£47), £49 as of 1 April 2019.
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 Good102
- oliveh10London, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyGreat for easy walkWednesday, 20th February 2019If your idea of a decent walk is a well-defined trail with no map needed then this is for you. We chose the shortest circular route (2.5 miles) and it was lovely. We soon left the crowds at the... Read full review
- morsonphotographyStockton-on-Tees, United KingdomTrip Type:Friends getawayPerfect for all ages and abilityTuesday, 19th March 2019Stunning well kept Forrest with so much to do for everyone any age and an amazing place to visit all year round Read full review
- HelenS9988Sunderland, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyConfusingThursday, 21st March 2019Visited last weekend (for the first time) with the intention of taking a nice long walk. We chose the longest trail, the organ he trail which was 4.5 miles, only to find that it stopped after 2... 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