Harvesting Operations will be live from monday 14th November until 10th May 2023. Areas affected will be Red MTB route Sams Loop and Pennington Horse Trail. Additional diversions may be needed. Full up to date diversions are posted on our facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/HamsterleyForest/
Visitor information
Opening hours
How to find us
Parking & prices
Facilities & access
Contact details

Opening hours

The Cafe is open for sit in dining and takeaway daily, 10.30am - 3.30pm weekdays and 9am - 4pm at weekends.

Forest Drive is open at weekends, April to October, 9am to 5pm.


Opening hours Dawn to dusk
Forest Drive 9am - 4pm
Opening hours Dawn to dusk
Forest Drive 9am - 4pm
Opening hours Dawn to dusk
Forest Drive 9am - 4pm
Opening hours Dawn to dusk
Forest Drive 9am - 4pm
Opening hours Dawn to dusk
Forest Drive 9am - 4pm


Opening hours Dawn to dusk
Forest Drive 9am - 5pm
Opening hours Dawn to dusk
Forest Drive 9am - 5pm

How to find us

How to find us
Bedburn, Hamsterley
Sat Nav Postcode: DL13 3NL
By Car

Follow signs from the A68, north of West Auckland.  

By Public Transport

There aren't any public transport links in to Hamsterley Forest.

OS Grid Ref

54.6747146, -1.8230975

Parking and prices

Hamsterley Forest has introduced a new ticket-less parking system which uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), read the Frequently Asked Questions.

You can now pay for parking with card, cash or by phone app.

How do you pay by phone?

If you'd prefer not to visit a pay station or forget your payment card, you can now pay using your smart phone and the ‘Glide’ parking payment app (available to download on Google Play and Apple Store).

Forgotten to pay?

You can now pay off-site up to midnight on the day of your visit with the ‘Glide’ parking payment app for smart phones.

Overnight parking is not permitted.

Parking Charges

The money you pay for parking helps us to look after the forests. Read how
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

Additional information

Number of accessible parking spaces: 4

Facilities and access

Our Cafe is open for sit in dining and takeaway every day.


Visit England We're Good to Go green tick

For more information on planning your visit, take a look at our accessibility information:

Accessible toilet
Assistant dogs welcome
Baby changing facilities
Dogs allowed
Easy access trail
Picnic area
Play Area

Contact details

Discover our picturesque woodlands which sprawl along the sides of a stunning sheltered valley

Escape the hustle and bustle of the everyday at County Durham’s largest forest. 

From wildlife watching to stargazing, and adventure play for all the family to exhilarating mountain biking, there is something to keep everyone busy.

If you fancy a peaceful wander through the trees, Hamsterley’s extensive network of trails and paths provides the perfect opportunity for you to explore the heart of the forest.

A spring view of some trees on the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

Wellbeing Trail

Spending time amongst the trees and really noticing nature is scientifically proven to boost our mental and physical health. Take some time for you and try our new wellbeing trail at Hamsterley Forest, a mindful walk through the forest that invites you to really relax.

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.

Explore over 2,000 hectares of forest along 33 miles of way-marked trails and countless more miles of seldom travelled forest road.

If you venture into the deep dark wood you may bump into the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's Child plus other characters from Julia Donaldson's fantastic story. 

Each wooden sculpture has been carved in a different position - can you find them all?

Post your Gruffalo photos on our Facebook page  - we'd love to see them.

The forest has two horse riding trails which start and finish in the Grove Car Park (two miles along the Forest Drive). Here there is a mounting block, tether post and ample space for parking a horse box or trailer.

Both trails are on forest road and offer the opportunity to explore deep into the quieter areas of the forest. Once you get to know the forest, set off and explore the miles of forest road and trails that are not way-marked.

parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

These events take place in pleasant forest surroundings and people of every ability are encouraged to take part. From those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; everyone is welcome.

The Hamsterley Forest parkrun takes place in our picturesque woodlands which sprawl along the sides of a stunning sheltered valley. 

Register online with parkrun to find out more about the course and get your barcode. 

Looking for a parkrun in a different place?

Find a different parkrun.

Nearby forests

Chopwell Wood bench under trees

Chopwell Wood really is a wood for everyone. This 360-hectare mixed woodland is a real gem, set right on the fringe of Gateshead.

Close up of spruce tree trunk

Overlooking Derwent Reservoir, Slaley Forest is home to a selection of forest roads which give you access to the forest.

Open all year, come rain or shine, the forest is a great location for a leisurely woodland walk or bike ride.  


Kielder Water and Forest Park

Although it's England's largest forest, Kielder is not just about trees. At any one time, a quarter of the area of Kielder is open space, including England’s largest area of blanket bog. Kielder is also England’s most important red squirrel reserve, home to the biggest remaining population of red squirrels in the country.

Guisborough Forest

Discover the most breathtaking views as you take a walk through stunning natural scenery at Guisborough Forest.

Nestled between Teesside and the North York Moors, Guisborough Forest is home to a trim trail, a cycling trail, play areas and superb walking trails for relaxing, connecting to nature and getting lost in the trees. 

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