Hamsterley Forest is a delightful 2000 hectare oasis, sprawling along the sides of a sheltered valley. Visitors to Hamsterley have no shortage of options when it comes to forest adventure or a tranquil getaway from the hustles of modern living. Go on, explore!
Hamsterley Forest is one of Durham's most popular visitor destinations. To ensure that this continues, the Forestry Commission has commissioned a report from independent consultants on the status and potential of Hamsterley Forest for visitors. Read more.
6 amazing forests in 6 breath-taking locations. Chopwell, Gisburn, Grizedale, Hamsterley, Kielder, Whinlatter are the Super 6! Grab your bike and discover our exhilarating trails!
Stickman is coming in December!
From Saturday 12 December, Stickman will be needing your help to return to the family tree. A brand new Stickman activity trail will be launched which will be on site until next summer. Activity packs cost £3 and will be available from the cafe and information point on weekends and school holidays until Easter, then daily after that date. The current Superworm trail will continue to run until Sunday 29 November (packs cost £3.50).
The information point, where you can pick up maps and leaflets, is open 9am-5pm daily (4pm Nov-Feb inclusive). The cafe will be open weekends (11am-4pm) from November to Easter, then daily from this date to end of October. Wood n Wheels cycle hire is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday (10am-5pm), and also daily during school holidays.
The walking trails will take you right into the heart of the forest for some spectacular wildlife watching opportunities. Early morning walkers may spot roe deer feeding, adders basking on rocks or even salmon leaping upstream on the beck.
Hamsterley is one of the top destinations for mountain biking in Northern England. Hone your skills on our training loop before exploring the wide network of trails, from blue grade right up to extreme downhill trails at Descend Hamsterley. Bikes available to hire from Hamsterley Forest Cycle Centre.
Calling all young adventurers!
Climb, swing, crawl, balance through the adventure play area before setting off on a real adventure in the wilds of the forest. Explore secluded dells, build a forest hideaway or beachcomb.....in a forest! Come and have a go on our brand new activity trail and practice your own version of forest 'free-running'! Can you get from one end of the trail to the other without your feet touching the ground?
Miles of waymarked horse riding trails through the high forest
Check out what's happening at Hamsterley using our calendar of events in the forest over the coming months.
Food and drink
After all that exercise in the fresh air, why not sample some of Hamsterley Forest Cafe's famous cakes? Open from 10am to 5pm daily throughout the summer season (14 March- 30 September), the cafe serves soup, hot and cold sandwiches, and a range of drinks and home-baked cakes. Winter opening: October daily 11am to 4pm (5pm at weekends); November to February weekends only (plus daily between Christmas & New Year and February school half term week).
Hamsterley Forest has been awarded a CLOtC Site Provider Award. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) is the national voice for learning outside the classroom. This award recognises organisations which actively welcome schools onto their site/s for self-led visits and ensure that the sites and any other services provided meet the needs of schools.
Led sessions for schools and other groups are also available to be booked with our learning partner OASES.
What do other visitors say?
4 StarsHayley , 19/Oct/2015
We just had a lovely day with the family. Our children had a great time running, climbing exploring the forest. We also took our dog who had a great time too. The superworm trail was fun & the children loved it!
Bought a walking stick from there at a very nice price also spoke to the gentleman who makes them, they alll look very nice, i do recommend people looking for one to use or just to show to have a look in the cafeteria where they are placed.
Hi I was wondering if you are doin a Santa this year