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Explore Chopwell Woodland Park
(Average user rating: 2 unrated 2/5)

Chopwell Wood really is a wood for everyone. This 360-hectare mixed woodland is a real gem, set right on the fringe of Gateshead. Miles of paths allow fantastic access, walking and cycling into the heart of this fascinating woodland. 

More recently Chopwell Wood has been recognised as a PAWS (Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site). This means it was an ancient forest but in more recent times it has been planted with modern timber crops. Most of the ancient trees, predominantly oak, were felled in the 17th and 18th century for ship and bridge building. The remnants of these still survive on the steep crags above the river Derwent. Today, areas of conifer are being removed to help the wood return one day to it's original cover of native trees.

You can now download the Chopwell walking leaflet.

Ride the Super 6

Super6webgraphic6 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!

You can walk for miles!

No two parts of this varied woodland are the same and spectacular views of the River Derwent and North Pennines await discovery.

Go for a spin on your bike

Just the right size for an evening ride or a quick warm-up for some of the region's other mountain bike hot spots at Hamsterley Forest and Kielder Water and Forest Park.

Horse riding

Horse riders are welcome in the forest.

Upcoming events

Find out what's on in Chopwell Wood.

Friends of Chopwell Wood

The Friends are a local charity that help look after the wood, raising money and lending practical support to complete recreation, conservation and educational projects. The group celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2012. To find out more about the work they do, events that are on and how you can help the group visit their website or call Liz Searle on 01207 542495.

What do other visitors say?

Super walk in the woods today. Saw deer, red kites, mistle thrush and newts! However, signage is totally confusing. I was using a leaflet produced by "Friends of Chopwell Woods" which had various routes colour coded yet on the ground signage was missing or confusing. There also seems to be two sets of signs with the same colours (red and blue) but that are totally unrelated. It seems that two organisations are putting up different signage using the same colours for different routes.

I don't have a dog, but, as the previous user said, there should be some dog bins and notices to encourage dog owners to pick up mess.

I live near the woods and know them pretty well but for visitors from further afield, I can imagine that they could become very frustrated with the difficulty of planning and following suitable walks and won't come again.

Bernie, 25/Jan/2016
1 Star 1 Star

Been to Chopwell Wood today and leaving at dusk after showing Our 3 yr old the Christmas lights. Exit is clearly marked and stating one way rather than usual exit almost at end and logging truck coming towards us. Forced both me and Dad in his car to reverse about 400m down road to turn, watched me take wrong track back in dark then blocked our exit again. Was furious and scared lost in woods in dark with a 3 yr old in one car and a 3 month old baby in the other. Apparently this route is only for weekend and gate should have been closed!! Hoping this can be addressed as loggers seemed so un caring especially as we had young kids in the cars.

Amanda Hay, 8/Dec/2015

So sorry you had this unfortunate experience. The barrier should normally be locked and the signs covered, but after the high winds at the weekend, the signs had been uncovered. Immediately after the incident, the signs were taken down and timber hauliers reminded to keep the barrier locked at all times. Apologies again for the distress this caused your family.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Lovely woods however the trails signposting is virtually non-existent!

We wanted to follow the trails but couldn't find many signs at all.

Anonymous, 19/Oct/2015
More user comments

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Last updated: 26th January 2016

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What's Here?

  • Arts
  • Horse riding
  • Information
  • Picnic
  • Running
  • Viewpoint
  • Cycling
  • Two blue grade trails and one red grade (the 'Powerline') all start in the main car park.
  • Dogs
  • There are no dog bins provided in the wood. Please take all bagged dog waste home with you or flick unbagged waste off the paths and into the undergrowth. Don't give your dog a bad name!
  • Easy Access
  • A short easy-going trail loops round the woodland to the south of the car park. Many forest roads are also accessible by wheelchair with assistance.
  • Educational
  • A short easy-going trail loops round the woodland to the south of the car park. Many forest roads are also accessible by wheelchair with assistance.
  • Prehistoric
  • A number of sites relating to the industrial heritage of the area are located within the wood, including colliery works and old railway line.
  • Orienteering
  • A permanent orienteering course aimed at school groups and beginners with accompanying map is available. Maps can be ordered from Liz Searle, Friends of Chopwell Wood, by calling 01207 542495.
  • Parking
  • Parking is in the main car park, accessed by single track road from Hookergate, High Spen.
  • Walking
  • Four waymarked walking trails start from the main car park
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NZ137586
Postcode: NE39 1LT

Get directions


Hamsterley Forest

01388 488312

Opening & Parking

Parking is in the main car park, accessed by single track road from Hookergate, High Spen.

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified