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Hamsterley Forest Access Statement

Couple sitting on bench


Parking for vehicles is in a number of grass or stone surfaced car parks along the forest drive. Blue badge priority car parking is available on a tarmac surface alongside the main toilet block and in the small car park next to the cafe courtyard. The route from the toilet block to the information point and café is along a tarmac access road with a short incline.

All cars (including blue badge holders) are charged to access the forest and it’s facilities. Payment can be made either at the car park toll machine (no change given) or at the information point or cafe when open. There is no charge for visitors on foot.


Located adjacent to blue-badge parking spaces, the toilet male and female toilets are accessed via two steps (no handrail). The disabled toilet has level access. The interior is fully accessible and also contains an adult change table. Baby change tables can be found in both male and female toilets as well as in a separate change room.

Information Point

The information point is open 9am-5pm daily. It is staffed at weekends during the season and at other times is unmanned. Access to the information point is via a wooden decked ramp (with a handrail) and through an 700mm wide un-powered door (there is a second door which can also be opened to create a 1400mm wide entrance). The information point counter does not currently have an induction loop.


Two forest classrooms are available to groups for a small charge through a booking system administered by the recreation ranger (01388 488312). Access to the Pine Room is by a short concrete ramp and through an 800mm wide door. The second room, Oak Room, is accessed directly off the wooden access ramp to the information point through an 850mm wide door. A mixture of chairs with and without arms is provided, although the classroom can be cleared at the request of users. An induction loop is currently not provided. 

Hamsterley Forest Cafe

The café is located next door to the information point. Access is via a wooden decked ramp with handrail and through two 950mm wide doors. Chairs are wooden backed with no arms. Menu details are written on blackboards at the serving counter. Waitress service is available if requested. There is a fully accessible toilet with baby change facilities to the rear of the cafe. T: 01388 488822

Wood n Wheels Cycle Hire

The cycle hire is currently housed in portacabins opposite the toilet block. Access is via two steps and is not suitable for access by wheelchairs. T: 01388 488222

Play Trail

Play facilities are spread along a 2.5m wide trail on a loop between the visitor centre and the Gruffalo Bridge. The main play area is accessed via the Riverside Trail (see below). Wide ramps enable access onto the central platform of the multi-play feature. An activity trail encompassing chain walks, balance beams and logs is provided, as is a basket swing that has the capacity to hold two people.

Additional Information

Assistance dogs are welcome on site, including in the café and information point. Mobile phone coverage is poor throughout the forest. A pay phone is situated outside the Visitor Centre courtyard.


Access information about individual walking trails (under 'What's here' heading on each trail page), cycling trails and horse riding trails as well as the Forest Drive.

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OS Grid ref: NZ091312
Postcode: DL13 3NL

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Hamsterley Forest

01388 488312
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.