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Hamsterley Forest Drive
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.7/5)

Length of trail:

4 miles

Trail is currently open

Opening times - 1 April to 30 September, 8am to 8pm and 1 October to 31 March, 8am to 5pm

Ducks crossing  the forest driveThe Forest Drive is a spectacular 4 mile (6 km) route that winds its way up Bedburn Valley following the energetic streams that tumble off the North Pennines.

There are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way to explore the forest or to have a picnic. The Forest Drive starts at the visitor centre and ends at Blackling Hole Car Park. Cars can either exit the forest at this point or retrace their journey back to the visitor centre. Please note that the Forest Drive is only tarmac for approximately half of its length.

The remaining two miles from just beyond the Grove Car Park to Blackling Hole is on unsealed forest road. The drive for its entire length is not gritted in winter and may be closed in adverse weather. The Forest Drive is a toll road, for which tickets can be purchased on entry to the forest, at the visitor centre and the Grove (ticket is also valid for all car parks).

A Hamsterley Discovery Pass is available to purchase from the visitor centre which allows unlimited free access to Hamsterley car parks and forest drive for twelve months.

What do other visitors say?

4 Stars 4 Stars

Beautiful scenery and an enjoyable visit, although bit of a hike for the old mobility scooter (battery was on it's final voltage). Tea rooms nice and airy little over priced but hey ho all the same.

Edwin Clark, 17/Apr/2014
4 Stars 4 Stars

As an outdoor attraction with plentiful activities Hamsterley Forest is excellent. 5 stars will be achieved by a friendly welcoming smile in the tea-rooms at 4:15pm rather than 2 frowns making it obvious that your visit is unwelcome so close to closing time (5pm). and ■3 for an egg sandwich (filled roll) really !!! Just a tad over the top.

Norman, 25/Sep/2012
3 Stars 3 Stars

A lovely drive with some nice parking places (5 stars for this) but poor access to tea room for disabled visitors as long very steep steps or long walk to get there - some disabled parking needed!! Also, disabled space at toilets was almost the furthest bay from the toilet - strange planning!! Finally, accessible toilets are always at a premium anyway but to leave them unlocked so anyone can use them is poor planning especially when the whole drive and parking area only seems to have one accessible toilet. Radar keys are easily available to the disabled and accessible toilets should be locked to make them available to us more when we need them as we don't have the options the able bodied have!.

Norman Grieve, 25/Apr/2011

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What's Here?

  • Picnic
  • Arts
  • The Green man sculpture can be viewed from the Forest Drive. Park in Low Redford car park
  • Forest drive
  • The toll charge covers car parking and access to the Forest Drive. Current charges are 3 per car (5 Bank Holiday weekends), 8 minibus, 12 coach
  • Parking
  • Numerous grass surfaced car parks are dotted along the first two miles of the Forest Drive.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NZ092312
Postcode: DL13 3NL

Get directions


Hamsterley Forest

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