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.
We've teamed up with the Gruffalo to help celebrate his 15th birthday. Sign up to find out more about our celebrations which includes a visit from the Gruffalo on Sat 16 August.
The information point, where you can pick up maps and leaflets, is open 9am-5pm daily. The cafe will be open daily (10am-5pm) until the end of October, then weekends only during the winter. Wood n Wheels cycle hire is open daily until the first weekend in September (10am-5pm).
Had a fantastic time in the forest recently? Upload your photos of your day out for a chance to win a Durham VIP Pass!
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.
Sky Rainforest Rescue trail
Try the Sky Rainforest Rescue Discovery Trail and learn more about the rainforest and how you can help protect it. Look out for the jaguar and listen to the sounds of the rainforest along the way.
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.
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!
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 season (Apr-Sept), the cafe serves soup, hot and cold sandwiches, and a range of drinks and home-baked cakes. The cafe is open 11am to 4pm daily in October and at weekends throughout the rest of the year plus Boxing Day and New Year's Day.