3 Stars 3 Stars

I came today for first time and love the place but must say the cycle routes are very poorly signed and I honestly got list a couple of times and unaware of what colour route I was on or which way to turn next and this really did put a dampner on whole experience and after asking people the way a few times I know I am not the only one who feels this way . I'm sure you put a lot of effort into looking after forest and this is something that would not cost agreat deal to correct and would really make it so much easier and enjoyable I hope you take these comments on board and please try to do something about it as I know it would be greatly appreciated by myself and I'm sure many others .

Mark, 13/Apr/2014
1 Star 1 Star

the callendar is absolutely useless no mention of Northern downhills event on Sunday.. we went a long way only to have to turn around as Transmission was OOb's get your calendar sorted!! oh and the cafe was closed sso mum couldn't get her cake?

Dave Whisler, 31/Mar/2014

Sorry the closure of this trail section affected your day out in the forest. Yes, this event was not on the calendar and we will make sure events that affect the trails are put on in future - please also read 'latest news' which features trail closures. The cafe was open serving takeaways only and cakes were available for mums!

Forestry Commission Response

Some 40 years ago my great aunt Caroline Greenwell arranged with Mr Walton, the warder at the time, for me and my brother to be able to fish on the Spurlswood between Blackling hole and the bridge downstream of Greenless hole. I realised at the time how lucky I was to be able to fish the beck. At the age of 53 I would really like the chance to revisit the stream and fish it again. Are there any plans to permit catch and release angling for the wild brown trout in the streams running through the forest in the near future? I presume by the lack of publicity and the fact that I have seen so few anglers in the forest that day tickets are not available at present. I would be grateful for a response

Paul Tyreman, 12/Mar/2014

Fishing is not permitted on the streams in the forest for conservation reasons. The becks are one of the best spawning grounds for salmon in the North of England.

Forestry Commission Response

Camping areas would make the forest a better place to visit with the kids

Gareth, 9/Mar/2014

Hi, I walk every day in the forest and believe there are other walks that could give visitors a great experience but if they don't know they will not be able to access them. Is there anyone who looks at new trails?

Lynne Bainbridge, 21/Feb/2014

Waymarked trails are designed to provide an introduction to the forest for those who are not familiar with the geography of the area. Once confidence is there that you won't get lost, regular visitors on foot are free to explore anywhere in the forest that takes their fancy.

Forestry Commission Response

I have not been here yet so can you tell me Are dogs allowed ? And is there any camping ? Or anywhere to overnight stay ? Thanks

Paris, 11/Feb/2014

Dogs are welcome as long as they under control (not necessarily on a lead). Unfortunately, there is no camping allowed within the forest.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Walk in the forest at least twice a week. Beautiful location and many varied walks long and short. One major complaint though. Why the lack of seats/benches? Off the top of my head I can only think of 4 or 5 in the whole of the 5000 acres. Spoils a good long walk if there is nowhere to sit and have a sandwich etc for 10 mins. Surely with all the wood available even inexpensive make shift benches could be placed in quite a few suitable places. Would make the walking a lot more pleasure.

Ian, 31/Jan/2014

Benches are items that you can never have enough of, but you are right in 5000 hectares the benches we do have are can get lost in the scale of Hamsterley. We have recently purchased a new stock of picnic benches for locations in the forest and they will be sited over the coming months.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Great day out, really well looked after forest with some great biking & walking to be done. Will definitely come back with family!

Ben, 30/Dec/2013
3 Stars 3 Stars

As a regular mountain biker at Hamsterley, I feels it is a great facility for riders of moderate to expert level, however much more could be done to improve the forest for cyclists of all levels as well as other users, as is the case with other commission owned forests. I would like to second the comment made by a previous review, in that the woodland drive, which also forms part of the "family friendly" blue route is dangerous at times due to irresponsible drivers, driving at speed through the forest, I know that the forest cannot be expected to change a minority of people stupid behaviour, but could do more to slow vehicles down. I usually do not cycle on the road and stick to the red and black off road trails, however recently took my two children aged 8 / 10 to the forest for a cycle. On two occasions I had to pull out in front of a vehicle traveling at speed, to force it to slow down, as it drove past myself and my children. The commission chargers ■3 for every car, and weekends are very busy, the majority of whom are cyclists. So a considerable revenue is generated from parking alone. If the commission provided some funding towards future trail building - rather than just relying on the good nature of the trail builders charity, and put proper speed humps and reduced speed signs right along the woodland drive, this could be a truly outstanding facility.

Anonymous, 4/Dec/2013

We are looking into future options to further reduce the use of forest drive by introducing more vehicle-free trail options. Ongoing investment in the forest's facilities will continue with some exciting developments planned for 2014 - watch this space.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

this was my 1st visit here although i live so close to here. this is a great place to go for biking. the red course is great. when i went it was so busy here and i understand why they were here for the fun filled places were you can go on your bike.

charlie howard, 28/Oct/2013
3 Stars 3 Stars

I write to urge cyclists to exercise great caution using some of the roads into Hamsterley forest because of very aggressive driving by an operator of Crew Buses and Cycle Trailers. I visited the forest with my 9 year old daughter last Sunday 3rd August 2013. Cycling downhill on the road from Windy Bank Road to Grove house we were overtaken by three vehicles, the first a white LDV crew bus towing an empty bicycle trailer, the second a silver ford transit double cab and the third another white LDV crew bus with empty bicycle trailer. The first vehicle passed within 12 inches of us at high speed, the second also passed at high speed but clipped my shirt sleeve, the third was driven past with more consideration for vulnerable road users. I don't know if these vehicles are regularly driven in the forest but the careless disregard shown by the drivers of the first two vehicles for the safety of my daughter and I was breathtaking. I cycle regularly on the road in busy towns and cities and am used to riding in traffic but was staggered to encounter such aggression in Hamsterley Forest.

Anonymous, 7/Aug/2013
5 Stars 5 Stars

Visited the forest while on vacation from Canada. My wife and son and I loved it...beautiful and peaceful place. The ranger guy in the office was so helpful and made us feel real welcome. The tea room was quaint and enjoyed tea and cake....lovely

Jamie Tucker, 14/Jun/2013
5 Stars 5 Stars

I did the Riverside Walk with my 3 year old abd she loved it. She even had enough energy left to have a run around in the play area. Easy to follow. Finished the day with chocalate cake in the tea room

Louise, 20/May/2013
3 Stars 3 Stars

We got lost a number of times, other people were asking up which way to go... It would be good to get more sign posts to know which route you were actually on. Very warm day on 06.05.13

Anonymous, 9/May/2013

Walking trails are waymarked by round discs on metre high square posts while bike trails are square tiles on taller posts. If you think any of the trails are poorly waymaked, let the rangers at the information point know which one so they can be checked.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Lovely, beautiful place. If you're doing the walks, the orange markers look red and the yellow looks orange due to weathering so get up close to the posts to be sure you're doing the right one! (we weren't haha)

Nikki, 5/May/2013
5 Stars 5 Stars

Great fun! Love to explore the forests with my family.Fab for riding bikes too! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good day out.

Lauren, 7/Apr/2013
5 Stars 5 Stars

Great fun! Love to explore the forests with my family.Fab for riding bikes too! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good day out.

Lauren, 7/Apr/2013
4 Stars 4 Stars

Good on the bike this place. Only problem is people exploring walk up the bike trails then they talk to you like your doing something wrong! Next time I won't be in such a hurry to stop and I'll run your kids straight over!

Dan, 1/Apr/2013
5 Stars 5 Stars

I live in Hamsterley and use the forest everyday. It is wonderful and full of wildlife, just he perfect place to spend some quaity time.

Anonymous, 26/Nov/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Took my kids here for the first time last weekend they walked 2.5miles and they loved every minute of it :-)xx

Anonymous, 13/Nov/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Love the forest, and horse ride here most weeks....love the trails and find bike riders and walkers really courtious using the trails. We are so lucky to be able to use it.

Janis Gascoigne, 15/Oct/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Fantastic place, lovely walks :)

Anonymous, 13/Oct/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Best Trail Centre I have been to. We loved this place so much, found it hard to leave.

Emma Dillon, 28/Jul/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Really is a fantastic place I ride hamsterley as my main riding place and want to say not all cyclists are selfish when it comes to walkers and horses we follow a code were we give way to both and keep to the cycle tracks there isn't much we can do if people choose to walk on cycle paths rather than walk on the trails dedicated to ramblers This is a fantastic place and a fresh day out great for kids to explore has a fantastic play area and a stream for kids to play in my kids love it as much as I love to ride the trails

Anonymous, 13/Jul/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

ultimately epic in every way

bob, 3/Jun/2012

Can you take BBQ's to the forest?

Anonymous, 1/Jun/2012
4 Stars 4 Stars

Went Orienteering with my school and we couldn't find the plates very well at all, we found the area they were in but not the actually plates! could be more sign posted!!

Anonymous, 13/May/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Best place ever!

Anonymous, 12/May/2012
4 Stars 4 Stars

hamsterley is a very nice place to walk around and however when I took my dog i relised there wasnt any poo big or any other bins well where am i ment to put the dogs waste?

Anonymous, 29/Apr/2012

Looking at the web site it appears that all there is to do is cycling. The walking trails are excellent and visitors should not be put off by the fact that bike riders have a selfish view of other trail users and do not consider other user groups.

Anonymous, 27/Apr/2012
4 Stars 4 Stars

Myself and my husband took our son, his friend and our dog there today, hoping for the boy's to hire bikes (they are almost 15). We were going to have a walk! Unfortunately when we arrived we were told that someone over 18yrs had to go with the boys so my husband had to hire a bike too!! this left me alone, walking the dog and although I can understand the dangers of children falling and hurting themselves, I think this should be on the website. (Children accompanied by an adult) All in all this cost us ■5 to park, ■45 to hire three bikes plus the petrol and all for me to walk along a pathway which I could have found at home!! If the website had been updated, however nice the place is, we would have stayed at home. PLEASE UPDATE!!!!

Anonymous, 6/Apr/2012
3 Stars 3 Stars

Feel very priveledged to be able to horse ride in hamsterley forest but the horse trails in some places are almost un-useable due to very sharp stones used to dress the tracks - a pity because these tracks are bridleways and should be suitable for horses. It would also be nice to have some parking in the grove just for horseboxes as opposed to bike riders as often bike riders park right up against the mounting blocks put their in the first place for horse riders - but in spite of this a vey nice place to ride.

Anonymous, 29/Feb/2012
5 Stars 5 Stars

Cant say enough good things about hamsterley forest. My kids love the place the little one loves the river my oldest is starting on the bike trails and i love the diffrent routes think the place is well looked after and small giftshop and cafe is fantastic i have recommend hamsterley to friends and family and evry one that has been only has good things to say about it. Keep up the good work and we will be back soon. Thanks for a fantastic time everytime we have been

Glen H, 6/Sep/2011
5 Stars 5 Stars

I love the forest, i regularly visit the forest and stay in at Hamsterley forest B&B. However one thing i would like to see is a greater initative towards the creating of more natural woodland, i noticed the last time i was in the area that a fairly large area of conifer plantation had been clear felled, i would love to see this area set aside for the regeneration of more natural native woodland. My favourite areas of the forest are the quiet parts of broadleaved and native woodland, these areas are the main reason i visit, and i would love to see these natural areas increase.

Beithe, 5/Sep/2011
4 Stars 4 Stars

Been three/four times on bike rides in |Hamsterly. The tracks are really well labelled (although being a muppet I did mis read one and lead my two nephews on a real "cross-country" route. The routes are great and the middle level route was fine for an eleven year old. We hired the bikes each time and the chaps at wood'n'wheels are fantastic. Great day and highly reccommend it.

Julie, 24/Aug/2011
5 Stars 5 Stars

Been a few times and think its a great place loads for the kids to explore and great to trash my bike around on the trails would recomend hamsterley to anyone

Anonymous, 17/Aug/2011
3 Stars 3 Stars

Fabulous horse trials...but let down badly by the fact its not clear that you need to be in a different car park to access them, I ended up riding 11 miles instead of 7 as we parked in the main car park and spent 20 mins trying to figure out where the bridle paths were ! The maps in main car park do not show "you are here" and there are no maps to carry to check routes unless you are a cyclist. Perhaps there also should be one way in and one way out as its very difficult manouvering a horse trailer down a single track lane with oncoming traffic

JB, 2/Aug/2011
1 Star 1 Star

went for a picknic with family 20.6.11 got out of the car and a enormous swarm of flies surrounded us grandchildren were screaming you couldnt see their hair for flies were landing on them it was frightening but this was the second time this has happened to us so we wont be paying ■3 for ten minutes again as we went somewhere else and were fly free the children have been bitten and i,m not happy

sandra, 20/Jun/2011
3 Stars 3 Stars

I would have given it more stars, as it is a great forest but the lack of dog poop bins lets it down, noticed people pick it up but then just fling the bags around the woods, but overall great day out and great for the dogs

Anonymous, 31/May/2011
5 Stars 5 Stars

Cool!

Anonymous, 11/May/2011
5 Stars 5 Stars

ian j good day out with the wife but i cant believe you allow fishing during with close season its illigel even with kids with little nets its a close season for a reaso n

Anonymous, 25/Apr/2011
4 Stars 4 Stars

An absolutely beautiful place, the children love it and we as a family spend a lot of time here. So well equipped to keep people of all ages entertained. We will be there again tomorrow with picnic in tow!!

Jen M., 21/Apr/2011
5 Stars 5 Stars

Beautiful forest, very well maintained and well respected by visitors. Good route maps for walkers, bikes, horses. The entrance fee is what you would expect and the service excellent for what you pay for.

Anonymous, 14/Feb/2011
5 Stars 5 Stars

cycling almost every weekend an exellent day out. went for a winter forage found 20+ full dog poo bags (various colours) oh joy,dog walkers please read the dog waste sign,if you can't follow the rules then stay out.all bags were within a stones throw of the tea room. no waste/poo bins? this would be very costly to manage and the ■3 entrance fee probaly rise ,

colin, 5/Feb/2011
4 Stars 4 Stars

We regularly visit the forest at least once a month. The recent government announcements about privatising the forests did alarm me. Will Hamsterley be affected adversel;y? Regards Mike A.

Mike A., 31/Jan/2011
1 Star 1 Star

No maps, no info on the down hill sections etc!!!!

Luke, 30/Jan/2011
4 Stars 4 Stars

I love to go walking in hamsterley forest - and its just on my doorstep!

Anonymous, 26/Jan/2011
1 Star 1 Star

Web site out of date, can not find maps for biking or orienteering.

No Maps, 21/Jan/2011
5 Stars 5 Stars

Myself, my partner and the dog are regular visitors to the forest, its a beautiful place and the walks are enjoyable in any weather. Its a fantastic day out for all the family.

Jenny Close, 19/Jan/2011
1 Star 1 Star

Have not been to the wood but the info on the web site is way out of date

Observer, 18/Jan/2011
1 Star 1 Star

no poo bins for dogs

james, 6/Jan/2011
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