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 County 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.
Maps and other information to help you make the most of your visit will be available daily from the new information point next to the cafe. The refurbishment work around the visitor centre building will be completed during the autumn when the former shop building will be demolished, a picnic and play area created and improvements made to the cafe facilities.
The cafe will be open daily until 3 November (10am-5pm) and thereafter weekends only for the winter plus Christmas and February half-term week (11am-4pm). Wood n Wheels cycle hire is open weekends only (10am-5pm).
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.
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 Tearoom's famous cakes?