Forestry Commission logo

Spurlswood Valley Walk
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 4/5)

Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Trail Waymarking:


Length of trail:

4.5 miles

Trail is currently open


Trail description

Blackling Hole waterfall in Hamsterley forest. North East EnglandThe trail starts from the Grove Car Park, approximately 1.5 miles beyond the Visitor Centre on the Forest Drive. This enjoyable walk has several features of interest, offering scenic views of forest valleys. From the car park this walk follows a forest road for a short distance. Care should be taken here as this road is a main route for timber wagons. It then branches left onto a quieter road. Along this section you will see many large wood ant nests. On leaving here the path winds to the head of Whiskey Gill before skirting an abandoned half cut mill stone. Now the path descends to Blackling Hole, a waterfall beneath the access bridge to a forest car park. The route returns to the Grove on another elevated track above the beck and the forest drive, on the opposite side of the valley.

What do other visitors say?

4 Stars 4 Stars

Found the walking trail marking not very clear

Anonymous, 12/Oct/2017

Sorry you found it difficult to navigate using the waymarkers. This trail will shortly be re-vamped so we will take added care to ensure the waymarking is clear to follow.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

My first visit to Hamsterley specifically to take some special effect photographs of the waterfall. Sadly I couldn't see it labeled at all on the various maps, despite going to all three major car park areas. A warden could only vaguely tell me and in the end I ran out of time.

However, didn't spoil a good morning, lovely place to wander around, be even better if the main features were more clearly signposted :)

Steve, 3/Apr/2015

Sorry we weren't able to point you in the right direction for the waterfall, which I suspect will be the one at Blackling Hole. It is situated right at the end of the Forest Drive next to Blackling Hole car park. I hope you have better luck finding it on your next visit.

Forestry Commission Response

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

Get the latest news, information & offers

What's Here?

  • Picnic
  • Parking
  • To access the start of the trail, park in Grove Car Park.
  • Trail (moderate)
  • This trail follows mainly forest road, but with some sections on unsurfaced forest track. Some of these unsurfaced areas are especially prone to water and mud accumulation during wetter winter months. The terrain overall provides moderate climbs and descents, with two short sets of steps either side of the Grove Car Park.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NZ066298
Postcode: DL13 3NL

Get directions


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.