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Hamsterley Forest Drive
(Average user rating: 3 unrated 2.5/5)

Latest News (03/08/2017 11:28)

From Sunday 1 October, the Forest Drive between The Grove and Blackling Hole will be closed to vehicles permanently. This will enable the creation of a vehicle free trail for cyclists and walkers. The Forest Drive will end at the Grove Car Park where you will be able to exit the forest. Visitors to Blackling Hole Car Park will continue to drive in from the existing public road access, although there will be no further vehicle access from Blackling Hole to the Forest Drive.

Trail details

Length of trail:

4 miles

Trail is currently open

Opening times - Low Redford to Grove Car Park (tarmac section) open 9am-5pm (after 5pm this road becomes a 'no through road' with exit via Grove Road). The Forest Drive between Grove car park and Blackling Hole will be open 9am-4pm during the period April to October and closed during the winter.

Trail description

Ducks crossing  the forest drive





The 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?

2 Stars 2 Stars

Tried to visit this bank holiday weekend whilst in the area however we were unaware of the 10 per car just to park!!!

so unfortunatly we were forced to u-turn and go home.

20 just to park is way too much regardless of what is on offer

Anonymous, 1/May/2017
3 Stars 3 Stars

there are walking routes and mountain bike routes please use the proper one don't complain if you walk on a cycle route

Anonymous, 21/Apr/2017
1 Star 1 Star

So many mountain bikes & they all expect walkers to stop & stand to the side of the narrower routes - you get nowhere at all. So frustrating & stressful - some of the rode past em & my precious dogs far too fast. Not an experience I will be repeating. Mountain bikes rule ok here that's for sure :(

Anonymous, 27/Oct/2016
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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

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Hamsterley Forest

01388 488312
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.