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

Trail details

Length of trail:

4 miles

Trail is currently open

Opening times - 1 April to 30 September, 8am to 8pm. From 1st October to 31st March, the Forest Drive between The Grove car park and Blackling Hole will be closed. The remainder of the drive will be open 8am to 5pm.

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?

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
4 Stars 4 Stars

We visited Durham this weekend and I booked a hack with the trekking Company just up the road. We had a wonderful time , the forest is a great place and even better on horseback as you can see so much more. My husband who is a non rider enjoyed his morning following the Gruffalo trail and listening out for our returning hooves!!. We are planning to visit again in the Spring

Julie Tomlinson, 22/Oct/2014
4 Stars 4 Stars

Beautiful scenery and an enjoyable visit, although bit of a hike for the old mobility scooter (battery was on it's final voltage). Tea rooms nice and airy little over priced but hey ho all the same.

Edwin Clark, 17/Apr/2014

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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
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.