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Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Demanding

Trail Waymarking:


Length of trail:

4.5 miles

Trail is currently open


Trail description

Mixed autumn woodland beside the river Derwent. Chopwell wood.





The longest way marked walk in the Wood. The route tours the Wood from north to south, giving you an overall feel for the character of the woodland. Contrast the dappled light in old beech woods planted in the early 1900s with the deep summer shade cast by large blocks of maturing larch woodland planted after World War Two.  The industrial heritage of Chopwell Wood is apparent as you cross the stone bridge over the old mineral railway line, which you will join for a short spell further along the trail. As you began the climb from the river Derwent back towards the car park, the trail guides you past a variety of woodland sculptures including a giant bird of prey, woodland guardians and the popular Chopwell ‘hands’, which are at the end of a stunning avenue of copper beech trees. Not only is this the longest walk, but it is also contains the most inclines, especially on the walk back to the car park from the river – a real ‘muscle loosener’!

What do other visitors say?

4 Stars 4 Stars

Loved this walk, it was just the right amount of challenge! Unfortunately there was a lot of dog poop on the paths as some visitors clearly didnt have the courtesy to pick up or at least move it off of the pathways. There were quite a few missing trail arrows in the last third of the route so had to guess which path. Its a beautiful forest and the views are great regardless of which path you take :)

Cara, 30/Jan/2018
4 Stars 4 Stars

Loved the challenges of the walk. However, slightly bemused as trail length says 4.5 mile in 3. Hours?

We normally walk a 15 minute mile and it took us 2. Hours. So it doesn't add up? We carry pedometers and they both read approx 6 miles......

Jennifer, 4/Jan/2017

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What's Here?

  • Visitor centre
  • Arts
  • A number of artworks including the Bird of Prey and Guardians can be viewed on this trail
  • Trail (hard)
  • The longest waymarked walk in the wood follows forest road and both surfaced and unsurfaced track. A number of long descents and ascents and four sharp inclines characterise this walk. Infrequent rest stops (five benches).
  • Viewpoint
  • Views of Derwent Valley and North Pennines
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NZ 137 585
Postcode: NE39 1LT

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.