How to find Hamsterley Forest Hamsterley, Witton-Le Wear, Wolsingham, Bishop Auckland, and Durham are the nearest towns or villages. Hamsterley Forest sits wedged between Teesdale and Weardale in the heart of beautiful Durham Dales, approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Bishop Auckland.
2. Greater Knapweed
3. Medow Vetchling
4. Dame’s Violet
The forest is signposted off the A68, north of West Auckland. Cars are charged £3 each on the Forest Drive to access the Forest and it’s facilities (there is no charge for visitors on foot). OS Grid Reference: NZ091312 For details of public transport visit http://www. transportdirect.info
There are four official routes: Red, Blue, Green and Black all of which are way marked with colour-coded marker posts. In addition there is a highly-acclaimed downhill track for expert riders. The downhill track is run in association with Descend Hamsterley.
Hamsterley Forest offers something for everyone. Riders of all abilities are catered for and encouraged. Whether you want a leisurely ride out with the kids or a full on downhill experience, you’ll find it here. Covering some 2000 hectares on the edge of Teesdale and Weardale, Hamsterley Forest provides many opportunities for outdoor activities with forest walks, nature trails, orienteering courses and mountain bike routes. There are many picnic sites and also a visitor centre and shop. A wide range of events are organised through the year. There are toilets, cycle hire and facilities for the disabled. Four cycle routes catering for different ability levels, from short family trails to a severe black route for the experienced cyclist. A 20 mile trail quest course takes in the whole forest allowing keen cyclists to test their map reading skills. There is a new Downhill mountain bike course ,run by local riders and the site manager, an annual membership is required to use the site.
amsterley The nearest village on a bus route is Hamsterley, two miles to the south of the forest entrance. The walk from the forest to Hamsterley village is on a public road with no designated pedestrian walkway. From the village, you can travel on service number 88 (Arriva) to Bishop Auckland bus station, a journey that takes roughly 20 minutes. Bishop Auckland has a railway station that connects with the East Coast mainline at Darlington.
Forest takes up one third of the world’s plant life. There are many different deciduous forest plants such as evergreens bushes and shrubs, berries, wild flowers, lilies, and climbers. Plants are a good food source for the forest animal life. The appendix provided shows wild flowers that are commonly found in Hamsterley Forest.
Visitors to Hamsterley have no shortage of options when it comes to activities. With way marked walks, bike hire, cycle routes and horse riding trails, all levels of fitness and ability are catered for. Follow all that exercise with a snack or slice of lovely homemade cake in our tearoom and a browse around the gift shop and visitor centre.