Hamsterley Forest hosted In The Eyes of the Animal – an immersive VR experience commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices. To find out more about the AND programme, click here.
Hamsterley Forest is a hub for visitors wishing to escape the city and spend some time in the 2000 hectare forest, with a selection of walking, biking and horse riding trails for all abilities. It is one of the Northeast’s premier mountain biking destinations, including extreme downhill runs for thrill seekers and family friendly forest tracks. From wildlife watching and dark sky gazing to adventure play and mountain biking, there is something here for everyone.
OS Grid ref: NZ091312
Postcode: DL13 3NL (this postcode locates the centre of the forest, but please do not use this when planning your journey / on sat nav, instead, please follow the ‘By Car’ directions below to locate the Bedburn Entrance of Hamsterley Forest)
Hamsterley Forest sits wedged between Teesdale and Weardale in the heart of beautiful Durham Dales, approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Bishop Auckland.
By car: Hamsterley Forest is a large site with multiple entrances – do not use the postcode on the Hamsterley Forest website as your destination (as you may end up at the wrong carpark). Instead, please use the following directions (entering the east side of the forest): Hamsterley Forest is signposted off the A68, north of West Auckland – exit the A68 and head towards Hamsterley Village. At Hamsterley Village you’ll see a sign for ‘Hamsterley Forest’, take the right turn here onto Bedburn Lane. Stay on Bedburn Lane and pass through Bedburn Village, you will see another sign for ‘Hamsterley Forest’, fork left here onto Redford Lane and stay on this until you reach the main forest car park beside the Visitor Centre. The event Box Office and Start point will be located near here.
By Public Transport: The forest is not served directly by public transport services. The nearest town on a bus route is Wolsingham, five miles north of the forest entrance. The 101 bus service at Wolsingham connects with Stanhope, Crook and Bishop Auckland. Bishop Auckland has a railway station that connects with the East Coast mainline at Darlington.
By bike: The long-distance cycle trail ‘W2W’ (Walney Island to River Wear) passes through the forest. You can pick this trail up in Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland (via Willington) and Durham City.
A £5 toll is charged for each car visiting the forest to access the Forest Drive and car parks (a short stay option of £1.50 for one hour is also available).
Visitor Centre and Information Point located next to the Bedburn Entrance, open 9am – 5pm. Facilities on offer include a cafe, cycle hire, picnic sites, adventure playground, forest drive and walking and horse riding routes. The forest is also a magnet for mountain bikers from all over the North of England, attracted by a wide range of cycling experiences, from the training loop and top quality off-road cycle trails, to the high octane four-cross and downhill mountain bike courses provided by ‘Descend Hamsterley’.