Hamsterley Forest Visitor Centre - Hamsterley Common - The Grove

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A classic walk in and around the man-made Hamsterley Forest in the rolling hills of the Central County Durham dales. Most of the walk is within the confines of the forest, but a little over two miles of the route is around the open Hamsterley Common that presents great views of the surrounding moors.

The walk from the Visitor Centre car park starts with a short climb up through the trees, followed by a long, flat section. A descent and ascent through the valley of the Ayhope Beck then leads you out of the forest onto an open section of Hamsterley Common towards a small oasis of grassy fields at 'The Meeting of the Grains', so called after the confluence of two moorland streams called North Grain and South Grain. The route then heads south-west up the common to re-enter the forest at Black Hill, the highest point of the walk, from where there are great views of the surrounding countryside. Forest tracks lead down to intersect a wide, stony track that gradually descends to the valley floor. Here it intersects the Bedburn Beck, the principal stream in the forest. A short section of surfaced road-walking follows before the route leaves the forest floor and heads up once again through the trees to pass by the mountain-biking circuit called 'The Loop', as the walk descends to return to the Visitor Centre and car park.

England - North England - Durham - Woodland or Forest

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Play Area, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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