Situated between Teesdale and Weardale, the village of Hamsterley sits on a ridge of land and is surrounded by the natural wooded acres of Hamsterley Forest. The area has always survived primarily on agriculture and Hamsterley and its neighbour Bedburn are still very rural communities. The two thousand hectares of Hamsterley forest are an ideal destination for those who love to explore the great outdoors. Foot paths and cycle trails criss-cross the forest and the visitor centre provides maps and information on the best trails to follow, as well a place to take a break and have a well earned cup of tea. The centre also provides an interesting section on wildlife management in the area. Horse riders are welcome in the forest via the marked bridle paths and for the less mobile, the four mile forest drive runs through the heart of the forest and there are plenty of picnic areas to relax in. With all the usual village amenities of shops and cosy pubs, Hamsterley lies seven miles from Bishop Auckland and the use of a car is highly recommended so that those staying in the area can make the most of this beautiful part of the country.