38. Hamsterley Forest Hike
Meeting Point: The Grove Car Park, Hamsterley Forest, DL13 3NL
From the hills and tarns of the Pennines, we now move into the woods. We begin and end at the Hamsterley Forest grove car park, striking out on a broad path towards the western reaches of the forest, before heading back on ourselves in a figure of eight.
There is so much to see in this beautiful forest, so, whilst walking, keep your eyes open for some of the wonderful wildlife that inhabits it.. From soaring birds of prey, to roe deer, rare reptiles, and butterflies, this walk is full of hidden surprises.
Then there are the trees themselves - a largely coniferous forest of pine, larch and Sitka spruce, with some deciduous, broadleaf species towards the east end of the forest.
Whilst the paths are clear and firm underfoot, this still feels like a challenging walk. Being surrounded by trees makes it trickier to judge distance and direction, yet there is a calmness to being in the forest that gives this stage a different feel from the open country stages.
Distance: 20.9 km (12.99 miles)
Difficulty Rating: ★★★☆☆
Sponsored By: Newcastle Building Society