The hornet has a wide distribution, ranging across the Palaearctic from western Europe to Japan. Its range extends to the Oriental region in the Far East and to Algeria in North Africa but other Vespa species tend to dominate in these areas.
It has also been introduced to North America and is now found widely in Canada and the USA.
In Britain, the hornet is a predominantly southern species but is spreading north from its strongholds around Exeter and the New Forest.
Its British distribution is being mapped by the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society. You can see a map of the hornet's British distribution on the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway.