An Introduction to Epping Forest

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Epping Forest is a large area of commonland mostly given over to recreational forest. This walk travels from south to north through the bulk of the forest, with a railway station at both ends and visiting many of the landmarks. It will only serve as an introduction to the forest, as there is much more to be discovered. There are plenty of pubs and refreshment areas. Ten minutes are spent walking alongside a busy road.

This is commonland and when I used to visit here in the Seventies, cattle were still grazing and frequently stopping the traffic on the roads through the area. I was disappointed to find no signs of cattle now. There are however, plenty of deer. The forest contains a number of roads and surfaced 'rides'. Connoisseurs of the forest scorn such routes and recommend plunging into the depths of the forest, especially in autumn when the famous fungi, for which the forest has been designated an area of special scientific interest, abound. They are of course correct that this is the best way to see the forest, but it is not possible to describe a walk on this basis.

Nevertheless, I recommend you do take off in any direction you fancy into the wood. But beware as it is very easy to get lost in a trackless wood and you will need to keep an eye on the sun or, better still, a compass. It is best not to stray too far from a track until you know what you're doing. In such a forest, tracks change, maps lie and mud diverts and almost all walkers will deviate from the paths described below but, never mind, you can't get THAT lost and if you go from map reference to map reference as described by whatever route you fancy, you will have had yourself a grand day's walk.

Two links that may be useful are: www.eppingforest.co.uk and Friends of Epping Forest.

For information about easy access to Epping Forest please see Download this PDF file from the Corporation of London website.

England - East England - Essex - Countryside

Features

Mostly Flat, Pub, Wildlife, Woodland
20/01/2010 - Joanne Ferguson

Note after point 13 on the roundabout and along road B172. Busy roundabout, difficult to cross safely. B172 narrow windy road with fast moving traffic and path along road non-existent. Not advisable with young children or dogs.

14/01/2007 - Sophie Rogers

Completed this walk on Saturday 13th Jan. Beware it is VERY muddy ! Also the Royal oak pub serves great food for lunch (try the homemade steak and kidney pudding) - Just south of way point 11 (next to the conservation centre). Beware that although there are no signs or other methods of judging you are on the right route - you have to trust your instincts (and also you are never TOO far from civilisation!)

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