This walk takes you on tracks and paths through the ancient woodland of Epping Forest (“the peoples forest”) and a possible visit to the High Beach visitor centre before a pub lunch in Upshire. After your pub lunch you go through open countryside and farmland passing close to Copped Hall a ruined country house currently being renovated. The walk ends in the bustling town of Epping at the end of the Central Underground Line.
This short walk is ideal for winter or early spring when there is no leaf canopy and views and vistas open up but it can be done at any time of year. After lunch you leave the forest and are in open countryside where there are some good views around Copped Hall park.
This walk is close to London and crosses some main roads and after lunch there will be traffic noise from the always busy M25.
This Is London’s largest open space at around 6,000 acres and stretches 12 miles from Manor Park in East London to just north of Epping. The forest, rich in wildlife, is of national and international importance with two-thirds of it designated an area of special scientific interest. It is renowned for its ancient pollarded trees, primarily oak, beech and hornbeam which support a wealth of insects and fungi, many of them rare and vulnerable.
The forest has a significant population of the distinctive dark coloured fallow deer and it is common to see these in the more open areas. Muntjac deer are also present and 10 of the 18 species of bat found in Britain have been recorded .
English Longhorn cattle have been introduced to rejuvenate rare heathland flora and you should see these in the afternoon on the way to Copped Hall. They graze behind unobtrusive electric fences.
High Beach Visitor Centre
The centre is located at High Beach a traditional Epping Forest beauty spot. It is open 7 days a week and there are a pub, the up-market Kings Head, and other refreshments and toilet facilities nearby.
The Centre has booklets about its conservation work and maps showing trails and walks. Further details about the centre and its work can be found here
Copped Hall is a ruined country house currently undergoing extensive renovation. There is evidence that the site has been occupied from Roman times and a substantial building was first erected in the 12th century. A new neo-classical house was built on the site in the 1750s but was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1917.
The Copped Hall Trust is gradually restoring the building but only parts of the hall and gardens can be opened to visitors.
There are open days and guided tours but only on specific Sundays and there is a charge for these. You can find the visitor timetable and costs by visiting the Copped Hall Trust website above and clicking on the Events link.