A walk along the length of an ancient royal forest in East London - Wanstead and Leyton Flats, Walthamstow Forest, Highams Park and Epping Forest. Can be done over two legs.
|Length||14.8 miles (23.8 km) with 721 ft (220 metres) of ascent|
|Toughness||5 out of 10. The northern half of the walk, through Epping Forest, can be muddy in winter.|
|OS Maps||OS Explorer Map 174 Epping Forest|
The Epping Forest Centenary Walk runs the length of Epping Forest, an area of ancient woodland in north east London. It has been protected since the 12th centuary as a royal hunting forest, though more recently (1878) it has been managed by the City of London, and it is this anniversary that this walk was devised by the Friends of Epping Forest to celebrate.
The forest is 12 miles long, but never more than 2.5 miles wide, and lies on a low ridge between the Rivers Lea and Roding. This walk is mainly wooded. The southern half of the route is mainly paved, but the northern part of the walk is on unpaved forest trails can be muddy after prolonged wet weather
At the half way point, the route passes close to Chingford train station (and about 1.5 miles away from Buckhurst Hill tube), so the walk can be done as 2 shorter walks of about 7 miles each.
Also at the half way point is the Royal Forest pub (Brewers Fayre), and the Butler's Retreat cafe, both of which are part of the Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge (1543)/The View/Epping Forest Visitor Centre complex.
The walk isn't waymarked. Navigation in the southern half is straightforward. In the northern half though, a map and compass are needed.
NB This walk does not have detailed directions - print out the route from the map page, or download the GPS data on to your phone
The main walk, Manor Park to Epping (15 miles), can be done in 2 parts:
We have 2 other Epping Forest Walks
Mountain biking (cycling) is popular in the northern half of the walk, especially on Sunday mornings, and in winter (after prolonged wet weather) many paths become impassable for walkers - too churned up by wheels. Add in that cyclists travel at 20mph, and walkers 2mph! In late 2015, the Corporation of London (the forest's managers) held a consultation, which included the effect of cycling. The best solution would have been a few paved cycle routes (which would also be wheelchair friendly) and a mountain bike course. In practise, most cyclists would use these, significantly reducing the damage to forest paths, and hopefully reducing the calls to ban cycling. Sadly, the consultation was more worried about the effects of cycling on nature, than of people :)
|Credit||This walk was devised by the Friends of Epping Forest|
Manor Park (TFL Rail to/from Liverpool Street/Stratford) and Chingford are train stations. Epping (Central Line) is a tube station.
Drivers could park at the visitor centre, and do the walk in 2 halves with a tube ride in between, or park near Epping, and walk south. Manor Park to Epping takes 45 mins (change at Stratford). If you want to split the walk in 2, best to use Buckhurst tube station (Central Line) which although 1.5 miles off the route, connects well with both Epping and Manor Park. There's the 3 Colts gastro pub just before the station.
|Lunch||Royal Forest, 4 Rangers Road, Chingford, London E4 7QH, food served all day. Good reviews.|
The Harry Green Restaurant, High Beech, Waltham Abbey, Loughton IG10 4AH.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
Out (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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