Walk No 9 - From Epping (at the Eastern End of the Central Line) through Epping Forest to Chingford

Walk Distance   15 Kilometres (9 miles)

Underfoot  Roads and woodland tracks

Journey Time (from Central London to Epping)   40 minutes

Getting Back to Central London   By Overground from Chingford to Walthamstow Central and then Victoria Line

Points of Interest   Epping Forest, High Beach, Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge

Refreshments -  Two pubs and one cafe en route. Cafes at Chingford

Opportunities for Shortening the Route -   Epping Forest is poorly served by public transport.  If necessary, a taxi could be called to pick up at High Beach (Kings Oak PH) after 12Km or at one of the car parks in the forest.

Route Directions

From Epping Station to The Forest (Map A)

1.  Turn right out of Epping Station. Pass the entrance to the station car park and turn left on a footpath between fences. Follow this enclosed path as it turns left and then right to ascends some steps betweeen houses.  Turn left at the top (Centre Drive) and walk for about 300m.  Turn right into Western Avenue which swings to the left.  A wide view soon opens up before you including a sight of the M25 motorway.  Before the road starts to descend, turn right on a footpath indicated by a concrete signpost.

2.  Follow this footpath uphill ignoring all turnings to left or right.  Pass a bench, cross a drive and finally turn left in front of some houses. This is Bell Common. Continue with the houses on your left. Come to a road and continue on the footway to pass The Forest Gate Inn.  Now, turn left (Theydon Road). Within 50m, before reaching Ivy Chimneys Road which comes in from the left, cross to the other side.  Just after the driveway of a house there is a small path going diagonally right into the trees. Follow this and emerge in an open grassy area. (You are now standing on top of the M25 which runs in a tunnel below your feet.)

3.  Go forward to meet another path coming in from the left and swing right with this path. After 30m you will find yourself facing a cricket pitch. Follow the path which now turns away left to enter the trees. Ignore the first junction on your right but, a few metres further on, meet a crossing path. Turn right on this which immediately swings left.

Forest walk to High Beach (Map B)

4.  You have now entered Epping Forest. Ahead there is a broad track.  (If you have a compass, your direction is roughly 200 degrees.) Follow this track for the next two kilometres ignoring all turnings to left and right. Reach a small car park and a road (the B172) at a point signposted as “Jack’s Hill”.   Cross the road and continue in the same direction.  After about 700m reach a fork in the path. Take the right hand track.

5.  The track soon descends and then climbs to reach another small car park (“Broadstrood”) and the A121 Cross with care and take the broad track slightly to your left with a car barrier. After about 300m the track starts to descend.  At the bottom of hill the path swings to the right and climbs again. At the end of the ascent the path flattens out. In about 200m turn right. This is the first clear junction you have encountered since crossing the A121. If you find yourself walking past a green triangle of grass, you have gone too far.  

6.  Follow this track to reach a road, (A104) and cross with care.  Take the track opposite which inclines to the left. Follow it to meet a crossing path and turn right.  After 250m reach a road with a green and a large car park.  This is High Beach and there is a scenic viewpoint northwards.  Turn left on the road and pass the entrance to Epping Forest Field Centre and some toilets. 

From High Beach To Chingford   (Map C)

7.  Walk past the Kings Oak Public House and continue  ahead on the road.  After passing the entrance to a private house, look out for a path in the woods on your left which continues parallel to the road. After about 250m, there is a gap in the wooden fence bordering the road. Exit onto the road. Turn left, walk for about 50m. 

8.  If you look ahead down the road you will see a popular roadside cafe which you may decide to visit. Otherwise, turn right and leave the road at a broad track with a car barrier.  This track will take you all the way to Chingford.

8.  After roughly 1Km there is small right/left dog-leg junction but otherwise your direction is straight on. Continue for another 1.5Km until you reach a clear fork where the track swings to the left but a grassy path goes roughly straight ahead.  Take the grassy path and at the next fork go left uphill to reach Butler’s Retreat which is a café built in clapperboard style.

9,   Pass behind Butler’s Retreat to reach Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge.  After the lodge, descend the grassy slope diagonally left . At the bottom,  do not cross a small bridge. Instead, turn left on a path which goes straight towards Chingford about 250m away. Cross the road and find the station on the left just beyond a bus station.





















Beyond The End Of The Line - Walk Description

Walk No 11 – from West Ruislip (at the western end of the Central Line) to Rickmansworth


Walk Distance   14.5 Kilometres (9 miles)  

Underfoot  A variety of surfaces: footpaths, woods and some mud after wet weather

Journey Time (from Central London to West Ruislip)   40 minutes

Getting Back to Central London   By Metropolitan Line tube from Rickmansworth

Points of Interest   Bayhurst Wood Country Park, Grand Union Canal

Refreshments -  The Coy Carp Public House (after 9 Km), Cafes in Rickmansworth

Walk Directions

1.  Use the pedestrian lights outside West Ruislip Tube Station to cross to the opposite footway of the busy B466.  Turn right along the footway and walk for 250m. Turn left into an un-named road opposite a petrol station which is signed as a cul de sac. This is Clack Lane. After 80m it becomes restricted to walkers and cyclists. Walk forward along the lane and where it  swings right go ahead on a footpath with a sign which reads “Footpath R145”.  Ignore all other paths to L or R and, after 500m, reach a footbridge on your left. Cross the footbridge and walk across a field.  At the far side go through a gap in the hedge and turn right on an enclosed path. Walk to the end of the path to reach the gates of "Old Clack Farm".  This is the same start as for Walk 10. From this point forward the routes are different.

2.  Turn left. You are now on a lane which passes in front of houses and swings right (twice) to join a road. Turn right and cross the road to a stile beside a direction post. The next kilometre of the walk is over paths which are less distinct underfoot but are clearly marked by signposts and stiles.

3.  Go straight across the first small field and pass through an unusual antique metal gate.  Walk through the next field to the top right hand corner. Turn right, and then, after a few yards, left through 180 degrees around the hedgeline to go through a gate into another field.  Turn right and proceed with the new hedgeline on your right. You are now walking in the same direction as previously.

4.  Go ahead through two fields to reach a stile in the corner with a small industrial estate visible behind it. Cross the stile, go up some steps and turn left.  Cross another stile into a field and turn right as indicated by the signpost. Pass a metal bench to reach a gateway. 

5.  Cross a small track and go through a field gate. Walk generally down the right hand side of the field to find another gate with a green signpost. Climb the stile opposite and go left (indicated by an arrow). Cross another small field and emerge on a quiet road  This is the end of the less distinct section.

6.  Turn left on the road for 20m to find a clear footpath on the opposite side.  Follow this until it reaches a fork with a bridleway to the right and a wooden gate ahead.  Go through the gate into the woods. This is Bayhurst Wood Country Park. Follow the path along the edge of the woods until you reach an open space with picnic tables. The path forks here.  Follow the right fork away from the edge of the woods and within 50m reach a track with “Hillingdon Trail” sign pointing in two directions. 

7.  Turn right and and go uphill into the woods. Follow this broad path as it goes over the brow of the hill and starts to descend  Pass an information board and a wooden hut. Reach a car-track and turn left into a car park.  Cross over the car park to find a path (with a central post) which goes ahead through the woods.  The edge of the woods is clearly visible on your right with a road some distance beyond.

8.  Continue in this direction for about a kilometre.  Begin by ignoring several paths coming in from the left and then enter a section where the footpath is separated from the bridleway by a light fence.  Continue on the path until it turns left.  Instead follow a “Hillingdon Trail” sign into some woods. Finally climb uphill through a large open field with a hedge on your right. 

9.  Reach two stiles in the top corner and enter another large field. Walk along its top edge -  at right angles to your previous direction of travel. At the far end follow “Hillingdon Trail” signs left downhill and continue through woods to reach a churchyard.

10.  Continue beside churchyard wall. At the first corner, take the right hand of two paths. Go over a metal stile and emerge on the church access road. Turn right and walk up to the main road. Cross over and walk along the left hand footway for 500m towards the centre of Harefield to find a “Hillingdon Trail” sign pointing left (at Bird Lane).

11.  Descend between houses. Cross a minor road and continue downhill. Climb to find a junction of paths and bear left.  A lovely vista with a distant lake now opens up before you. Continue down to the end of the path and then descend diagonally across a field with the Grand Union Canal below you.  After a short section of lane walking reach the canal towpath. 

12.  Turn right along the towpath. After 750m reach “The Coy Carp” Public House (recommended for refreshments.).  Upon leaving (or simply passing) the pub ignore any “Hillingdon Trail” signs and carry straight on along the towpath for another 4.25Km to reach Rickmansworth. Your exit point is the first major bridge carrying road traffic over the canal.

13.  Pass under the bridge before climbing the steps to the road. Turn right and walk to a roundabout.  Take the first road right (Church Road) and follow it for about 600m until it intersects with the High Street.  (Use the left hand footway which takes a short cut through the churchyard.) Turn left into the High Street with several cafes. After about 200m turn right into Station Road. Walk up to a T Junction and turn left to Rickmansworth Tube Station.