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Epping Forest

Epping Forest has everything you'd expect from a forest (i.e. loads of trees) and much more. Babbling brooks, ponds, riding tracks (for horses and bicycles), wheel chair paths, little forest paths, iron age forts, fields, birds, flowers, picnic areas, pubs...

It's a good idea to get hold of a map and someone who knows how to read it. Depending where in the forest you go it can be fairly easy to get lost - especially if like me (and most of the people I go walking with), you've got no sense of direction and dubious map reading skills. Personally I think getting "lost" and somehow managing to find your way back to your vehicle or civilisation generally is half the fun. There's usually someone around in the forest who knows where they're going. However, watch out for the man in the hat and glasses who tells you "it's that way" - he's lying! Recently said man directed me and my pals miles out of our way - the car park we were looking for turned out to be just about 300 yards ahead.

There are plenty of books and other resources to help you choose suitable walks and find your way around. You'll find some of them at the Epping Forest information centre, High Beach, Loughton, Essex or visit:
www.eppingforest.co.uk (link opens in new browser window)

My favourite time to go is in the autumn because of the leaves changing colour and all that. Any time is good though. If you do decide to have a "lets-get-lost-in- the-forest-adventure" in the autumn or winter though, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to find your way back before it gets dark...

Spring is also a nice time to go as all the flowers are coming out and there are little baby ducks and geese and that about- aaahh. In the summer it's nice to get away from the heat and humidity into the cool of the forest(on the rare occasions when it is hot and humid enough). On crisp winter days, it's good to work up a bit of a sweat tramping through the forest, pretending to be intrepid explorers or whatever takes your fancy.

photo Forest path
Forest path by Connaught Water

 

photo Connaght Water
Connaught Water

 

photo Goldings Ponds
Goldings Ponds

 

photo Epping Forest
Forest path near Goldings Ponds

 

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