Words by Jessica Peace
A G&T fave green spot, to the east of our concrete jungle sweeps Epping Forest...
Get out here for mud stomping, tree hugging, dog walking, bird watching, flask drinking, sandwich eating, lakeside gazing and just all round good nature lovin’.
TALES FROM THE FOREST FLOOR
Epping Forest has been doing its thang for about 3000 years; it’s seen wild boar, roman invasions and Victorian beer tents. The now golf courses were used to grow veg during the wars and many of the lakes were created from bomb craters. Blimey. Now Epping is a sanctuary for us lot, fleeing the madness of the smoke for a stomp amongst the trees.
From the Georgian to the Industrial period, Londoner’s fought to keep Epping Forest for the public, resulting in the Epping Forest Act. Queen Vic stood up and dedicated the forest to, ‘the use and enjoyment of my people for all time’ from then on it became known as ‘The People’s Forest’. There you have it – the forest is ours! Oh and its 5,900 acres – that’s BIG man.
If you like a bit of historic architecture between your leaves then there’s Queen Elizabeth’s (the first one) hunting lodge, built in 1543, at the Chingford end of the Forest and an 18th Century temple at the Wanstead end.
FOREST IS MASSIVE
Because it is f’in HUGE it can be slightly tricky to know where to begin, here are a few of our fave bits to get you moving...
THE TEMPLE, WANSTEAD PARK [RE-OPENS SPRING 2018].
Beautiful building to walk up the tree lined avenue to. Inside the Museum gives you the history of Wanstead Park from Roman to Regency.
AMBRESBURY BANK, THEYDON BOIS.
Iron Age stuff: Ambresbury Bank was a hillfort built around 500 BC and is one of the highest points in the forest.
‘THE LOST POND’, LOUGHTON.
Blackweir Pond or the ‘Lost Pond’ is one of the sexiest spots of the forest. Come over and have a romantic gaze or get your fishing rod out.
GRIMSTON’S OAK, CHINGFORD.
This mighty specimen is about 400 years old – try getting your arms around that trunk!
EPPING LONG GREEN, EPPING.
One to keep for a sunny day; pack up that hamper and blanket and kickback amongst the wild roses and meadows.
EASY TO GET TO
If you’ve only got a bit of time and you haven’t got a car; or you just fancy a pint on the way home then you can jump off the central line at Wanstead or Snaresbrook.
Free forest fun
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Central Line/ Car/ Bike if you’re game.
Handy site for planning your adventure...