Walks and Walking: Epping Forest Walks In Gilwell Park

Walks and WalkingEpping Forest Walks in Gilwell Park.

We decided to do a walking route around Gilwell Park today as it was such a fine spring morning with the day looking full of sunshine. Back in the walking shorts and short sleeved t-shirt for today as it was so hot yesterday and today looks like being another hot one. It is very dry under foot at the moment so just a good pair of walking shoes are required and, as always, Tedi was very happy getting in to his child carrier!

Along the way  we met some lady walkers who told us about a secret bluebell wood, so we did a quick detour, set my camera to video mode and had a good look around.

For all the photos from today please click here: Gilwell Park Photographs

To watch our short video please click here: Secret Bluebell Wood

The White House at Gilwell Park, Epping Forest

The White House at Gilwell Park, Epping Forest

The Gilwell Park Walking Route.

We started the walk at the visitors car park opposite The White House at Gilwell Park in Sewardstonebury, Epping Forest, Essex. Passing through the big wooden Gilwell Park gates we followed the yellow waymakers through the park and various scouting activities to the views of the King George Reservoir below us and then carried on down the grassy slop to a kissing gate at the bottom. We then continued through the fields to catch view of well maintained fields with plenty of horses and llamas to a large fishing pond. Following the pond around with the water on our right hand side we walked on Daws Hill for a short while until we turned left on to Sewardstone Road turning right down Mill Lane, all well signposted so far.

Crossing in to the reservoir, we turned right and then straight on until we found the edge of the Lee Valley Park, close to Gunpowder Mills. Here we followed the London Loop green waymakers until we reached Sewardstone Road again at the next London Loop sign by a stile on our left, a short distance up the road, we turned left and ignored the rest of the Loop to walk up the steep flank of Barn Hill before walking down the other side continuing straight on and upwards until we reached the wide Green Lane. Ignoring the first signpost for Lippitts Hill we turned left at the second signpost to Lippitts Hill.

We then followed the yellow waymakers across the golf course, up and around to the police firearms training camp. As we reached Lippitts Hill we turned right, passing The Owl pub on our left we turned right up some steps at the next footpath sign. Following the obvious pathway we continued to a large metal gate where we turned right and followed the treeline (where we found the bluebells) down through the golf course before turning right at the waymaker which lead us in to Bury Road where we turned right and then left back in to Gilwell Park, some 2 hours later and a good 6 miles covered.

About Gilwell Park.

Whilst Gilwell Park is more famously known as the home of The Scout Association, its history dates back over 600 years to 1407 no less. The first record of the area can be found in the British Library’s Harleian register.

The land was part of the Gyldiefords, as named by the owner John Crow. John Crow owned several areas in the Parish of Waltham Abbey, Essex, which, at the time, were known as “parcels”.By 1422 the ownership had changed and the land became known as Gillrolfes, as in Glen of the Rolfes. This was common in those days, the first part ‘Gill’ simply being the old English word for Glen. Little Gilwell was an ‘L’ shaped piece of land sitting behind and to the left of the farm with Great Gilwell, the larger field, running across what is now the Boys’ Field to Hoe Lane. To the front of the farm was an open public area called Gilwell Green.

In later years an adjoining property of some 14 acres on the other side of Hoe Lane, was purchased by Richard Osborne. He built a house which he called Osborne Hall on the site of roughly where the White House is today. It would be easy to be fooled into believing that Osborne built something as grand or as large as the White House but clearly this would not be true. The building must though have been of some considerable size and well constructed because, although we know little of Osborne himself, the name of Osborne Hall lived on for the next 300 years.


2 responses to “Walks and Walking: Epping Forest Walks In Gilwell Park”

  1. Brown Owl says:

    Hi, I wonder if you could help me. I found your website and it’s great by the way. I have a large Brownie pack (average age of girls is about 8 years old) and I need to organise a circular walk for us all (parents, siblings and dogs included). I need it to start somewhere where there is parking and an easy meet-up point as there could well be a lot of people and preferably refreshments and a loo. Our walk could take most of the day with breaks and a lunch time sit down. I’m not too sure how many miles to try and cover – maybe 5 miles at the very very most as although these kids live in the Epping Forest Area many of them have never ventured into the forest for a walk!!!! I have a dog and I walk everyday, everywhere but I’m only just getting into walking for my sake as well as the dogs so I am still very limited with where I go. I’ve bought a few books and picked up some pamphlets at the Epping Forest Visitors Centre in High Beech but haven’t yet found a walk that is:

    Not too long
    Interesting and captivating along it’s route (for 8 year olds)
    Is Circular
    Has somewhere to stop along the way to have lunch
    Doesn’t involve walking along roads/country lanes (we don’t mind crossing roads but not trying to walk 40 young kids along them)
    Has parking facilities and a good meeting point

    Anyway, the walk is on Saturday 26th May so anything you could share with me I can try out beforehand with my trusty brown furry friend (crazy chocolate lab).

    Hope you can help, Brown Owl of 10th Loughton Brownies.

  2. Hi, Thanks for contacting me. I will give this some thought and email you with some suggestions.

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