Walks And Walking – Epping Forest Walks In Wanstead Park
We did this walking route last year and enjoyed it so much we decided to return today, a beautiful spring day with clear blue skies and very warm weather. It was definitely a t-shirt and walking shorts day today so we laced up our walking shoes and strapped Tedi in to his child carrier setting off for our forest walk in Wanstead Park, East London.
Getting to the park from the tube station:
From Wanstead Tube, turn left by the green in to St Mary’s Avenue crossing over in to Overton Drive at the end. At the T-junction turn left and enter Wanstead Park through the gate opposite at the edge of the Golf Course.Walk ahead, slightly downhill until you reach the water and then turn left.
It’s then simply a case of following the pathway around the lakes, keeping left at all times. There are plenty of signs in the park so it’s impossible to get lost but it is worth while having a good look around and trying to find the remains of the grotto and a look around the Temple.
Wanstead Park was a favourite of Elizabeth I and the walk follows the outline of the ornamental lakes and includes the ruins of a grotto and refurbished Temple, which is quite a suprising sight as it comes in to view.For a few hours you forget how close it is to the North Circular or how central to London it is as the park is sheilded from the noise.
Wanstead’s royal connections date back to 1553 when Queen Mary stopped here to meet her sister Princess Elizabeth who was accompanied by hundreds of knights on horseback. What a sight that would have been! Henry VIII took control of the area and after Mary’s death when ELizabeth became Queen she managed frequent visits to the estate, for lavish parties and short holidays.
Elizabeth’s successor, James I, spent the autumn of 1607 in Wanstead and over the years in grew in popularity and value. However, in 1794 Catherine Tilney-Long inherited the estate but married a gambler who blew the fortune in less than 10 years. The house was pulled down and everything sold to the highest bidder although the grounds still remained and have been well looked after.