On reflection I should have worn my gaiters today as it rained heavily all day yesterday and it was extremely muddy on this walking route around Theydon Bois farmland and the woodland of Epping Forest. The mud was sticking to the soles of my walking boots making it quite arduous at times and some of the walk was through over grown nettles and brambles so I got stung a few times even through my thick walking trousers. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be hot or cold today so just had a lightweight windproof jacket on with my waterproof jacket in my rucksack just in case.
At the Theydon Bois tube station I walked over the railway footbridge to take me to the opposite side of the main station entrance where there was a footpath sign post taking me immediately left to walk alongside the railway tracks to a kissing gate and signpost for the Epping Forest Countrycare Country Walk (EFCCW).
Turning left to walk along the field edge to another signpost to another field where I kept to the fields edge to find a small footbridge on the fields edge. I then maintained my direction to cross the field uphill to a signpost that seemed to be pointing the wrong way… into the ferns. Looking to my right hand side I saw the entrance to the tunnel underneath the M11 motorway and the view of the All Saints Church in Theydon Garnon in the back drop, which is where I was heading. Walking downhill to the underpass I found a signpost leaning against the inside of the tunnel marked the EFCCW and continued to the other side to a stile that entered Garnish Hall farm buildings with a well preserved pond and landscaped gardens where the concrete path then bent left and then right uphill where I continued straight on past the church to a T-junction with the All Saints Church Theydon Garnon sign on my right enclosed by the hedge.
I then turned left down Coppersale Lane crossing over the road at Hobbs Cross to a gravel track in front of me which then bent left on to The Roman Road which led me under the M25, passed Barbers Wood on my left and straight up to North House and taking in the ruins of Hill Hall on my right through the gaps in the hedgerow.It was here that I started to notice deer tracks in and out of the woodland to the farmland.
Upon reaching the road I turned left by the telephone and post box to walk uphill to a signpost on my left on the bend of the road which led down a concrete path around Beachet Wood through an open gate to cross a meadow keeping to the edge of the woods on my right.Here the deer tracks became more obvious to spot so I dipped in to the wood to have a quick look for some fallow deer. After less than two minutes I spotted two female deers but the wood was very dense and the photos I took were quite blurred. I was also a little stuck for time so couldn’t afford to track them further to hopefully find the heard.Maybe next time!
Rejoining the pathway by the side of the wood I then reached a stile, and another, before reaching a wooden footbridge continuing straight on to a wooden footbridge and signpost to the road and crossing straight over to follow the road sign for Toot Hill and Ongar on the right. I then passed Mount Farm on my right before turning left at Mountwood Lane following the blue signpost sign to North Weald passing a cottage on my left I then entered Mount Wood on the EFCCW path to a signpost marked with various walking routes.I then turned left to cross a log blocking the path to now join The Essex Way (TEW) which is a track I will now be continuing to follow for a few miles.
TEW then took me through Birching Coppice to cross over the M25 and into the Gernon Bushes Nature Reserve where a small Muntjac Deer crossed my path. Walking straight ahead I reached a signpost taking me left on TEW across duck board to another TEW signpost before turning right up a few steps to a cricket pitch where I turned left to reach a kissing gate where I turned left to stay in Gernon Bushes and then down some wide steps where signs for TEW were pinned to duck board on the ground.
Turning right at the next TEW signpost to cross a small wooden bridge and then straight on by the fields edge and through another field and signpost to a signpost then cutting left across the field to a small gap in the hedge to a signpost across a field of freshly sheared sheep to another field that then emerged by the road where I turned right to walk passed the Thydon Oak pub on my right to a gravel driveway on my left. Following TEW signpost on to Steward’s Green Land I walked down to cross a road where I then left TEW to join the driveway up to the Epping Forest Golf Course turning right at the stile at the top of the road by the cottage. I then walked down through the course along a gravel path that then turned in to a grassy path down to a signpost where I turned right to follow the edge of the course running alongside the roar of the M25 passed an electricity pylon to a stile.
I then walked down the overgrown concrete path to turn left under the M25 emerging the other side to turn left and then right at the signpost to cross fields to a wooden footbridge where I turned left on to a wasteland under development to a signpost and metal bridge to rejoin the pathway from the beginning of the walk. I then crossed the railway footbridge to return to the car some 13 miles and just under 4 hours later…. muddy, tired but satisfied.