Walks And Walking – Essex Walks Epping Forest Abridge Walking Route
This Epping Forest walking route starts in Hainault Forest Country Park before leading up to Chigwell Row, Pudding Lane, Taylors Farm, Abridge, Lambourne House and then back to Hainault Forest Country Park. Abridge lies on the historically important stagecoach route between London and Chipping Ongar and has been an important crossing point of the River Roding for many centuries.
I packed up my usual walking gear for a brisk walk in the Epping Forest area and got dropped off at Hainault Forest Country Park where we agreed that I would be picked up later. No time for dawdling so I cracked on with the walk and already mapped out my route, one which I have done a few times before. Standard walking clothes for today; walking trousers, walking boots, t-shirt and a waterproof jacket in my rucksack and I made sure I had my gaiters on as it was going to be muddy.
From the second car park in Hainault Forest Country Park I walked to the bottom and straight after the hedge boundary I turned left and keeping the hedge on my left followed the path until it joined a gravel path in to woodland with the lake on my left. I walked along the northern side of the lake and then turned left and then right on to a wide path taking the second path on my left to another path junction beside the footpath signpost Hainault Footpath No 43 and generally following the London Loop signposts.
I then turned left and as I left the forest I kept to the right on to a path which went diagonally across the field towards the top left hand side by the kissing gate. I then walked across the A1112 road and turned right along Latchford Place to the kissing gate and the footpath signpost where I then went left following the signpost through woodlands keeping straight ahead to the woods edge turning slightly to the right and the open field. I then walked across the open field to the left hand side of the tennis court to the kissing gate and B173 road with the Maypole Inn at Chigwell Row on my right.
I then walked left along the road to the United Reformed Chapel where I then turned right in to Chapel Lane following the footpath signpost. I then walked straight ahead walking between the houses to a stile across the field to another stile before keeping to the right hand side of the fields to another two stiles where I then reached the fence outside the Chigwell Water Treatment Works. I then turned left and kept the fence on my right hand side as the path went right and then left until the path turned sharp right where I went left at the stile keeping the hedge on my right to a gate and stile. I then walked right along the hedged path to Pudding Lane next to Burnt House on my right.
I then crossed the lane to a footpath signpost turning left and keeping the hedge on my right hand side following it right and where the road went left I continued my walk straight ahead with a ditch and a hedge on my left hand side. I then followed the footpath signpost walking straight ahead with a pond on my left keeping left of the field as I then walked down to Gravel Lane with Taylors Farm on my left. I then turned right and then left down the drive to Taylors Cottages keeping straight ahead across a bridge to a stile. I then turned left and kept the field edge on my left to Marchings Farm where I then crossed a footbridge and two fenced stiles turning left to a gate. I then walked up the middle to the field with the farm on my left hand side and at the top of the hill I walked to the right hand corner of the field to a stile. It was here that I saw a beautiful bird of prey, Kestrel shaped but it hand a red underbelly and wings, possibly a Red Kite?
I then turned right and then left at the signpost to a stile where I then walked up the field aiming for the oak tree at the fields right hand corner before continuing to the upper left hand side to a stile and the Great Downs Farm. I then turned left crossing the middle of the field to a gap walking straight ahead down to a stile and on to another before joining the A113 road at Abridge. I then turned right in to the village passing the Log Cabin Cafe on the right and the Maltsers Arms on my left following the road left passed the Blue Boar Inn and right along Ongar Road.
I then walked passed the Prince of Wales Cottages on my left before turning right along New Farm Drive where I turned left at the signpost Apes Grove where I then walked along the fenced path to a footbridge and then in to Apes Wood. I then walked in to the wood and turned right following the pathway close to the woods western perimeter turning left along the southern side of the woods where I then walked sharp left going right across a footbridge and keeping left of the field by the hedge to Church Lane and Lambourne House.
I then crossed to the footpath signpost on the right of The Elms following the fenced path to Patch Park with the Pryors on my left I then turned right to a footpath signpost turning left on to the faint pathway where I then aimed for a small cluster of trees by the pond. I then turned left at the pond across the field to a footpath signpost on the corner of Great Wood where I then turned half right to walk across the field to a stile and Church Lane using the church spire for direction. I then walked down the road to Lambourne Church with Lambourne Hall on my right where I then turned left straight after the church gateway to a kissing gate and footpath signpost.
I then walked beside the hedge on my left to a stile by the edge of the woods where I then walked straight through the narrow wood to a track where I then turned right following a track passed Gallmans End Farm on my left to the road at Lambourne End. It was shortly after here that I spotted a large group of male Fallow Deer sitting in the field. The hedgerow was a little dense so I had to push the lens of the camera through a gap to try to get the pictures and a short video.
I then crossed over the road to a hedged pathway which swung left and then right following the track signposted back to Hainault Forest Country Park turning left in to Rodingbrook Cottage and then right to a kissing gate in to the forest. Walking straight ahead along the pathway through the forest to a junction of signposts I turned right and then left to the field signposted Hogg Hill. I then walked along this track to the end of Fox Burrow Road where I turned right passing the visitors centre on my left and back to the car park some 4 hours and 11 miles later.