Walks And Walking – Essex Walks The Forest Way Walking Route
The Forest Way is a 25 mile walking route along the footpaths and green lanes between the ancient woodlands and hunting grounds of Epping Forest and Hatfield Forest. This marvelous walking route meanders gently through the rolling Essex countryside making it one of my favourite Essex walks. I regularly walk sections of The Forest Way, especially in and around Epping Forest, and find it very easy to follow with plenty of signposts and waymakers.
There are a few slopes to cope with but nothing too long or steep. After rain the ground may be quite soft and in some places muddy so sturdy walking boots or a good pair of walking shoes are recommended. There is plenty of shelter along The Forest Way so no need to wear too many layers.
The Forest Way starts at Loughton London Underground Station and heads straight into Epping Forest making its way up and around Loughton Camp, an Iron Age Hill Fort that subseqently became popular with Dick Turpin and the Highwaymen of the 18th century.The City Of London Corporation have done an outstanding job with Epping Forest and it is a great place to go for all types of walks, walking, bicycle and horse riding.
As the walk follows through the Epping Forest Conservation Centre and crossing underneath the M25 Copped Hall Green and Copped Hall House appears to the east, a former medieval manor and park that looks impressive from a distance but up close only the shell remains. Continuing in a northerly direction The Forest Way passes Woodredon Farm, an 18th Century Farmhouse on the site of an ancient manor, to then join the Green Lanes.
Green Lanes are a historic network of minor roads connecting villages but now offer wide grassy paths with high boundary edges giving the feeling of being in a large green tunnel with the most prominent example being Epping Long Lane to Parndon Wood. The Forest Way then enters Latton Wood and the 12th Century Latton Priory before the walk joins the large commons of Latton and Harlow. At the villages of Matching The Forest Way enters its last section at Hatfield where it then ends at Hatfield Forest, an area owned by the National Trust, and is now a complete surviving example of a 12th Century small medieval Royal Hunting Forest
To download The Forest Way full colour PDF please click here: The Forest Way Walking Route
The Forest Way was published by “Ways through Essex” which was a project supported by the Countryside Commission and Essex County Council.