Walks And Walking – Essex Walks Epping Forest South Woodford Walking Route
I had been planning to do a section of the Centenary Walk from South Woodford to Chingford fo ages but because it’s only on my doorstep I hadn’t got round to doing it yet, strangely as it sounds! The February snow meant I could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak (I dp not condone the killing of birds with stones, just for the record), a quick trudge around with the family in the cold white stuff and then pop off to do my walk in my new Scarpa walking boots. I need to break the boots in gently so 3 miles in the Epping Forest snow sounded about right for the first trip. I’ll probably move on to about 6 miles or so for the next few walks until I wear them in.
Anyway, back to the walking route… probably best I start the walk from South Woodford London Underground Station as starting directions from my house isn’t really going to be too much help for anyone other than me! From South Woodford leave the station on the side of the car park and walk all the way up George Lane and turn right at Pizza Express, cross over the road and walk along to the parade of shops near Funky Mojo (a familiar landmark for all you TOWIE fans).
I now join the walk here so I then turned left at The Gate House cafe and kept right to the second bicycle pathway signpost passing the garages on my right hand side and walked straight along Grove Road and as the road went right I walked down by the bus stop to emerge through trees to the road. I crossed over the road and turned left following the path gently downhill turning sharp right at the underpass climbing up the track where I turned left. I then continued straight ahead through the snow-covered trees turning right at the next main track following it as it meandered through to the open space where I kept to the left hand side of the field turning left just before the white house in front of me to the right.
I was now firmly on the Centenary Walk and started to pick up the bridleway signpost marked white with a black horseshoe on them. I continued my walk along this track turning right to a metal gate at Oak Hill. I crossed the road and continued straight ahead following the path as it bent round to the left after houses and on to the next road. I crossed over the road following the main pathway keeping left at the notice board for Epping Forest alongside The Ching Boating Lake (where the geese were looking a little miffed at the whole snow and ice situation) at The Highams Park, keeping right just after the bench and still following the white bridleway signposts crossing straight over the next road.
I then switched to autopilot as the track meandered along the Centenary Walk letting my mind wander and amusing myself with the couple infront of me that kept falling over in the snow and seeing the excited faces on the children and their families rushing around with their sledges. This section of the walk is really easy to follow with plenty of bridleway signposts guiding me along as I crossed another few roads heading towards Chingford.
I was now really starting to enjoy the walk, so much so that I nearly missed my turning, and was tempted to continue straight up the Centenary Walk to High Beach. Just after crossing Ranger’s Road I turned left at the signpost for The Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge and continued straight ahead with the buildings on my left hand side through the trees. This pathway took me down through Chingford Plain where I then turned left before the wooden bridge and along to Chingford Railway and Bus Station where I then got the bus back home after only a few minutes wait.