Walks And Walking – Epping Forest Queen Boudicca Walking Route
The highlight of this walking route was supposed to be the Queen Boudicca (Boudica, Boadicea) Obelisk but it turned out to be the sighting of 4 groups of Epping Forest Fallow Deer, the Goodyear Blimp, Field Mice and a Muntjac encapsulating all that is truly wonderful about Epping Forest. I planned to do 10 miles starting and finishing at Epping London Underground Station, walking down to Ambresbury Banks Iron Age Hill Fort where Queen Boudicca made her last stand against the Romans, down in to the heart of Epping Forest, back up towards the Obelisk in Upshire and then a few detours to find the Fallow Deer at Copped Hall and then back to Epping station. I went to all my favourite places to track the Deers and was really lucky to see so many, it extended the walk by an extra 2 miles but was well worth it.
It was perfect walking weather today; a beautiful Spring morning, clear blue skies, crisp fresh air and a very slight breeze. My Scarpa walking boots are now fully broken in and I packed a windproof walking jacket in my rucksack if the weather did happen to turn.
Exiting Epping station I walked right and then crossed the road to the alley way at the top of the car park on the left. I walked along this alley skirting around the car park turning left on to Centre Drive and then walking right up Western Avenue, the 4th road on the right hand side to now join the Centenary Walk that I would be following for the next few miles. At the footpath signpost I turned right and followed this track all the way up to Bell Common where I turned left and followed the lane by the houses to The Forest Gate Inn where I then walked left down Theydon Road turning right on to the wide grassy path by the 3 wooden stumps and large drain cover to Epping Cricket Club. I then walked round to the left to enter Epping Forest and walked straight ahead and slightly downhill keeping to the Centenary Walk’s wide gravel track to Ambresbury Banks Iron Age Hill Fort.
Just after Ambresbury Banks I walked sharp right on to a wide gravel track now leaving the Centenary Walk doubling back on myself before bending round to the left to join Epping Road B1393 crossing straight over the road by the metal barriers to join another wide gravel track swinging left where I then walked along parallel to just before the A121 road I walked right and then around to my left to rejoin the A121 road where I crossed over to join The Forest Way at the signpost to Loughton at Woodridden Hill. It was here that I spotted to Goodyear Blimp flying over head and managed to get a good photograph through a gap in the trees.
Just before the next road I walked right and headed steeply downhill and leaving The Forest Way to Claypit Hill Road turning right and walking along the banks of the small stream where I heard lots of rustling in the undergrowth where a Field Mouse popped up. I continued straight ahead and up Woodgreen Road walking underneath the M25 through Wood Green and as the road then went sharp left I walked right on to a path and stile passing the house on my left keeping the hedge on my left to the next still and footbridge to the track and next footbridge climbing uphill with Upshire Church in view. I then walked through the stiles around the back of the house to the Horseshoe Hill in Upshire with the Horseshoes Inn on my left hand side. I walked right passing Upshire Church on my right hand side to the Upshire Village signpost where I turned left down Fernhall Lane keeping left at the fork all the way down to Obelisk Farm where I then turned right on to the track with the Obelisk in view on my left hand side.
I continued along this track to Long Street where I walked right and saw a Muntjac running across the road ahead of me. Midway along Long Street I walked left along the track towards Lodge Farm Stables turning right at the signpost by the gate straight ahead to a small track on my right hand side to a kissing gate. It was here that I had my first sighting of the Epping Forest Fallow Deer, a small group of fairly young deer that were hidden from view in all the undergrowth. I continued along this track where I met some fellow walkers who had just seen a large group of Deer so we exchanged sightings and moved on. Shortly afterwards I had my second sighting and it was the much larger group that were enjoying the sunshine in the open fields. Unfortunately, being such a nice day they were lots of people and quite a few dogs bounding around so after getting some photos and taking a short video of the Fallow Deers they were scared off.
I then walked back along the same track and continued on to my next spot to find some more of the Epping Forest Fallow Deers. Walking through the kissing gate I then walked right and back on to the main track to Copped Hall climbing slightly uphill along the lane and then forking left down the track across fields turning left at the lane by The White House and through a stile along the Permissive Path to Little Rookery Wood with Spratt’s Hedgerow down to my left hand side. I then had my third sighting of the Deer in the fields below so I walked slowly down to try to get some good photographs and as I did a mountain biker came hairing down the lane and scared them all off.
Feeling as my Epping Forest Fallow Deer sightings were now all over I walked back to rejoin the Permissive Path heading back to the lane when I had my fourth sighting of a small group of adult Deer grazing by the edge of the woodland. The wind was blowing in the right direction so they didn’t pick up my scent as I walked really slowly downhill by the edge of the woodland to try to get some decent photographs.
Feeling jubilant at all the Deer sightings I walked back up to the lane and walked left along the lane all the way to the gate on my right hand side and the footpath signpost to walk up the side of the field to a bench, where I looked back to the views of Copped Hall, and through a gap in the hedges up the right hand side of the field to a very old stile walking left along the narrow track by the side of the M25 to the next stile keeping left to join a lane to the High Road. I crossed over the road to Epping Cricket Club and walked around the front of the pavilion passing the nets and back round to rejoin my walking route from earlier.
Walking along the wide grassy path to the road I walked left up Theydon Road and right down Bell Common turning right at the waymarker down through the woodland to Western Avenue and along Centre Drive turning right down the alley way by the car park and back to Epping Forest London Underground Station after a thoroughly enjoyable 12 miles taking me exactly 3 hours.