Walks And Walking – Essex Walks Epping Forest District Walking Route
Finally it has stopped raining. Every day for the last 6 weeks has seen low humid black cloud ruining every weekend so when I saw the weather was due to break in to glorious sunshine I got my Ordnance Survey map out and planned a walking route in Epping Forest. I plotted out 10 miles from Epping Station to Birching Coppice, up to North Weald Bassett, Hastingwood and then back down through Thornwood to Epping. As usual I got the mileage wrong and this Essex walk ended up doing 14 miles but I was so happy to be out walking again in such beautiful weather that I wasn’t that bothered about the miles or the time.
So far this year I have been ditching my walking shorts in favour of walking trousers, I found I was getting too many insect bites and stings so I was pleased to receive some Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard through the post. I’m not contractually obliged to say this but I will anyway…. Beyond just fighting off the bugs outdoors, Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug collection also helps you swat them away virtually with the first-ever Bug Guard game!
I will post a full review of the Avon products I received in the next post but let’s get back to today’s walk.
When I exited the station I went in to my ViewRanger app on my smartphone only to realise that my Ordnance Survey maps had disappeared after a software upgrade I noticed last week. I suppose I should have checked before I left the house it was all in good working order but I was so glad I still had my paper map with me otherwise I would have had to go home, meaning I then wouldn’t have had time for a walk. I continually cursed ViewRanger for the rest of the walk…
So, map in hand… from Epping Station I turned right and walked up the hill turning right at the Essex Way signpost across the bridge over the railway tracks walking through the residential area turning right at the road and then left at the next signpost by Bower Court continuing to follow the Essex Way signposts where I then entered one of many fields harvesting Broad Beans no less. It was here that I breathed in the fresh air and thought “Good afternoon Essex!” as I surveyed the clear blue skies ahead.
When the Essex Way track joined the road I walked left and then turned left at Stewards Green to join Stewards Green Lane, a muddy track that climbed gently uphill still soggy from all the rain to the next road where I walked right following the signpost to Fiddlers Hamlet and Toot Hill passing the Theydon Oak on my left hand side passing Gaynes Park on my left hand side turning left at the gate and signpost over the M11 bridge to the other side of Gaynes Park where I then followed the signpost for Epping Country Walk.
I continued my walk along Banks Lane keeping left at Tawney Common turning left in to Mountwood Lane to then follow the waymarker to North Weald through Mount Wood all the way up to Carisbrooke Farm up the road underneath the railway line turning right at the main road and then left up Wellington Road leading to Church Lane. I then followed Church Lane all the way up to the next road where I crossed over to join the Bassett Millenium Walks waymarkers signposted Bassett Millenium Walk 2000 and Stewards Hall through the North Weald Golf Course crossing over the tarmaced bridge where I then walked through the tunnel continuing to follow the Bassett Millenium Walk waymarkers and signposts “The 5th Tee” keeping left at the waymarker across the footbridge where I then joined the Stort Valley Way.
It was here I found a very over grown bridleway track, what better way to test out the Avon Bug Guard insect repellent spray. I fought my way through to the next Bassett Millenium Walks and Stort Valley Way signpost keeping left at the next waymarker up to Paris Hall Farm keeping ahead at the Stort Valley Way and Hastingwood Country Walk yellow topped waymarker where I then turned left at the road and then right at the metal barrier signposted Stort Valley Way walking left at the footbridge and stile to the next stile and footbridge where I then walked right in the short gap in the wood (careful you dont miss it!) to the underpass taking you under the M11 where I then turned sharp left at the exit in to Harlow Park turning left at the end of the woods all the way to the road through another small gap in the woodland by the various metal posts across the field to the next road by the petrol station.
I crossed over the road to the petrol station opposite and then turned right up the track by the disused building in to Latton Park and Mark Bushes where I then exited the woods and turned left to follow the field edge rejoining the Stort Valley Way all the way down until I then joined the Forest Way by the signpost at the end of the thin strip of woodland. I then walked along the track turning right at the next junction by the telegraph pole along the overgrown wide grassy path following the next Stort Valley Way waymarker to the next Forest Way signpost turning left all the way down the road to the metal gate ahead passing Hill Farm on my left hand side to the next road where I crossed over the footbridge to the Thornwood Trout Fishery where I then followed the exit to the road.
I then turned right at the main road passing the Epping Forest information board for The Lower Forest on my left hand side all the way down in to Epping where I then turned left at the slip road turning left at the end in to Station Road and back to Epping Station some 14 miles and 4 hours 30 minutes later. My legs were bite free so I was pleased the Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard had worked!