Walks And Walking – Essex Walks Epping Forest Gifford Wood Walking Route
It has been months since I have been able to make the short trip up to Epping Forest because of all the rain, snow and family commitments but with the weather and my diary finally clear I jumped on the tube and made my way up to Theydon Bois.
Since I received the Epping Forest Focus Spring 2013 newsletter I have been itching to do their new Gifford Wood Appeal walking route. ‘A circular walk crossing both Forest and Buffer Land, including the latest addition to Epping Forest, Gifford Wood.’ As the starting point was in Lodge Road, and with no lift or use of the car, I decided to start the walk at Theydon Bois London Underground Station and turn their 5 mile walking route into a 10 mile one.
From Theydon Bois tube I walked out of the station and turned right all the way up the B172 road to the Sixteen String Jack pub keeping to the right hand side of the road just passed Birch Hall Road where I then cut through the forest on my right hand side to join a path. I then turned left up this main track until I reached a car park on my left hand side where I kept straight ahead to the next car park at Jack’s Hill.
Where the main track goes right I walked straight ahead following a narrower path that zig-zagged across the rough land until I reached Epping Road where I turned right and walked along for a short while before turning left into Lodge Road and the start of the Gifford Wood Appeal walking route.
Starting from Lodge Road car park, walk down the closed road towards the Lodge Road gates at Copped Hall.
1. At the end of the road, cross Crown Hill Road and enter Copped Hall Estate via the pedestrian gate to the left of the
main vehicular access gates. Continue along the track through Warren Plantation and cross the motorway bridge.
2. On the other side of the motorway there is a small conifer plantation. At the end of it turn left and follow it along to
where it meets a hedge.
3. Bear right from the hedge and follow the wheel marks which lead to the far corner of the hill, providing great views of
4. In the corner of the field there is a narrow track, only about 50m (55 yds.) long, which leads onto a surfaced road. Turn left and pass through the gate, continue along the track to the left and head up to Long Street.
5. Here turn left and continue to the end of the road, bearing left once again into Fernhall Lane and up to the main road. Then turn right and follow the verge until it opens up – look for a small kissing gate on the right, go through it to enter Warlies Park.
6. Head downhill towards Warlies House and go through the gate past the front of the house. Exit the field through the kissing gate adjacent to the private access road. Turn left for approximately 150m to the Upshire Road, cross over onto Sergeants Green and head left along the unmade track.
7. To the left and right of the track are the three fields recently acquired by the City of London and now added to Epping Forest and where you can find Gifford Wood.
8. Follow the track past the cottages, after around 180m the track joins another bridleway. Turn right and follow the track uphill bearing left at the top, running parallel to the M25, turn right at the end and cross the motorway.9. Follow the track past two bungalows and then at the corner take the left branch. Follow the track past two bungalows and then at the corner take the left branch along the track to the bottom, dog legging left then right. The path then heads up towards the Forest. Where the path reaches the Forest there is a posted ride which continues uphill onto the surfaced ride, turn left and follow the ride back to the car park at Lodge Road.
I then retraced my steps back to the Sixteen String Jack pub and crossed over the road to the track by Birch Hall Farm where I popped by the Epping Forest Deer Sanctuary and took some pictures. After a few great close up shots I walked back down to Theydon Bois tube station after a very enjoyable 10 miles, taking me just just over 3 and a half hours to complete.