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10 Best Epping Forest Walks To Do

The Epping Forest walks are some of the best walks in nature that you can do just on the outskirts of northeast London. Epping Forest has 176 miles of trails to walk on and makes for a great day trip from the centre of London.

There are plenty of waymarked trails for the Epping Forest walks and some of them are reasonably easy to get to by London Underground, although some you will have to walk 20-30 minutes from the underground stops to reach or use local buses.

Included are the distance of each trail and the rough time to walk them, although, of course, the times for walking these trails depend on how fast you walk. At the end of the article is practical advice such as how to get to Epping Forest.

Pretty much all of the trails are easy to do, although some are longer than others and there may be some gradients to climb in some of them. Also, if you love running, Epping Forest is great for that as well.


Epping Forest Walks

Epping Forest
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Chestnut Trail (3.25 miles)

The Chestnut Trail is one of the best walks in Epping Forest and an easy one to do and starts from Warren Road.

The trail is great to walk on with plenty of ponds to stroll past on the way and through the forest and some grassland as well.

It takes around 2 hours to complete.


Beech Trail (2.5 miles)

Epping Forest walks -  beech trail.
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The Beech Trail is a great forest walk to do and starts from the High Beach car park. This has some really good beech trees on the trail and is also an easy walk to do.

This is really one of the best walks you can do in the forest there.

It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.


Oak Trail (6.6 miles)

Epping Forest walks - Oak trees
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Out of all the Epping Forest walks, the Oak Trail is the longest and one of the most stunning as it takes you through plenty of oak trees.

It’s also easy to get to from London as it’s right near the Theydon Bois tube station, which is where you should start from.

There’s a deer sanctuary towards the end of the trail that you might be able to visit (see further down the post about that).

It takes around 3-4 hours to complete.


Holly Trail (2.5 miles)

The Holly Trail takes you across the grassland and into the forest. You will see plenty of holly on this walk.

It takes around 1 hour to complete.


Hornbeam Trail (3.5 miles)

Epping Forest walks - moss on fallen tree.
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The Hornbeam Trail starts from Snaresbrook Road and is, like most of the Epping Forest walks, a trail going through lots of forest woods and grassland.

There are hornbeam trees on this trail, hence the name, so keep an eye out for them.

It takes around 2 hours to complete.


Gifford Trail (1.25 miles)

The Gifford Trail is the shortest walk in Epping Forest and the technical place to start is at Sergeant’s Green Lane, although a good place to begin is at the Upshire Village Hall.

This is a very easy walk to do out of all the Epping Forest walks as it’s so short, so good if you have limited time.

It takes around 1 hour to complete.


Willow Trail (2.5 miles)

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The Willow Trail takes you past the lovely Connaught Water where you can see some birdlife at the water’s edge.

It isn’t much of an actual ‘forest walk’ as it’s mostly along open grassland and by water.

It takes around 1 hour to complete.


Rowan Trail (1.5 miles)

The Rowan Trail is where you can see common rowan which comes to life in the summer months, which is the best time to walk this trail, for that reason.

It starts at Knighton Lane.

It takes around 1 hour to complete.

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Lime Trail (1.5 miles)

The Lime Trail starts at Harrow Road and is one of the easiest trails in Epping Forest to walk. It’s known for its wild bush wood in the woodland and the grassland as it combines both.

It takes around 1 hour to complete.


Forest Way and Green Ride Circular Walk

And one final walk in Epping Forest, which is also one of the longest to do, and one of the trickiest as it’s not waymarked so you will have to use your own navigation, but armed with a good trail map on your phone and you will be fine.

It has spectacular scenery though and is worth the extra effort, but it’s definitely not the easiest Epping Forest walks.


Epping Forest Deer Sanctuary

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There’s also a deer sanctuary by Epping Forest that is home to around 100 fallow deer and may or may not be open to visiting (check that link to see the latest updates) and you would have to book ahead to visit there if it is open.

If you love deer though and are planning some walks in Epping Forest then it could be good to enquire about the possibility to visit the deer sanctuary when there, but don’t count on it.


Getting to Epping Forest

Epping Forest is really easy to get to from London as the London Underground gets close to the forest by the Central Line at different stops.

From the underground stops, you can either walk to Epping Forest or if the stop is a bit further from the trail you have chosen, then you may be able to use local buses to reach it.

Epping Forest is easy to get to if you have your own car as there are car parks all around the forest, although at the weekends when it’s the most popular time for people going for walks in Epping Forest, the car parks will get busy. It’s best to go early at the weekends.


Visit Epping Forest

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Those are the main Epping Forest walks to do. You can always connect up the trails for a much longer walking day if you want to.

If you had to choose 1-2 walks then it depends on what you want to see, as some will be in more wooded areas and some will be more in open grassland.

I would personally recommend the Oak Trail or Beech Trail to get into the forest and have a longer walk. If you want more grassland and water with birdlife to see, then go for the Willow Trail.


For more things to do outside of London take a look at 6 of the best day trips from London.

Also, the 5 best places to visit in Kent, the county bordering London to the east.

If you’re planning to trip to London you can find places to stay in London here.

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