Living in the concrete jungle of London can wear you down sometimes and leave you with a yearning to get into nature for a day. Whilst there are a number of national parks close to London such as New Forest and South Downs Park these probably require at least spending the full weekend to do them proper justice. One of the best options, if you want to go on a day hike in London, is to visit the ancient woodlands of Epping Forest in the north-east of London.
An Epping Forest walk is the perfect antidote to living in busy London and as Epping Forest is over 2400 hectares, there are plenty of trails to explore. With plenty of transport options available from all over London, hiking in Epping Forest is a must-do day trip for visitors to the city who want to see a different side of the British capital or for long term residents that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of London life.
How to get to Epping Forest:
The best way to get to Epping Forest if you’re living in London is to take the Overground to Chingford Station. Trains depart from Liverpool Street Station and only take 30 minutes and will take you directly to the entrance of Epping Forest. Another option is to take the Central Line to Theydon Bois station and then walk to the entrance of the park.
If you haven’t already, then I highly recommend downloading the Citymapper app which will give you up to date transport routes for how to get anywhere in London. This will ensure you’re not caught out if there is an expected strike or repair works in London!
The Perfect Epping Forest Walk:
From Chingford station, there is a fantastic 11km, 3-hour circular hike that will take you through some of the best parts of Epping Forest. When exiting the station, walk towards Royal Forest Hotel and Butlers Pond where you will see a trail that leads you to the Connaught Water lake. The lake is absolutely stunning and popular with dog walkers, however, once you leave this part of the forest the number of people on the trails greatly reduces.
From Connaught Water Lake head to Strawberry Hills Pond where the wildlife becomes more abundant. There are a number of trails that continue from this area but if you’re sticking to the circular day hike head towards Loughton Camp before continuing towards High Beach. At High Beach, you’re about two-thirds of the way into the hike so if you need some extra energy there is a pub where you can stop for a meal.
From High Beach, it’s essentially one path to follow all the way back towards Chingford station which will including walking through some dense forest and open fields as you get closer to the station.
What you’ll see on an Epping Forest Hike:
Epping Forest is one of the best day hikes in London and a perfect way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy some serene nature.
Have you been to Epping Forest? What is your favourite Epping Forest walk? Add a comment below!