A summer day stroll in the Epping Forest
Epping Forest is quite a gorgeous location to stroll through, as we discovered recently. For a metropolitan city, London has a surprising amount of woodlands areas and humongous parks to get your forest bathing on. I have never been to Epping Forest though. Despite having lived in the general vicinity of Epping Forest for nearly eight years, we visited it for the very first time just a couple of weeks back. And it wasn't even out of our own volition. It was a forest school, organised through the bilingual Saturday school we regularly attend.
We started our walk from the Epping Forest Gateway, which is near Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge. Next to the lodge is also a nice cafe called Butler's Retreat to end the day in. Chingford, the town nearby, looks also pleasant and a nice place to stop for lunch.
The kids were so excited about the walk, running around, and finding all the best trees to climb. The hollow tree trunk you could climb through to the branches, and the big gigantic tree, with a little hidey-hole through the roots... We practically had to drag our daughter away. The tree with the cave underneath the roots was apparently her castle, where she would stay forever with her dangerous magic powers. I didn't query what these dangerous magic powers were but I knowing my daughter they probably turn your heart into ice and create "frozen fractals all around"...
Anyway, Epping Forest is just about 20 minutes drive away from ours, perhaps not even that. For whatever reason we have never went for walks there, but have favoured Whitewebbs, which is perhaps a little bit closer to us, again, again and again. We have been to Whitewebbs to hunt Easter eggs, to celebrate Mothers Day and to just walk around after a gigantic meal in their Toby's Carvery.
But Epping Forest... Well, this was the first time we went there together, the three of us. I've always pictured it as a bit of a vast, dense woods, where there isn't an awful a lot to do or see, other than perhaps trying to avoid the East End gangsters who apparently (as told by hubby) hide dead bodies in the deep forest. Morbid, yes, but thankfully the only shifty characters we met were Canada geese. Bird feed kept them on our good sides...
I thought it was a great place for a family day out, with plenty of easy walks and gorgeous greenery to enjoy, and lots of pleasant places to stop for a picnic. I think this will be one of those places we will have to visit again, perhaps take a picnic, or even treat ourselves to a nice pub lunch afterwards. Sounds pretty good to me!
What is your favourite forest to walk around in?
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