More Information about Epping Forest, Essex.
There is an information centre at High Beach and you can contact them at:
Epping Forest Information Centre
Essex IG10 4AF
Telephone (0)208 508 0028 or Fax (0)208 532 0188
Refreshments are available near the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, Chingford, and also at High Beach and the North end of the Fairmead Bottom road.
Walking in the forest
The Ordnance Survey Map 'Epping Forest and the Lea Valley' (Explorer 174) at a scale of 1:25000 (2.5 inches to the mile) is very useful for general exploration - from Guidepost and most stationers.
You can walk on a circular route from the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge to High Beach, via Connaught Water, Loughton Camp Iron Age hill fort, and back. If you are starting from the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge you do not need to do section 1 of the walk (Chingford Station to the hunting lodge).
If you want to walk off the beaten track then you need a copy of the map mentioned above and you may find one of the following useful but not necessarily essential:
GPS - A small hand-held Global Positioning System is the ideal position finder in the forest. There will be some places where a signal will be weak or non-existant but generally you will be able to get a useable signal. If it is set to use the Ordnance Survey Grid you can transfer readings directly to the map.
Compass - This would be the next choice assuming that you can use it properly. It should keep you on a known track although you may have to navigate round relatively small areas of impenatrable scrub.
The Sun - Starting from a known point and heading in your direction of choice keep the Sun in the same position relative to you. For example if the Sun is just over your left shoulder keep it there and you should travel in a straight line. Bear in mind the warning in the previous paragraph about areas that you may have to navigate around.
Walking away from the paths will enable you to see some of the best parts of the forest. Here are some Epping Forest walks in the northern part of the forest near Loughton.