- There are so many things to do in Epping Forest, from hiking up the hills to relaxing by the streams there is something there that everyone in the family will enjoy.
- Discover the deep-rooted history of the forest with facilities like Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge and more!
- Check out some of the visitor centres on site to see unique displays, temporary exhibitions and get more information about the amazing wildlife of the forest.
City life can get the best of us; sometimes we need a nice nature break to relax. Epping Forest is the perfect location to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a day. Near London, approximately an hours drive from the city centre, Epping Forest is a stunning natural retreat with an ancient history. It has deep roots connected to the culture and history of Britain as well as being home to stunning wildlife and great walking trails. Clear your head and bring the children out for a fantastic day in nature with a visit to this forest.
Covering over 2,400 hectares of land, there is so much to explore in the woods of Epping Forest. It is a registered Site of Specific Interest meaning it is a protected and valuable area for wildlife. There are a vast amount of habitats and different landscapes within the forest. From the crystal clear Connaught Lake to the ancient pollard forest that’s populated with about 50,000 trees there is so much to explore here. With the wide-open meadows, stunning woodlands and over 100 lakes and ponds dotted throughout the area; this forest is home to a huge amount of native plants and animals. Epping Forest is a beautiful location for a brisk family hike in any season. There are so many different trails that take you through the main highlights of the forest and cater to the varying fitness levels of all visitors who want to hike here. Whether you’re looking for an intense fitness boosting workout or a scenic stroll, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
Epping Forest has roots that date as far back to the Neolithic Era. Visitors can still explore remnants of the past in places like Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge. The forest was frequently visited by members of the royal family such as King Henry VII and his children. The lodge was built in 1543 and is still open for private tours. Here you can see a stunning view of the forest that’s fit for a king as well as learn about life in Tudor England with the kitchen and dress up facilities. Other fun areas of the forest include the mixed woodland at the St. Thomas Quarter, the horseback riding trail at Blackweir Hill with a stunning picturesque lake, the stunning stream at Gilbert’s Slade and much, much more. Epping Forest is so vast; you could spend the whole day there and still have more left to discover. It's the perfect scenic place to return to with the family throughout the year and marvel at how the lovely natural landscape changes with every season.
There are four amazing visitor centres situated around the woods that each offer different services to the public. They all open at different times throughout the week, so be sure to check the website before choosing a centre to explore. The Chingford Centre has maps and informative leaflets that help visitors figure out where they want to go. The High Beach Centre has lovely natural forestry displays which educate the public about the gorgeous natural wildlife found within the forest. The Temple and Wanstead Park invites the public to explore the Roman and Victorian aspect of the history at Epping Forest with mosaics and other genuine artefacts. Each of these centres has its own gift shops as well as knowledgeable staff on hand to answer any questions you may have. Epping Forest also holds several temporary exhibitions and displays that focus on different fascinating areas of the forest. There is so much to see and do at these fantastic centres; you are sure to find something there that interests the entire family.
What to know before you go
- Epping Forest is open every day of the year from dawn until dusk. The opening times of each visitor centre varies from centre to centre.
- There are several places to eat located in the visitor centres that serve hot and cold refreshments to visitors. Choose from any one of the tea huts, cafes, restaurants and pubs to stop in for a quick meal and a drink.
- There are public toilets, including wheelchair-accessible toilets and baby changing facilities located inside the visitor centres.
- Epping Forest is mostly wheelchair accessible with level, easy going trails. Please note that in wet weather, the ground can become uneven and may cause discomfort to wheelchair users.
- Dogs are allowed on site and off the leash within the forest.
How to get there
- The closest Underground Station is Theydon Bois Tube Station (Central Line) which is a short walk away from the entrance to the forest.
- The nearest Overground Station is Chingford Station which stops directly outside the entrance to Epping Forest.
- There are many car parks located around the premises, including a designated area for blue badge holders to park.