Recent outings and activities...

The Oak Trail, Epping Forest.

Six of us met at Theydon Bois for a walk along the Oak Trail. It had poured down with rain earlier so six was a good turnout.

Leaving Theydon Bois via Forest Drive we started climbing on greasy paths and fields, heading towards the M25. Slightly slippery underfoot but we made good time, some of us envying Val’s poles which were giving her good purchase in the conditions. Through the Great Gregories, across the M25 and down to Ivy Chimneys where the path could have been very difficult if kind residents had not laid planks of wood and paving slabs to aid our progress. Up again through Sheppard’s Meadows heading towards the Epping Road where we turned south alongside the main road to stop at Forest Gate pub. Once again I was disappointed by this pub. We had to buy coffee/tea from a stand in a corner of the car park and it took so long a couple of us gave up waiting, that decision being made easier when hearing colleagues complain about the cost.

efog oaks walk 05 02 22 884We had roared along, covering 2.7 miles in an hour, much faster than recent EFOG walks where (dare I say it) the laggards include my wife. Heading south again we walked through Epping Thicks to Jacks Hill car park. Here, the parking machines had been vandalised and presumably all the cars there were parking for free. I am not condoning this type of action but I do understand the irritation felt about the hamfisted introduction of parking charges by the City of London (COL). Turning left off the Ditches Ride I was complimenting the COL on their waymarking of this route when the markers disappeared, just as we reached the stream. A difficult crossing with two of us getting wet feet and we were over and climbing up to the deer sanctuary. Today the deer were determined to remain hidden so we took a photo of us with a chain link fence behind and walked on. Reaching Coppice Row we turned down the hill and returned to Theydon Bois. The walk is advertised at five miles but we measured it at six.

We were congratulating ourselves on having had a dry walk when the first spots of rain were felt and we dashed to our cars to return home.

 Brian U., 6th February 2022


A January Walk in the Lee Valley

On Saturday 22nd January, 2022, eleven EFOG members had a good bracing walk around the some of the lovely paths and lakes of The Lea Valley, organised by Lynne.

We started at the Stubbins Lane Car Park and walked 5 miles towards Waltham Abbey, taking in the odd bird hide and the Lee Valley White Water Centre at Waltham Abbey. We had coffees here, and sat looking at the antics of people learning how to canoe down the rapids (not always successfully).

Thus refreshed, we then walked along the canal back to where we started.

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 Val., 24th January 2022



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Loughton to Theydon Bois walk

A group of 14 of us met at Loughton station on Saturday 25th September and headed into Epping Forest. We walked via The Stubbles, visiting Strawberry Hill Pond and crossing the Epping New Road to continue our route on the green ride by way of the Ups and Downs through to High Beech for lunch break and to admire the view. The weather was cloudy all day, with no sight of the sun, a bit muggy in the morning but comfortable for walking.

Another group member joined us at High Beech, and after lunch we headed out on the grandly named Generals Ride and then the Verderers Ride, making our way to through to Ambresbury Banks before carrying on around the ‘Theydon Loop’ with strangely named places such as The Four Wantz, Wormleyton Pits and Genesis Slade, and then down to Theydon Plain and the final stretch to Theydon Bois station. 

A walk of 7.5 miles according to my pedometer counter. 

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Sue S., 27 Sept. 2021


A Hot Walk in Epping Forest

epping forest mud 20210721 114624670Eleven of us gathered on a boiling hot 21st July day to walk in Epping Forest.

Starting at the public golf course, we headed towards Connaught Water, picking up Paul K. on the way. Crossing Rangers Road and starting to climb we were surprised to find water running across the surface of the ground. Across Epping Road near the Warren Wood pub we climbed up to Buckhurst Hill cricket ground where we turned north towards the Warren. A descent to Manor Road gave us a chance to recover our breath for the climb to Quist’s Oak where a drink stop was ordered. Down to Nursery Road and The Warren where Brian chose a path that soon became very muddy. This was surprising given the high temperatures we have been experiencing but we were soon past the muddy bits and those in sandals could cheer up. On to Epping Road where we crossed again and started back home. A stop at Grimston’s Oak for a drink and then a long slog in the pitiless sun across Chingford Plain to finish at the Golf Club café where ice cream was the order of the day.

Brian U., 21st July 2021




A Visit to Rainham Marshes (RSPB Reserve)

Saturday 19th June was a much cooler day than we’d had lately, but was pleasant for our walk around Rainham Marshes, organised by Ann.

Eight of us - Ann, Trevor, Tony, Frances, Parviz, Lynne, Richard and myself - met up and were pleased to find that the hides are now open.

rainham heron artWe saw a lot of different birds, including grey herons, egrets, a common ringed plover, reed buntings and skylarks. We also heard, but did not see, chiffchaff and Cetti’s warbler.

We were treated to an extended view of a marsh harrier flying around and overhead when we stopped for our packed lunches at the picnic tables. The marsh harrier flew over for a while, dived down, reappeared, then repeat, for well over half an hour – a splendid sight.

rainham snail artAs well as the various birds, we also spotted small yellow snails and ladybird larvae in the hedgerows.

We heard the chorus of marsh frogs before we saw them in the lake; in fact, they were so loud, I couldn’t believe it was frogs responsible and thought it was another type of bird. But then we spotted the frogs swimming and puffing out their “cheeks”, making a distinctive sound like laughter.

Towards the end of our walk, we took a slight detour to the adventure playground and climbing boulders. This provided certain members of our group with the opportunity to showcase their climbing, sliding and swinging skills. Parviz, in particular, excelled in climbing up the boulders and, with a bit of instruction from others as to where the toeholds were, descending safely to earth.

All in all, a very enjoyable visit, thank you to Ann for organising.

Cathy S. 21st June 2021