Oak Trail walk, Epping Forest

It has been raining for weeks, everything is saturated but the sky was dry when we met at Theydon Bois on Sunday  17th March for the Oak Trail walk. Trevor, Annick and Parvis joined me for the walk.

We headed off to the Great Gregories, noticing the plentiful quantity of mud as we climbed. The background noise increased as we approached the M25 and was very loud as we walked over the bridge. On towards Ivy Chimneys and the very muddy path between the houses there, we noticed that it seemed a fair number of walkers had been there before us, judging by the chewed up ground.

Into the little playground there and we couldn’t resist having a go on the zip wire. Then it was another puffing ascent as we climbed towards Bell Common where we stopped for a drink and the loo at the Forest Gate pub. Peter, Maz, Ken and Diana met us there and Ken decided to join us for the remainder of the walk.

It was pleasant walking along surfaced paths instead of mud as we went through Epping Thicks, stopping briefly to view Ambesbury Banks.  Through Jacks Hill car park, we turned off at Hatgate Plain after the Ditches and headed down the track to the stream. Here we took care to get Ken across the stream but he slipped as he touched the other bank and, beautifully choreographed, Trevor stepped back into the stream, up to his knee, and Parvis fell flat on his back into the stream. Annick and I were very helpful ….. no we weren’t, we were laughing too much. No injuries so after a bit of drying off we proceeded up the hill to the deer sanctuary. No deer could be seen unfortunately so we walked on to Coppice Row and down the hill to Theydon Bois where the walk finished.

We wished we had been videoing the stream crossing!

Brian,   17th March 2024