So this is our first local walk I'm writing about. It starts at Theydon Bois train station so this is about 15-25 minutes from Harlow.
It is a beautiful walk and we even did this was just recently so just on the verge of winter into spring and was still lovely. Although I can imagine this walk to be beautiful in the summer with all the trees and leaves and dapple shade.
So we actually found that on a Sunday Theydon train station is £3 all day, and there were spaces at 10.30am when we got there. When we returned it was full, but there are some local roads you can park on as well.
There were a few guides out there, but the most helpful one was this guys:
Really helped us out even just at the beginning bit! Ill talk roughly about the route but mainly dog related stuff, can leave the directions to him!
So from Theydon Bois station you turn left and walk down the road until you reach the Bull Pub, there is a road opposite called Forest Drive and you walk to the bottom. There is a gate with a public footpath to the left of it. This was the worst and muddiest part of the walk. Its a narrow path with a stream to the right and fences to the left so you are a bit stuck.
After that you enter this big field! There were some cow pats here so I imagine that there are livestock in here at some point but there wasn't any when we were there apart from their poop!
When you exit the field, you go down a little country lane, and come to a small farm, here is where we saw the cows in their barn, so that's where to poop came from! We had all our dogs on lead here as they are not good around livestock and met 2 people with off lead dogs but they were so far away we didn't come into contact. After the cows you go through a field with horses (picture above left) They must be used to people and dogs though as they didn't even notice us! You the head over the M25 which is a little noisy, so be aware if your dogs are a little unsure around traffic.
Then its some walks through some farmers field, then alongside a residential road, so again dogs were kept on lead. Then you turn into a little park, which had some dogs off lead there but as to be expected in a local park. They all kept themselves to themselves.
Weirdly after a short walk through a small section of forest, we ended up at Epping, just by the speed cameras and the traffic lights. So again dogs on lead, but was a nice thing as all other dogs were.
Then the real fun happened! We got the beautiful stony path in the Forest.
This walk went on for a while, through the forest in and amongst the trees. We was going to stop here and have lunch but it was a fairly chilly day so we kept walking and ate on the move.
Here was the busiest part of the walk, lots of local walkers and people with dogs, which most were off lead but we expected that. All fairly friendly and most were spaniels more interested in smells than us! Got to love that Spaniel nose.
There is also a section here called the Ambresbury Banks, they are remains of an Iron Age hill fort, and with Jon being a History Teacher, and I love a bit of history as well it was pretty cool to see.
You do have to cross one more road here, Izzy was off lead for most of this and we popped her back on once we heard the road.
Then it was the most quiet part of the walk. We didn't see a soul until we got back into Theydon. After you cross the road you head into more woods which is surrounded by a deer sanctuary. I was worried at this point thinking OMG is there going to be tons of deer, but the picture below is the fencing the deer are kept in by. So had no worries :)
We didn't see any deer here but as its 140 acre they could be anywhere! You then go past some houses that you can only dream to live in, so we had Izzy off the whole time until we got to these. And then come to another road. Which then takes you along another path into Theydon, and back along the road to some pubs and down to the station again.
So all in all this walk, there isn't a lot of options to let your dogs off safely in my eyes. But none the less it was a really nice walk to take. All in all it was 10.28 km distance and took us just under 3 hours to do.
So we rewarded our self with a big old Bagel for lunch and then a cosy afternoon with tea!
Don't let some of the mud or road crossing put you off this walk. The Oak Trail is a lovely part of Epping Forest and to just be almost on our doorstep its rude to not go and explore!!
If you do this walk do let me know what you think in the comments :)
Love Rachel x