A post-lockdown Forest walk

On the first day of non-lockdown, 2nd December, six members of the outdoor group gathered at Jacks Hill car park in Epping Forest for a walk. The day was cold but bright with little wind, altogether a pleasant day.

We set off south down the Green Ride and turned off to navigate a steep descent, a scramble across a stream and a climb up to the Deer Sanctuary. This time the deer were far in the distance and as the rut was over, everything was peaceful. We crossed Coppice Row and climbed back up to our starting point. 2.5 miles done and about 4 to go but nobody backed out and so we went down the Green Ride again, this time carrying on south and puffing a bit as we climbed the surprisingly steep ascents. As Phil said, it isn’t a walk unless you work your lungs a bit.

Reaching Loughton Camp we turned right, crossed the Epping Road and made our way to High Beach. Val was all for going down to the biker’s café for bacon and sausage but the rest of us were set on High Beach with its toilets so Val gave in. It is very noticeable that since the pandemic started, the car park at High Beach is crammed full and so it was today. Nevertheless we were served quickly at the little green tea hut – what is it called? – in my case with tea, pasty and fruit cake for a very reasonable £4.80. The pasties at this hut are marvellous!

After an enjoyable rest and chat with some of the many cyclists there we set off again, this time north up the General’s and Verderer’s Rides. We saw the rifle butts and stopped for a moment at the Big View, then on to arrive at the very busy Woodredon Hill where motorists kindly stopped to let us cross, round the back of Wake Arms roundabout and on to cross the Epping Road near the Upshire turning. Across to the Green Ride and south to Jacks Hill where our cars waited. The distance turned out  to be 7.5 miles. A nice walk in fine weather and we all agreed that it is so much nicer to talk face to face instead of via Zoom.

Brian U., 2nd December 2020