6000-acre wood and the largest public open space in Greater London.
A vast area of natural beauty, Epping Forest spreads out from the northeast of the city limits towards the M25 circular. Encompassing 6000 acres, the forest provides a cocktail of ponds, parkland and meadows but is mainly home to a magnificent array of ancient trees. The two thirds of the area that are heavily wooded make this one of London’s most magical nature spots.
Representing the largest public open space in Greater London the forest is perfect for some really wild exploring, on two-legs, four-legs (horse riding is very popular) or on wheels (bring your bike or hire one there). Bridleways, mountain bike trails and intriguing paths thread their way through the trees and undergrowth, criss-crossing in a mysterious and mind-boggling way.
Originally one of the royal hunting forests (evidence suggests it achieved this status in the 12th century during the reign of Henry I) its history actually dates back to 8000BC. Having miraculously survived ever encroaching developments, the public have enjoyed rights over the area for centuries, using it as a source of fuel and food as well as grazing their livestock there.
These days a wholly different set of activities are pursued. The informative visitor centre coordinates a huge range of activities ranging from organised walks taking in themes such as bats and archaeology to model airplane flying and orienteering. You can even get stuck in helping the wardens to plant trees. If you just want to walk and explore look out for Wanstead Park, Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, the Temple, and vestiges of two Iron Age settlements en route.
Bridleways and biking, ponds, parkland and forest walks.
Did you know?
Epping Forest was highwayman Dick Turpin’s stomping ground.
Epping Forest images
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Hotels near Epping Forest
London > Hotels > Budget Chain Hotel † from £56† 33% off
713 Eastern Ave, IG2 | 5.3 miles from Epping Forest
This bright, modern hotel is part of the Holiday Inn's Express line which offer a cheaper alternative to their standard hotels. Although out in the suburbs ... More
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel † from £64† 21% off
10A Chestnut Plaza, E20 | 7.5 miles from Epping Forest
Feel at home as soon as you enter the contemporary lobby of the Holiday Inn London Stratford City. This new generation Holiday Inn is located in ... More
London > Attractions > Parks and Gardens
38 City Road, Shoreditch, London EC1Y | 10.2 miles from Epping Forest
Small, wooded dissenters' cemetery in the city centre. William Blake, John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe are among over 120,000 nonconformists whose bodies are squeezed closely together within ... More
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
8 Rangers Road, E4 | 28 minutes from Epping Forest
Tudor grandstand and the only remaining timber-framed Standing in Britain. Well and truly off the beaten track, this timber-framed hunting lodge is hidden away in Epping ... More
Entertainment near Epping Forest
London > Entertainment > Cinemas
Gerry Raffles Square, Salway Road, E15 | 7.4 miles from Epping Forest
Fitted out to luxury standards, Stratford Picturehouse is one of 20 independent cinemas operated by Picturehouse which also owns Clapham Picturehouse, the Gate Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse, ... More
London > Shopping > Art and Design
Mother Studios, Queens Yard, White Post Lane, E9 | 7.8 miles from Epping Forest
Elevator Gallery is a contemporary artist-run space in Hackney Wick, London and is housed in the attic of a former chocolate factory, above Mother Studios. Curators ... More
London > Restaurants > Indian/South Asian restaurants
103 - 105 George Lane,, South Woodford, E18 | 3.8 miles from Epping Forest
Situated in the East London suburb of South Woodford, Red Mantra is a stylish and contemporary Indian tapas bar and lounge. Forget your typical Indian curry ... More
London > Education > Evening Classes
Unit 207, Belgravia Workshop, 157-163 Marlborough Road, N19 | 9.1 miles from Epping Forest
Only the French could come up with an art form so bizarrely fascinating. Mime is as relaxing as Tai Chi, as healthy as yoga, and as ... More
London > Education > Adult Education
121 Roman Road, Tower Hamlets, London E2 | 9.1 miles from Epping Forest
For 30 years Four Corners has been training, producing and supporting the full range of film and photographic requirements. Services on offer include filmmaking facilities and ... More
London > Leisure >
Lee Valley Leisure Complex, 61 Meridian Way,¬†Edmonton, N9 | 3.6 miles from Epping Forest
Officially opened in 2007 by Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Olympics, the Lee Valley Athletics Centre is the largest indoor and outdoor athletics facility serving London ... More
London > Leisure > Sports Facilities
Opp Hainault Industrial Estate, Forest Road, Fairlop, Essex, IG6 | 4.1 miles from Epping Forest
This £4.5 million state of the art cycling centre built by the London Development Agency opened in August 2008 as the first sporting facility to result ... More
London > Business > Venue Hire
Royal Victoria Dock, E16 | 9.6 miles from Epping Forest
A stunning architectural achievement, gigantic amounts of floor space accompanied by shops, bars and hotels, London’s purpose built exhibition centre, opened in 2000, is an exciting ... More