What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
=How to get there.=–From Liverpool Street or Fenchurch Street. Great Eastern Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Theydon Bois. Other stations near the forest are Chingford, Loughton, and Epping. =Distance from London.=–15 miles. =Average Time.=–1 hour. Quickest train, 38 minutes.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 2s. 8d. 1s. 11d. 1s. 3-1/2d. Return 3s. 9d. 2s. 11d. 1s. 11d.
Those who wish to ramble through Epping Forest off the beaten paths should carry a compass and a map, so that they do not merely keep in one section of the forest, and thus miss some of the tracts which are quite distinct in character to others. The best days during the summer for having the glades to one’s self are Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, but during the winter the whole place is left to the keepers and the feathered inhabitants of the forest. During spring and autumn one also finds that the grassy walks are left almost entirely alone, and at these periods the forest is at its very best. Those who have only visited it in the height of summer, when the foliage is perhaps drooping a little, when the birds are not singing, and when there are traces of more than one picnic party, have no idea of the true beauty of the forest. A herd of deer are allowed to breed in the wilder and less frequented portions if the forest, and these add much to the charm of some of the umbrageous by-paths when one suddenly disturbs a quietly grazing group. Queen Elizabeth’s hunting lodge, which adjoins the Forest Hotel at Chingford, is a restored three-storied and much gabled building, constructed of plastered brickwork and framed with oak. It seems that the building originally had no roof, but merely an open platform, from which one could obtain a good comprehensive view of any sport going on in the vicinity. The lodge has now been made the home of a museum of objects of antiquity discovered in the forest. The special points of Epping Forest which should be included in a long day’s ramble are Connaught Water, a lake near Chingford; High Beach, an elevated portion of the forest possessing some splendid beeches; the earthwork known as Loughton Camp, which probably belongs to pre-Roman times, and Ambresbury Banks, towards Epping. This camp is said to have been the last fortress of the Britons under Boadicea. From here they are believed to have marched against the Romans to receive the crushing defeat inflicted upon them.
[Illustration: A GLADE AMONG THE BEECHES IN EPPING FOREST.]