Epping Forest is home to the largest heronry in Essex

Epping Forest has access to two of the most important Iron Age settlements in the county; swim in the River Roding, or wild camp the Essex Way.

Rivers, springs and lakes – Epping Forest and Harlow



places to launch a canoe

Walk the grounds of a Roman villa in Epping Forest, hammock over the River Stort, or take a dip in a bubbling spring.

Hobbs Cross

Paddle the shallows of an old Roman Villa on the River Roding.
Park around All Saints Church, at Theydon Garnon (51.673906, 0.12722522) and walk less than 1 mile south along the footpath.
51.658707, 0.13123780

Seymour Mews

Hammock in the oaks that overhang the River Stort and swim from the secluded north bank.
The Premiere Inn at Harlow (51.794828, 0.12934685) provides riverside value. Park in the town, and the river spot is only a 10 minute walk.
51.797177, 0.14333725

Clark’s Spring

Bathe here on a hot day, where the River Roding runs through wooded overhangs.
Park around St Nicholas Church, Fyfield, (51.737696, 0.27624741) and walk onto the river trail through the churchyard, for the 3 mile hike to Chipping Ongar.
51.718043, 0.261628031

Wild wood walks – Epping Forest and Harlow

breeding bird species in Epping Forest

species of edible wild fruit

miles of footpath

Visit Epping Forest’s iron age sites, in between walking under the elm tree canopy.

Epping Forest

More than 4,423 acres of deer park and woodland. The setting for two of the most important Iron Age sites in Britain: Ambresbury Banks and Loughton Camp.

Hainault Forest

Nightingales, turtle doves, wood warblers, woodcocks and spotted flycatchers; just a few of rare birds that make this 334-acre oak and hornbeam wood their home.

Harlow Woods

The Dutch elms in Hospital Wood survived disease, probably thanks to coppicing. Always good to catch up with an old, friendly survivor.

Wildlife wonders – Epping Forest and Harlow

Visit the county’s largest hay meadow at Epping Forest, or walk the River Lee and its many lakes.

Curtismill Green

A relic of the ancient Forest of Waltham, spread across 118 acres of oak scrub. Yellow rattle, pepper saxifrage, strawberry clover and sneezewort are just some of the wonderfully named plants that have survived.


Roding Valley meadow

The largest continuous areas of grassland in Essex. Almost 50 acres of hay and flood meadows, bordered by marsh. Home to the rare marsh-marigolds and southern marsh-orchids.


Turnford and Cheshunt Pits

A collective of water pits in the River Lee valley S.plied by a single footpath, these pits are of national importance to winter breeding birds. Snipe and bittern nest here.

Beacons and sacred – Epping Forest and Harlow

The UK’s oldest timber house is in Epping Forest. Also the best place to see grey herons and two churches in one churchyard.

Waltham Abbey

The largest heronry in Essex. Scores of nesting pairs around the waters of this unique alder wood, spread over 84 acres. Bordered by two waterways: the River Lee on one side, Cornmeal Stream on the other.

Fyfield Hall

The oldest ‘continually inhabited’ timber framed house in Britain. Home to the Fyfield Pea or ‘earth-nut’, because it tastes like a hazelnut. It’s still found around corn fields and hedges.

Willingale Doe

The only place in Essex where two churches stand in the same churchyard.

Food and rest – Epping Forest and Harlow

The best of wild food and living in Epping Forest and Harlow.

The Rainbow and Dove

Hastingwood Road, Harlow, Essex.

The Theydon Oak

9 Coopersale Street, Epping, Essex.

The Dusty Miller Pub

Burnt Mill Lane, Harlow, Essex.

Travellers Friend

Epping Green, Epping, Essex.

The Garnon Bushes

13 Coopersale Common, Epping, Essex.

The New Inn

High street, Roydon, Harlow, Essex.

Talks, workshops and Essex tours

Workshops for schools, scouts, guides, community groups or businesses. Learn how to wild camp and forage, or where to hike, canoe and cycle in Essex. Also, talks on the unique history of land ownership in Essex, and how to enjoy the outdoors by understanding all the laws of access.

Phone – 07947 160007

Email – news@wildessex.com