Autumnal Walk on the Oak Trail

Yesterday me and a few friends were supposed to be braving the drizzle and going off for a walk around Guildford and Box Hill, but arriving at Waterloo we found autumnal weather (!) had sabotaged South West Trains services, so a quick re-think on our destination was required. Having previously researched near-London walks, I remembered the Oak Trail around Theydon Bois in Essex, so we jumped on the Waterloo and City line to get to Bank and from there the Central line took us out to Epping Forest.

Arriving at the station a woman stopped us and asked “Are you here for the Oak Trial?” and went on to warn us that the signing along the way was not very good and “good luck”. I had the simple map from the website on my phone, so thought between that, Google Maps and the route signage we should be okay.

Well, the kindly lady wasn’t wrong, despite our best efforts we went wrong twice and added another couple of miles to the six and a half mile route. There were good clear runs of wooden posts guiding us along in places, and other areas we were totally left to work it out ourselves. Despite that, and the rain, the walk was very enjoyable, the first section a little underwhelming as we skirted back gardens, over the M25 and through children’s play areas, but the second half through Epping Thicks and Furze Ground was very beautiful. The ground was covered in bright orange leaves whilst many of the trees were still very green. There was a bit of an uphill section right at the end though, as sunset was coming and our energy running low, so the drink and food in the Queen Victoria pub at the end of the route in Theydon Bois was very welcome.

I took all these photos on my iPhone 7, though I also took my Yashica 635 out with me, so those pictures will come later.



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