Join the Jans (Woolf and Ford) for this 'summer on the turn' 5-mile circular walk through Epping Forest. We meet at Chingford BR station (where there's a loo) for 11 am - and have a hand count for the pub lunch. We're pretty well at the edge of the forest and walk across Chingford Plain - past the longhorn cattle, grazing contentedly behind their electric fence - then onto one of the lengthy horse rides through the forest. And on we'll go through glades of ancient deciduous trees, mainly oak, ash and beech. After about an hour and a half of some uphill (but not steep) track we'll have a water stop at the bikers cafe - where we can also have a cuppa, but lunch is only half an hour further on, so tea drinking (an option of course) could spoil appetites.
We'll be at High Beech - a spot on the edge of the forest commanding lovely views over Essex - for a 1ish lunch - where the gastro pub Kings Head serves reasonably priced meals (12 already booked) or there's an outside sandwich bar specialising in hot salt beef. There's also the Epping forest visitors centre, where you can learn fascinating stuff, like the number of hermits that lived there (forest not the visitors centre) comparatively recently.
After lunch we swing back into the forest for a slightly longer return walk towards Loughton Brook, a geographically interesting area of small streams and oxbow lakes. Then along more horse trails, past Grimstone's oak, and back to Buttonseed corner, our original point of entry into the forest. A different path across Chingford plain leads us to the Butlers Pantry (next to Queen Elizabeth's 15th C hunting lodge) for tea at about 4. Chingford station is five minutes walk away.
Terrain - the walk is along horse riding tracks and is gritty rather than muddy, but Chingford plain can be sticky. There are hilly parts, but not too strenuous.
Look out for other Cloggies about 10.15 at Liverpool St Station near the National Railways ticket office. Take the 10.33 train to Chingford which arrives at 10.59. Train calls at Walthamstow Central and various East London stations so get on there if more convenient.