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Epping Forest is a 2400 hectare ancient woodland stretching some 12 miles from Manor Park in east London to just north of Epping in Essex. The Forest is nationally and internationally important for conservation, with two thirds of it being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
The Forest offers a wonderful range of activities for individuals and families, including walking, dog walking, cycling, horse riding, football, golf, cricket and boating. It also has four visitor centres which together tell the story of Epping Forest, Wanstead Park, their importance as green spaces and a variety of Roman, Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian history.
The Epping Forest Visitor Centre in Chingford, situated close to Chingford station, is an easy trip on public transport from almost anywhere in London and makes a great starting point for day trips into the Forest. The centre's exhibitions on wildlife and Forest history can help you understand the Forest, and its helpful staff can offer you maps, guide books and more to help you enjoy your trip into the Forest. You can also take the opportunity to buy a gift or souvenir, including wildlife guides, children's toys, and nature-themed local artwork.
Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge is just next door and is a perfect example of a Tudor hunt standing, where royals would have held hunts and elaborate feasts in the 16th Century. Here you can learn about Tudor food, culture and architecture and the Forest's part in Tudor history, through the Lodge's elaborate kitchen exhibition, dress-up clothes and more.
Regular events and art exhibitions take place at both Chingford centres throughout the year. Find out more on the Forest's event page.
The following facilities are available at the Chingford centres:
- Car parking (including dedicated disabled parking)
- Toilets (including disabled toilets, but no disabled changing places)
- Refreshments at nearby Butler's Retreat
- Wheelchair access throughout at the Chingford Visitor Centre
- Ground floor wheelchair access at the Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge
- A printed guide to the non-accessible upper floors of the Lodge
- Hearing loops
Further north, near the heart of the Forest, the Epping Forest Visitor Centre at High Beach offers a huge amount of information on the Forest's wildlife, particularly its birds. The Centre is best reached by car and has plenty of nearby parking, but is also just a 30 minute (3.6km / 2 mile) walk from Loughton station on the Central Line. Once there, you can get maps and guide books and step out well-equipped to explore the Forest. On your way back, you can grab gifts and souvenirs from the superb gift shop.
The following facilities are available at the High Beach centre:
- Toilets (including disabled toilets, but not disabled changing places)
- Car parking (including dedicated disabled bays)
- Full wheelchair access throughout
- A nearby easy access trail which provides a wheelchair accessible journey through 1 mile of the Forest
- Refreshments are available at the nearby King's Oak Hotel
In the south of the Forest, at Wanstead Park, you can visit The Temple and explore the great story of Wanstead House: a once-great Georgian manor known once called the 'Versailles of England', and the tragic tale of how it came to fall. Other exhibitions explore the ancient Roman history of the Park and archaeological finds from the Villa that once stood here. The centre also holds regular events and exhibitions.
The following facilities are available at the Temple:
- Toilets (including disabled toilets with RADAR key access, but no disabled changing places)
- Dedicated disabled car parking
- Refreshments available at the nearby tea kiosk
Access to the Forest and to all of our visitor centres and car parks is free. Special events are occasionally charged.
- Disabled access
- Disabled toilets
- Facilities for hearing impaired
Booking & Payment Details
- Credit cards accepted (no fee)
- Free Entry
- Picnic site
- Baby changing facilities
- Children welcome
- COVID-19 measures in place
- COVID-19 risk assessment completed
- Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
- Outside seating
- Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
- Pets welcome during COVID-19 restrictions
- Staff required to regularly wash hands
- Coach parking
- Drop Off Point
- Education/study area
- Facilities for educational visits
- Facilities for groups
- Guided tours for groups
Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities
- Facilities for conferencing
- Facilities for corporate hospitality
- Mobile phone coverage
- Sole use of venue
- Venue approved for civil marriage
- Wedding receptions
- Free Parking
- Dogs Accepted
- Gift shop
- Passenger lift
- Public toilets
- Smoking not allowed
- Welcome Host
- Accepts groups
- Coach parties accepted
Map & Directions
Our Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford is located at 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, London, E4 7QH (///card.medium.grit). Car parking is available directly outside with an overflow car park directly opposite.
Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge is located adjacent to our Chingford centre above.
Our Epping Forest Visitor Centre at High Beach is located at Paul's Nursery Road, High Beach, Loughton, IG10 4AF (///golf.models.mental). Car parking is available directly outside, with overflow parking available at nearby Pillow Mounds Car Park.
The Temple at Wanstead Park is located off Warren Road, London, E11 2LS (///petty.hedge.join) where street parking is available; disabled only parking is available directly outside the Temple with access from the above.
We also operate more than 40 car parks spread throughout the Forest. See the Forest's Where to Go Guide to find the nearest car park to where you're going in the Forest.
Public Transport Directions
The Epping Forest Visitor Centre at Chingford and Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge are both a 1km (0.4 mile) walk from Chingford Station on the London Overground, and a number of bus routes serve the area.
The Epping Forest Visitor Centre at High Beach is a 3.6km (2 mile) walk from Loughton Station on the Central Line.
The Temple is a (1.8km) 1.1 mile walk from Redbridge and Wanstead Stations on the Central Line, and a number of bus routes serve the area.
If you're looking to plan a journey directly to the Forest instead of via its visitor centres, see the Forest's Where to Go Guide which has pages for more than 30 different areas of the Forest and gives the nearest public transport option for each.