Backup Only

This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Sunday Walk - Epping to Chipping Ongar or Circular or on to Ingatestone

Length: 12.5 km (7.8 mi) or 24.6 km (15.3 mi) or 26.6 km (16.5 mi)
Ascent/Descent: negligible or negligible or 214/237m;
Net Walking Time: 2 ½ or 5 or 5 ½ hours
Toughness:  1/10 or 3/10 or 4/10

Arrive at Epping Station (Zone 6, Central Line) at 10.30 (journey time from Liverpool Street is 34 mins).
Return buses (line 420) from Ongar/Banson’s Lane to Epping Station are on 15.31 and 16.31 (departs from Ongar station a minute later, 23 mins journey time).
Return trains from Ingatestone to Liverpool Street are on xx.05 (30 mins journey time, Anytime Singles are £13,50 at full price).

The route follows the well signposted Essex Way  to Chipping Ongar, broadly following the former Epping to Ongar tube line which closed in 1994. [The Epping Ongar Railway now operates a limited service, but unfortunately not in November…] About 40% of the route to Ongar is through woodland, which should make for some good autumn colour.
In Ongar you can have lunch, check out the station of the heritage railway and/or Ongar Castle (a good example of a late 11th or early 12th century Motte and Bailey), take a bus back (see above for timings), walk back the way you came (map-led), or walk on to Ingatestone, largely along the St. Peter’s Way  (map-led).

The Green Man & Courtyard in Toot Hill (7.5 km/4.7 mi, food all day);
King's Head  in Ongar (12.3 km/7.6 mi, food all day);
The Leather Bottle and The Prince Albert in Blackmore (19.4 km/12.0 mi, open all day);
The Viper in Millgreen Common (23.7 km/14.7 mi);
The Bell or The Star Inn in Ingatestone.

For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.276.a


Karen said...

n=6 w=blue-skies-jacket-not-required-temperature

6 congregated at Epping and set off under blue skies. There was great autumn colour in the woods and along the field boundaries, especially vivid against the blue above. The morning was mostly through woodland with the first of the winter mud putting in an appearance (not very much, but an indication of things to come). We paused to admire St Andrews Church in Greensted and not long after arrived in Ongar. 2 decided to finish there and jumped on a bus while the remaining 4 lunched at the Cock Tavern. A simple menu with a couple of roasts and 3 other dishes all very reasonably priced. It was fine - nice clean premises, friendly staff and locals - but I'll probaly check out the King's Head the next time I'm in town.

Interestingly, given the day that was in it, the morning section followed the Essex Way where the way makers are decorated with Essex's county flower, the poppy.

We didn't linger too long at the pub as we knew we had quite a way to go to Ignatestone and wanted to make it before darkness. The afternoon had quite a few field crossings, some through arable fields recently ploughed and planted and the going was a little tough. But the skies remained blue all afternoon and there were some great views across the open fields, some already with green shoots (of what, we may never know) and again, the field boundaries resplendent in golds and russets. We made it in Ingnatestone just as darkness was descending. One ran off to the station and 3 of us enjoyed a drink or two at The Bell before catching the 18:05 back to London.

A lovely walk on a beautiful day.

Walker said...

If the green shoots looked like grass, they were winter wheat. If they looked cabbagey, oilseed rape.

Winter wheat is sown in early autumn and sprouts up to about 10cm and then stays that way till March or so, when it starts to shoot up. Being sown in autumn gives it a slight head start and produces an earlier crop. Traditionally sowing was done in February and this allowed birds to feed on fallen grain in the fallow fields over the winter. The introduction of winter wheat was thus harmful to wildlife.

Interestingly last year I noticed some farmers seemed to be returning to late winter sowing: why I do not know

Thomas G said...

By that, we had both: the winter wheat and the oilseed rape (lots of the latter, may make a fine walk in a dry April, should we have one).

The poppy theme continued in the afternoon: we weren't on the Essex Way anymore, but nevertheless had a surprise in Blackmore where the church was 'dressed' in a poppy curtain on the entrance-side outside wall, with plenty more displays, photos etc. inside, and the churchyard had several 'poppy trails', lined with poppies on stilts, leading to graves of people who had died in the war. (the displays will be up until 21 Nov).