Beach shepherd's huts in Epping Forest

Tangled woodlands and forest trails lie within a tube ride of London.

100% (3 reviews)
100% (3 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Epping Forest

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Beach shepherd's huts in Epping Forest guide

Overview

Forest walks don’t come more impressive than Epping Forest, with 12 miles of rambling woodlands stretching north of London. Venture into the trees to explore miles of walking, cycling, and horseback riding trails; spot native wildlife; or play a game of golf at one of the two courses. Campers staying at Epping Forest can also explore the adjoining Lee Valley Regional Park, where activities include fly fishing and boat cruises along the Lea River. For a break from the forest, slip away to a country pub on the forest outskirts, or hop aboard for a ride on the Epping Ongar steam railway.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for exploring: Debden House Campsite has spacious tent sites with fire pits, electric hook-up for caravans and campervans, and direct access to the forest’s hiking trails.
  • Best for peace and quiet: Lee Valley Campsite is on the western edge of the forest and has grass pitches with or without electric hook-up, as well as cozy camping pods and tents for hire.
  • Best for a wild camping experience: Lee Valley Almost Wild Campsite lets you get back to nature, with minimal amenities, quiet woodland tent pitches, and hammocks swinging from the trees.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Epping Forest campsites and caravan sites can book up quickly, especially in July and August, and during school holidays. Early bookings are essential if you want to visit these times.
  2. Unpowered tent pitches are more likely to be available without a reservation, but it’s still best to call ahead.
  3. You will need to pay a deposit to secure your campsite reservation; some sites ask for the full payment prior to arrival. 
  4. Be sure to check seasonal opening and closing dates, which vary by campsite. Some campsites open from May through September, while others stay open year-round.

When to go

Accessible year-round, it’s worth revisiting Epping Forest throughout its changing seasons. Autumn is magical under the colorful canopy of fall foliage, while springtime sees wildlife at its most active and bursts of wildflowers. Visiting on a weekday means you’ll avoid the crowds, but the park’s walking trails are always busy in July-August, as well as during school holidays. Pack sturdy hiking boots if visiting after rainfall, as the forest trails can get muddy.

Know before you go

  • Epping Forest is on the border of Essex and Hertfordshire, about an hour’s drive north of London.
  • Central line tubes run to Epping Forest from London, stopping at Ashurst, Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, Hinton Admiral, Lymington, New Milton, Sway, and Totton.
  • There are about 30 car parks located throughout the park, many of which are pay and display.
  • Epping Forest Visitor Centres are located at Chingford and High Beach, where you’ll also find restrooms and cafés. 
  • Wild camping and overnight parking are not permitted anywhere within the park. Fires and BBQs are also off-limits, except on private camping and caravan parks.
  • Epping Forest has several accessible trails, and all car parks are accessible.

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