Nature has always been a great inspiration for artists and designers, and many people might be surprised that even in London you don’t have to go far to find natural beauty. The London team took full advantage of this on a cool Saturday in late October, to escape the busy urban centre and wander into the colourful autumnal foliage of Epping Forest, 5,900 acres of woodland still within Zone 6 on the Tube map.
Theydon Bois Station marked the start of our walk. We followed The Oak Trail, a 10.6km trail that goes through Epping Forest and its surrounding Buffer Lands. As we left the suburban neighbourhood, we climbed up the Great Gregories, which offers gorgeous views, and passed by horses grazing on our way down. Midway through, a majestic oak tree hosted us in its branches as we had our lunch.
Carrying on, we bid civilisation goodbye as we entered the Epping Thicks. We quickly found ourselves surrounded by the many colours and the crisp autumn air of the forest, the trickling sunlight making for an enchanted atmosphere. Strolling along on the carpet of fallen leaves, we followed the trail through Ambresbury Banks, an Iron Age plateau fort, and went deeper into the forest as we passed Jack’s Hill. We gradually reemerged from the thicks and stopped by the Debden Campsite for a short break and a bit of Frisbee fun.
On the way out of the forest, the trail led us to a deer sanctuary where we spotted herds of black fallow deer. Before we returned to civilisation, we took a minute to look back and admire a sweeping view of the forest we just traversed. After four hours of walking, we rewarded ourselves with well-deserved pints at the Queen Victoria pub.
It was great being able to bond out of the office and reconnect with nature at the same time. Truly an autumn day well spent!