This section of the London LOOP is 25 km (15.6 miles) and combines the sections 19, 20, and 21. The walk starts at Chingford station and finishes at Harold Wood station. This section is quite long, but section 19 is only 6.2 km and between sections 20 and 21 there is no train station, only busstops with irregular services. The route goes through pretty hilly countryside with frequent views, even all the way to the city with Canary Warf and The Shard clearly distinguishable. The paths along this route can be very wet and muddy. The waymarking is generally good on this section, but there was one gate at the end of a pasture that was padlocked (on 25th March 2023; see warning sign in the map below) and thus required climbing over the gate. I carried this guidebook by Colin Saunders to find my way.
This section of the London LOOP is mostly through surprisingly quiet countryside and more woods than I expected. Starting with a stretch through Epping Forest, Hainault Forest, and Havering Country Park. At the top at the border of Havering Country Park there is a seat with a spectacular view over hilly meadows with horses in the foreground and London’s skyline in the far distance. This excellent spot for a break is marked on the map below as a picknick place.
Towards the end of the walk, once entering the residential area of Harold Hill, you are very likely to spot the herds of beautiful deer living in the green spaces of this residential area. You then follow Carter’s/Paine’s Brook until Church Road, from where it is just a short walk to Harold Wood station, where this walk of the London LOOP ends.
Add the map below to your Google Maps account (click on the star) or download the GPX file via OpenStreetMaps and let’s get outside!