Chingford is a lovely London suburb. It’s close to central London (under 30 minutes by train to Liverpool Street Station) yet it feels like a village and is right on the doorstep of an ancient forest. It’s an ideal place to live if you want to commute to (or just visit) the Capital and come home to a community in the heart of the British countryside.
If you’re lucky enough to live here, or are thinking about moving to Chingford, here are our favourite things to do nearby.
1. Epping Forest
Explore the 6,000 acres of ancient woodland on foot, bike (there’s an 8-mile cycle path) or horseback - High Beach Visitor Centre
can provide maps to guide you and point out where you can stop for a cup of tea and a piece of cake! The visitor centre also offers activities for children to help them to have fun exploring the woods.
2. Lee Valley Park
To the south of Chingford is Lee Valley Park
, where you can wander round at your own pace enjoying the woods, or visit the Gardens at Myddleton House and Waltham Abbey. If you want to do something more active, there is a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities available, including golf, whitewater sports, ice skating, hockey, cycling, athletics, and a cinema - so you’ll be sure to keep busy whatever the weather!
3. William Girling Reservoir
If you’re a birdwatcher, you might want to visit Mansfield Park (the one in Waltham Forest, not the book…) , so that you can view the eastern shore of William Girling Reservoir. This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the variety of waterfowl and wetland birds that visit and spend their winters here.
4. River Lee Navigation Walk
There’s a nice walk along the towpath that runs alongside the River Lee Navigation from Waltham Abbey to where it meets the Thames at Limehouse Basin. The whole walk is just under 16 miles, but if your legs won’t take you that far then just go as far as you like.
5. Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge (The Great Standing)
Built for Henry VIII and used by Queen Elizabeth and her family as a lodge when they visited the forest to hunt, this is now a museum focusing on what life was like in Tudor times. The second floor offers fantastic views of the local countryside!
Chingford hosts two regular festivals each year. In June, the Chingford VIllage Festival is a free event reminiscent of village fetes - there are stalls from local businesses, clubs and community groups and plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy.
The Epping Forest Music Festival takes place in September and is a family-friendly event with reasonable ticket prices, plenty of decent food options and lots of good music.
7. Waltham Forest Feel Good Centre
If the weather isn’t great outside, there’s something indoors for everyone here - swimming pools, a gym, a climbing wall, a sports hall, spa and soft play centre.
8. Make furry friends
There’s a small petting zoo called ‘Get to Know Animals’ in Epping Forest, where you can meet and learn about all sorts of unusual reptiles, small mammals, birds, fish and insects. You could also visit the petting zoo at Lee Valley Animal Adventure Park, which also hosts special events and activities during the school holidays.
9. Age UK Waltham Forest
If you’re older or have older relatives visiting you, Age UK Waltham Forest
offers a great range of activities at their Waltham Forest base, including book clubs, walking groups, knitting groups, zumba sessions and circuit classes.
Hopefully, from all of the activities listed above, you’ll find plenty to do when you move to Chingford - and you’ll discover plenty more things on your own, too, when you’re settled. We have a store in Chingford, so if you need to store anything (perhaps while you move in, or maybe sporting equipment between outings) we have indoor self storage units that are secure, clean and dry. You can access your unit anytime you need during our extensive opening hours all year round, so please get in touch if you’d like to know more.