A family day out on two wheels
Cycling in Epping Forest is a great way to get away from it all, keep fit, train for a special event or just explore more of London's largest open space. There are over 80km of multi-user paths in the Forest to explore, including our nine waymarked trails.
Where to cycle
Cyclists can cycle across most of Epping Forest. Our paths are multi-user, unless marked otherwise, so there's plenty to discover. Please be aware of other users when cycling in the Forest and keep to the cycling code of conduct outlined below.
Check out our nine waymarked trails on the running and walking page for short, easy-to-navigate routes.
More adventurous cyclists can plot their routes on our Epping Forest cycling map (335KB) or pop into our visitor centres for advice. More detailed maps are on sale in the Forest Centres for £4.95.
There are some areas where cycling is restricted:
Visitors using Wanstead Park's permissive cycling paths
Most of Wanstead Park is closed to cyclists. There is however a permissive cycle route which runs between the entrance on Northumberland Avenue (opposite Wanstead Park Avenue) between the two lakes to the entrance near Heronry Pond at the very end of Warren Road. Here this permissive route joins the cycle path, which runs between the top entrance at Warren Road and the entrance on Northumberland Avenue opposite Park Road.
You can cycle on bridleways in the buffer lands, but, unlike in the Forest, there is no open access for cyclists and footpaths are not multi-user. Please keep to bridleways and give way to horse riders and walkers.
Some other areas of the Forest are out of bounds to cyclists and horse riders:
- A section of Loughton Brook and the Iron Age earthworks, Loughton Camp and Ambresbury Banks, as both are Scheduled Ancient Monuments
- Sunshine Plain and Deershelter Plain, which are protected for scientific reasons
- Cycling is also not permitted on the easy access paths for safety reasons. These are specially designed routes intended for walkers, pushchairs, wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.
Maintenance works in the forest may affect your cycling route. See our News page for a list of scheduled works.
The Forest encompasses a wonderful variety of terrain from the flat open grassland areas of Leyton Flats and Wanstead Flats to the particularly steep, hilly and densely wooded sections like High Beach and Great Monk Wood.
Some of the multi-user paths are surfaced with sand or red shale and provide a firm but bumpy cycling surface. Off the surfaced rides much of the going is over rough woodland and grassland, which can become very muddy in the winter months.
A mountain biker in Epping Forest
Code of conduct for cyclists
To ensure your safety and comfort and that of others, please keep to the code of conduct for cyclists and mountain bikers in Epping Forest.
- Comply with the Epping Forest byelaws and obey the instructions of the Forest Keepers at all times.
- Respect 'No cycling' signs.
- Minimise damage and erosion by avoiding muddy or well-worn Forest areas and access tracks. Try not to brake too harshly.
- Respect the peace and quiet of the Forest and avoid disturbing others.
- Be aware of, slow down, and give way to walkers, runners and horses. Avoid sudden approaches, particularly from behind, do not make loud noises and dismount if necessary. When passing, give as much room as possible.
- Avoid, or reduce speed, on busy paths.
- Split large groups to avoid bunching and the obstruction of Forest paths.
- Corner and accelerate with care and control, especially on fast descents. Take particular care to slow down at crossing points and sharp bends. Remember other Forest users may not hear you coming.
- Do make sure that you are seen by all other users of the Forest. Use lights when necessary and always wear a helmet.
- Follow the Highway Code and the Countryside Code where applicable.
- Please do not race.
Tour de France passing through Epping Forest
Feeling inspired by the Tour de France to get on your bike?
Epping Forest runs organised cycling events over the course of the year. For more information, see our events page.
Epping Forest Mountain Biking also organises guided rides, skills sessions and a mountain biking club for young people. Find more information on their website.
Cycle hire in Epping Forest is available from Go Further Cycling, a local family run business that specialises in mountain bike hire, guided rides, cycle instruction and bike servicing in Epping Forest.
Delivery and collection is now available anywhere within a 5 mile radius of Go Further's Cycle Centre. Pre-booking for services, hire and guided rides is advisable.
Go Further Cycling
020 8418 0319
Forest Lodge Commercial Complex
Essex, CM16 5HW