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Horse riders in Epping Forest

​Horse riders in Epping Forest

With its extensive network of surfaced and un-surfaced shared use trails, the Forest is a wonderful place to explore with your horse.

You need a licence to ride your horse in Epping Forest. See our licence page to find out how to apply.

Where to ride in Epping Forest

Open horse riding has now ended until Spring 2020.

Horse riding is permitted on the wide network of shared use trails in the forest all year round. Check out our Epping Forest Map (300KB) to plan your riding route. More detailed maps are available for purchase from our visitor centres for £4.95.

In addition to seasonal restrictions, some areas of the Forest are out of bounds to horses and cyclists:

  • 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
  • Horse riding 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 which may affect your riding route. See a list of scheduled works on our News page.

horse wearing a horse licence

​Horse displaying a licence disc

Keeping safe: guidelines for riding in the Forest

In order to ensure the safety of you, your horse and other Forest users, there are a few guidelines we ask you to observe when riding in Epping Forest.

A valid horse riding licence must be displayed. Horse riding licences can be obtained from Chingford Golf Shop, Bury Road, Chingford, E4 7QH (between 7am and 7pm any day of the week), Tel: 020 8529 2085.

The Epping Forest Byelaws for Horse Riding (1MB) apply to all riders in the Forest.

Please be aware that cattle may be grazing on the Forest and areas where permissive ride routes are shown. Please pass slowly and ensure any gates have closed behind you.

For your own safety always wear a hard hat and sensible footwear. When riding in poor light and on roads, wear fluorescent clothing. If riding alone, ensure someone knows your route.

Always pass pedestrians and other Forest users slowly. Please keep to the rides and areas designated as being open.

Jumping obstacles such as fallen logs and ditches is not allowed for safety reasons.

Horse riders with blue licence discs

Parking for horseboxes

Most of the car parks in Epping Forest are also suitable for horseboxes and trailers, with the exception of:

  • Coppice Row
  • Epping New Road
  • Connaught Water
  • Knighton Wood
  • Snaresbrook Road
  • Whipps Cross

For more information and to see riding routes and car parks, check out the Epping Forest Map (300KB).

More detailed maps are available from our visitor centres.

Find out more about the Epping Forest Riders Association.

Riding Schools in and around Epping Forest offer riding for a range of abilities. Inclusion on this list does not constitute a recommendation.

Local stables and horse riding groups
Stables Address Contact
Aldersbrook Riding School Empress Avenue
London E12 5HW
020 8530 4648
Barnfields Stables Sewardstone Road
Chingford E4 7RH
020 8529 5200
High Beech Riding School Pynest Green Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 3QL
(closest riding school to High Beach Forest Centre)
020 8508 8866
Woodredon Equestrian Centre Woodredon Farm Lane, Upshire
Waltham Abbey EN9 3SX
01992 714 312
Children watching horse riders in Epping Forest

​Children watching horse riders in Epping Forest

​Horse riders' forum

Do you enjoy riding a horse in Epping Forest? We have set up a horse riders' forum for Epping Forest and need your help! 

The forum is made up of horse riders for horse riders and will work together with us to tackle a wide range of subjects from everyday issues and user conflicts to the future management of the Forest.

Please contact the epping forest team to request copies of the minutes and supporting documents from previous meetings.

For further information or to be kept informed of any developments in the horse riders' forum please email Epping Forest.

22 March 2012
Last Modified:
05 November 2019