Chingford Travel Guide

  • Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford, UK.
    Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford, UK.
    by planxty
  • Display, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK.
    Display, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK.
    by planxty
  • Exhibit, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK.
    Exhibit, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK.
    by planxty

Chingford Things to Do

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    by planxty Written May 19, 2014

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    Readers of some of my pages will know that I a m walking a long-distance footpath round London and as part of that I have decided to have a drink in every open pub I pass! As part of this mission, I was passing the Royal Forest Hotel in Chingford, it was open, so that was decided.

    From the outside it looks very impressive. It was built in 1880 following the earlier extension of the railway here in the 1870's and the subsequent opening of nearby Epping Forest by Qeuuen Victoria which led to a number of daytrippers. I suppose the sign saying Premier Inn over one of the doors should have alerted me. I have nothing agains that particular chain as an inexpensive but I generally find the food and beverage arm of their operation pretty disappointing. This place is nothing more than a creche / amusement arcade with an attached restaurant oferring fairly standard pub grub and a bar where service was efficient and the pint well enough pulled. It is just totally soulless and filled with kids running about on a school holiday wasn't really what I look for in a pub. I finished my pint and continued walking.

    Royal Forest Hotel, Chingford, UK.
    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Food and Dining
    • Beer Tasting

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    by planxty Written May 19, 2014

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    Whilst walking a long-distance path around London recently known as the Loondon LOOP, I happened to be walking through Chingford and came upon this magnificent structure. Admittedly, I had prior knowledge of it from my guidebook but my first sight of it did rather impress me.It is no less than Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge although it is considerably grander than most hunting lodges I have seen.

    Although it is now associated mostly with "Good Queen Bess", it was actually commissioned by her father, Henry VIII in 1542. There is no evidence that he ever visited it. Indeed, there is no concrete proof that Queen Elizabeth I ever visited although she is known to have been fond of hunting and there is a local legend that she even rode her horse up the stiars one time. So why would she want to do such an unusual thing? Well, in Tudor times the place looked much different and was initially actually called The Great Standynge which was open on the upper floors. This allowed the nobility to watch the hunting in the surrounding area and even take the odd potshot at passing wildlife with crossbows themselves.

    The building itself is interesting inside but it really is the star as there are is much in the way of exhibits although there were childrens activities the day I visited due to it being school holidays. This presumably was also the reason for the rather excellent (and free) exhibition of falconry in the grounds. Apologies again for the quality of the images as my camera was playing up and those things don't half move!

    Full opening hours are provided on the attached website and entry is free. Obviously it is a very old and listed building so this statement from the webiste about accessibility is useful.."The ground floor is fully accessible with shallow wooden stairs leading to the upper two floors.

    There is a folder containing images and information from the upstairs exhibitions on the ground floor and staff will be happy to bring items downstairs if you are unable to access the upper floors."

    Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK. Fireplace, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK. Exhibit, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK. Display, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK. Display, Hunting Lodge, Chingford, UK.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Budget Travel

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Chingford Transportation

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    by thomgoddard Written Jul 1, 2008

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    Chingford is served by a railway station which is the terminus of a branch line from Liverpool Street station in the City of London.

    There is also a station at Highams Park.

    The town is served by many bus routes, linking it to Walthamstow, Loughton, Leyton and Woodford. The town is also served by the N26 night bus from Trafalgar Square.

    The North Circular Road skirts the southern part of the town, and gives motorists good access to the north and east of London. The London LOOP walk passes through Chingford on its way from Enfield to Chigwell. Travelling from Enfield to Chingford has difficulties as the closest link is through the reservoirs which usually has much traffic.

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Chingford Off The Beaten Path

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    by thomgoddard Written Dec 2, 2010

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    Famous Faces From Chingford
    by Thom Goddard, All Star Talent - Tel: 020 8524 3302

    This Month: T.E. Lawrence - Lawrence of Arabia

    Imagine this. You are one of the most famous people on the planet and need to make the finishing touches to a book George Bernard Shaw will call “literary genius”. Where do you go to find solace and dedication? Chingford, of course.

    Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO was born on 16th August 1888 in Tremadog, Wales. While studying at Jesus College, Oxford, he met Chingford old boy Vyvyan Richards and they toured the Ottoman Empire until the outbreak of the First World War. Separated after volunteering for the British Army, Lawrence’s knowledge of the Middle East and the fact he spoke 8 languages meant he was recruited to the Arab Bureau of the Foreign Office. T.E. Lawrence became the leading British officer in the “Arab Revolt”, leading multiple Arabian tribes to join one another to defeat the Turkish Empire.

    Immediately after the First World War Colonel Lawrence became one of the most famous men in the world. Journalist Lowell Thomas made a film, and a fortune, portraying Lawrence as a superman who won the war single-handedly. To escape national hysteria Lawrence contacted his old friend Vyvyan Richards, who had become a teacher at Bancroft’s School, and bought 18 acres of Pole Hill on the day he left the army in 1919. He wrote to his friend: “I'm out of the army today and have paid for Pole Hill... I feel years more settled in mind, and hope that we will acquire merit there together.”

    On Pole Hill Lawrence built a small house and a swimming pool. He planned to build a manor house and printing works but these never appeared. T.E. Lawrence completed the book “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” on Pole Hill and planted a ring of 7 trees that still remain at the top. He also planted fruit trees where Hawkswood Nursery, Epping Glade, is now and Ken Jones, from Orion Harriers, remembers nipping in to the “Arabian Orchard” when he was young.

    In 1930, having owned the land for 11 years, Colonel Lawrence sold Pole Hill and the surrounding land to the Chingford Urban Council for £3,500 on the provision it become and remain part of Epping Forest, as it does today. The hut was demolished and rebuilt in The Warren, Loughton, where it remains an Epping Forest hidden gem. T. E. Lawrence died aged 46 years old in a motorcycle accident in 1935. There is a plaque commemorating Lawrence of Arabia on top of Pole Hill and a near-by road was renamed Arabia Close in 1965 in his honour so although not seen, he is not forgotten. So do keep a look out for anyone you meet in the Mount or have seen on the Green!

    If you spot anyone contact: seenonthegreen@allstartalent.co.uk

    Related to:
    • Desert
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    by thomgoddard Written Dec 2, 2010

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    Famous Faces From Chingford
    by Thom Goddard, All Star Talent - Tel: 020 8524 3302

    This Month: Leslie Phillips

    There aren’t many people who grew up in Chingford in the 1930s with upper class accents so refined that during Army recruitment in the Second World War were conscripted and immediately promoted to Officer Training. But then again, there aren’t many people like Chingford old boy Leslie Phillips.

    Contrary to his public persona, Leslie Phillips CBE was born in poverty with a natural cockney accent on 20th April 1924. Samuel Phillips, Leslie’s father, worked for Thomas Glover, once called the most hated man in Britain for inventing the gas meter, and died when Leslie was young. The Phillips family lived in Middleton Avenue, Chingford where Leslie’s mother worked a seamstress and the young boy attended Larkswood Primary School. The school put on many plays and it was here he caught the acting bug. The famous silver tongue was also evident at Larkswood Primary when he talked his way out of being caned for stealing plants.

    Leslie Phillips’ mother, Cecelia, saw his acting potential and took him to meet the drama diva Italia Conti. Miss Conti was so impressed by the young boy’s rendition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that she allowed Leslie to join the now famous stage academy for free. Although still growing up in Chingford, Phillips’ elocution lessons removed any hint of a London accent and by the age of 14 he was treading the boards in the West End and in his first feature film at Pinewood Studios. In fact, Leslie Phillips remains the only actor alive today to perform at Pinewood Film Studios the week it opened.

    The Second World War took Leslie Phillips away from Chingford and he was, indeed, promoted to Officer Training just because of his posh accent. After the war, he continued as an actor. The ‘Carry On’ film series created Leslie’s cad persona when in the 1959 motion picture ‘Carry On Nurse’ he asked Shirley Eaton her name, she replied “Why, Nurse Bell, sir” and Phillips’ quipped “Ding Dong. Carry on...”. But the 3 Carry On films in which he starred are just a small part of a career that has spanned 132 motion picture appearances, BAFTA Award nominations, an OBE and then CBE for services to drama, and starring roles with Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich and Christian Bale.

    Leslie Phillips’ Chingford connection has never waned. He would often spend time with his mother Cecelia in Chingford, revisited Larkswood Primary in 2007 to reopen the renovated school and even in the 1963 film ‘The Fast Lady’ Leslie had to outwit Charles Chingford to win the heart of Chingford’s daughter. Leslie Phillips stealing Chingford’s heart? Ding Dong! So keep a look out for anyone you meet in the Mount or have seen on the Green!

    If you spot anyone contact: seenonthegreen@allstartalent.co.uk

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Theater Travel

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    by thomgoddard Written Sep 13, 2010

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    Famous Faces From Chingford
    by Thom Goddard, All Star Talent - Tel: 020 8524 3302

    This Month: Jonathan Ive

    Everyone knows Jonathan Ive. One of the most famous people in the world and a true ‘man of the moment’. No, name not ring a bell? How about some of his creations: The iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the iMac and the MacBook. Some of modern times most famous and iconic inventions were designed and created by a boy from Chingford.

    Jonathan Paul Ive CBE, or ‘Mr Mac’ as he is known in the technology industry, was born in 1967 at Whipps Cross Hospital. His father, once a silversmith and now an Ofsted Schools Inspector, remembers how young Jonathan used to drive him wild by painstakingly dismantling their radios and cassette recorders just so he could try and put them back together again. All this ‘training’ in Chingford has certainly paid off as Ive is listed by The Times as one of the most influential British people in the world: “the man who designed the iPod and many more of Apple's most iconic products has shaken up both the global music and the electronics industries.”1

    Jonathan Ive attended the Chingford Foundation School, Nevin Drive, and moved on to study Industrial Design. His passion for art and design was noticed from an early age as one of his teachers says “You see his kind of talent probably once in a lifetime of teaching students”. While working in London in 1992 thinking up new toilets, Jonathan was approached by then almost bankrupt Apple Computers.

    Ive moved to California and was an instant success as he designed and created the first iMac computer reversing Apple’s fortunes. Then, in 2001, Jonathan changed the modern world with the iPod which has made him an iconic legend and ‘The man who made computers cool’2. The tasteful, minimalist design of the iPod is already enjoyed by hundreds of millions of fans across the world including the Prime Minister David Cameron, Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair, George W. Bush and even Pope Benedict XVI. U2 singer Bono has said of Jonathan: “If he had a fan club, I’d be in it.”

    One could believe that all this fame, and tidy $2 million-a-year salary, might have gone to his head. However, Jonathan Ive likes to remain incognito by rarely giving interviews or attending gala events, always dressing in jeans and a t-shirt, and supposedly reading The Sun every morning. So if our modern day Isambard Kingdom Brunel returns to Chingford we may never know. But do keep a look out for anyone you meet in the Mount or have seen on the Green!

    If you spot anyone contact: seenonthegreen@allstartalent.co.uk
    The Sunday Times 2007
    The Daily Telegraph 2008

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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