Takeley Travel Guide

  • Hatfield Forest Lake
    Hatfield Forest Lake
    by adelinemmc
  • Pollarded double hornbeam
    Pollarded double hornbeam
    by mke1963
  • Things to Do
    by mke1963

Takeley Things to Do

  • adelinemmc's Profile Photo
    Hatfield Forest Lake

    by adelinemmc Updated Aug 31, 2008

    This is a National Heritage managed forest and is therefore a 'forest-light' outing. You will not be far from civilasation at any point and, near the lake, there is a shop and cafe serving decent foof at decent price. The pies are local and quite good! (£5 for a pie, chips and salad).

    The lake area is wheelchair accessible.

    Steep parking charge (£4.50 in August 2008) but th eproceeds go to the forest upkeep.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

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  • 2 more images

    by mke1963 Updated May 25, 2007

    Hatfield Forest is the last remaining medieval royal hunting forest in England, although I suspect that the authorities and marketing peoplle responsble for the various remaining stretches of forest around Edwinstowe in Nottinghamshire might disagree.

    It lies about 50km outside London, to the north-east, right next to Stansted Airport, London's third biggest airport and the forest will be adversely affected by the current expansion plans.

    It is truly one of England's great historical assets, the natural equivalent of the Tower of London or Blenheim Palace, stretching over two hundred hectares of the north Essex countryside. (I will add more specific tips on things to do in the forest oevr time).

    Hatfield Forest is not one big forest stretching across the whole area, but a mixture of plains, where the trees (notably oak and hornbeam) were pollarded, with big forest stands where many of the rees were coppiced. Both pollarding and coppicing were used to manage the forests sustainably, and these ancient techniques are still used to manage the forest today. Flocks of sheep and herds of catle were also used to control the grass and undergrowth and these are also still used in the same manner. It is all a very real window on the rural land of 16th Century England when kings and queens came here to hunt and enjoy the idle life of royalty.

    The forest is open from dawn to dusk, and is most easily accessible by car at the east gate (clearly indicated form the road in Takeley Village).

    If you want to find the exact location of where the photographs were taken, most are also on Flickr (same username) and are geo-referenced.

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