please empty your brain below

I took your advice from earlier in the week and went to Richmond Park.
I just happened to walk part of your favourite route - Birling Gap to/from Beachy Head for the first time, in glorious weather too. It's most majestic!

Today, a sharp frost down here with more badly needed sun.
I went to Hampstead Heath with a million other people, including a few hundred dog walkers who had dressed their dogs for Halloween.
We gathered 2kg of chestnuts in the Chilterns.
I walked through the Uris Hills and enjoyed the views of the Fanad peninsula.
I was there too ! despite heavy traffic, I found the forest fairly sparsely populated by humans. We went there to look at mushrooms (called fungi in forestry parlance I believe) - we cannot do more these days.
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I made my way away from the Forest and went to the last day of Secret Rivers in Poplar. It reminded me why I come back to this blog, but I left feeling there was insufficient detail on missing signposts, nearby recreation grounds and culverts.
About 20 years ago, I did the Three Forests Way walk (60+ miles)that included Epping. I arrived at Epping Forest in the dark and was totally lost. Only an A4 sheet for guidance and a headlamp to show the way. It was quite spooky and a lot of creepy noises, but after some perseverence and luck, I somehow found my way to the finish (16 hours).
Ah, lack of signposts! I recall the London Loop posts were particularly sparse in the NW London sections. Stanmore is one that jumps out.

Ruislip Woods is my forest of choice - can't really go wrong with a blooming great reservoir in the middle!
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A place in Epping Forest I would like to visit is the so called Hangman's Hill, where due to an optical illusions cars appear to be able to coast up hill.
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When I was a sub-teen and teenager, in a family with a car, a frequent weekend pursuit was to drive to some convenient woods, and go for a walk. Your pictures remind me of such walks.

That doesn't seem to happen much with families these days. Adults, yes, but children generally seem to expect other excitements.
I particularly like the first photo because I'm convinced that it's upside down, but all the better for it.
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About 70 years ago the Royal Forest Hotel was the destination of a bus from Chingford. [I've failed to remember the route number, I preferred trolleybuses when I was 6.]

In the car park of the pub was a tank of dirty water, with a chain dangling into it. A notice advised that if you lifted the chain you would see the Water Otter. If you tried it you were rewarded with a rusty kettle. It was several years before I got the joke. I don't remember much about the forest, which is why I was taken there.

Chronological oneupmanship - two words I’d never thought to see snuggled up so close together :)
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I remember the "water otter" too, but I thought it was in a pub closer to High Beach rather than the Royal Forest. Long time ago, so I could be wrong!
William Morris' green wooden table doesn't look so delicate it would be eroded by tiny phone flash lights. I guess it could be under copyright as 'a work of artistic craftmanship', but I assume this would be to stop people reproducing the actual table, not taking pictures of it.
The water otter I remember was at The Owl in High Beech - destination of many a summer evening drive when I was growing up in Leytonstone. The tank is actually still there (though in a slightly different place), with the same notice... but is now completely dry with, I think, just a chain and no kettle. That's not to say the Royal Forest Hotel didn't also have a water otter, of course...
Several of the Morris exhibits in the (very small) exhibition are unavailable for (permitted) photography, This is at the request of the galleries loaning the exhibits, according to the staff member we spoke to.
Ah, maybe the Water Otter was at High Beech; I didn't have much interest in pubs when I was 6. Matt's circumstantial evidence is persuasive.
There was a water 'otter at Lippets Hill, in the pub near the police helicopter base. Must be an Essex thing.

I managed to get lost in the forest near High Beech When I took my 5 year old daughter for an early morning walk. 5 year old kids are heavy when you have to piggy back them for 3-4 miles.

The Owl at High Beach is on Lippitts Hill, so you are all remembering the same pub.
Just over 30 years ago I got off a train at Chingford and meandered myself through the forest, with either no map or a pretty useless one until I came across the incongruous looking underground roundel at Theydon Bois. I was rather pleased to see it.

More recently a wet 12km cross country starting and finishing by the Orion Harriers clubhouse and windings god knows where through some muddy bits of the forest.
How can a picture of leaves on the forest floor be upside down? It's presumably taken by a camera pointing vertically downwards, so has no preferred orientation.

On second thoughts, the typical leaf size does seem to be greater at the "top" of the picture, so maybe the camera axis was aslant, and NickW was right.
Perhaps the Gent greeting you Good Afternoon was offering a wish for the future: better then Have a nice day...

I get around the timing problem by using the Aussie "G'day to you".
It looked upside down to me.

So I put my phone down flat on the table and swiveled it 180°.

It still looked upside down...
L'esprit d'escalier
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Fifty years ago my parents' neighbour used to say 'Good morning' in the early afternoon: my mother explained that he did so because because, for him, the morning continued up until he ate his (very late) dinner.
The bus that terminated at the Royal Forest Hotel was the 38. It went through Clapton, Islington and I think on to Victoria Station. Other routes also terminated at the Royal Forest Hotel but I can't now remember the numbers. Too long ago.

There is sometimes a 'gathering' of old buses on display outside the pub on a Saturday in September or October. Not sure who organises it. Brings back memories though.

Paths through Epping Forest: always confuse me, even with the map.

Perhaps DG could try the Forest Centenary Walk from Manor Park to Epping, held in early September? Or perhaps has already done so?

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