Where Can You Ride?
Horse riding in the Forest is now regulated by licence with the exception of a few areas in the northern parts that have Public Bridleways running through them.
Everyone who rides in the Forest is required to have displayed on their horse a current licence which is obtainable from the Chingford Golf Shop, Bury Road, Chingford, London, E4 7QJ. The shop is open 7am to 4.30pm. Any queries the call 020 8529 2085.
Riding Licences currently (2021) cost £59.96 annually, from 1st April with a reduction for part-yearly licences.
£7.50 for a Weekly Licence, £5.24 for a daily licence.
You must also provide proof of Public Liability Insurance. BHS Gold membership for example includes this.
Licences can be shared by up to 3 riders with prior notification.
Throughout the forest, there are over 30 miles of 'gravel' tracks and posted rides which are kept open permanently, unless requiring repair.
In Spring, subject to weather conditions and the state of the ground, the Forest north of a line which runs down Bury Road, turns east along Rangers Road, then turns north up Epping New Road until the Robin Hood Roundabout and then runs down Earl's Path, is opened for free range riding.The Forest is then usually kept open until adverse ground conditions requires it to be 'shut'.
A few small areas are kept `out of bounds' to horse riders due to them being of an antiquity nature or subject to severe erosion. These areas are sign-posted.
The car park in Bury Road is the best that can be used by visiting riders to unbox horses. It is paid parking.
There there is also an OS map to a scale of 3½" to the mile that shows most of the rides and car parks along with all the usual features of an OS map together with the Forest shown in distinctive green.
Some 700 acres of land north of the Forest are owned by the City of London and whilst not part of the Forest provide links for wildlife between the Forest and the wider countryside. These links also help to protect the Forest from development pressure. The Buffer Lands are shown on the OS map by yellow shading.
Several areas of the Buffer Lands are open for horse riding, namely the Warlies and Woodredon Estates, There is no 'free-range' riding as such but riders have an extensive route of bridleways and permissive rides to enjoy. Detailed maps are available from the Visitors Centre. These areas will be shut when the weather makes ground conditions unrideable.