The Epping Forest Centenary Walk is one of those paths that curls off the map. Forests are difficult terrain to navigate at the best of times. A route that angles down small paths or veers off into brush does not fill me with the hope of following every twist and turn marked on the map.
The Centenary Walk is a useful marker for witnessing the gradations of wildness that you pass by on your journey out of the city. From one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse suburbs in Manor Park, you leave a street full of Pakistani shops with Polish subtitles for an invisible cloak of woodland and wildland that allows to proceed by stealth without meeting another Londoner (apart from the ubiquitous dogwalkers).
Whilst this provided me with an opportunity to increase my intimacy of London's green spaces such as the Wanstead Flats or Epping Forest, there is a notable lack of diversity. One finds that the word for London is forest and you begin to feel a hunger for some of the variety for which the city is renowned. Perhaps this is due to the lack of a view on most of the walk. It is one of those rare routes where you do not a vista looking down into the City. There are no famous landmarks here.
It is unfortunate that my time to ponder the route and meander was cut short by train delays and the shortest day of the year. Prevented from following the route "off-piste", I opted for the wider paths and found that they did not follow the marked path. Neverthless, despite never making an accurate trek, I found that this was a sufficient expedition to seek out other paths that may meander across the city. Hopefully they are easier to find than the white posts of Epping.