WALK DESCRIPTIONS

Walk 1 - Wanstead Flats, Wanstead Park and the River Roding
Approximately 5 miles / 8 km (about two hours)

Starting and ending at Manor Park, this circular walk crosses Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Heath, noting the different stages of London’s urban development, from nineteenth century suburbia to the tower cranes visible on the horizon refashioning Docklands. The route then passes through a slice of the landscape created by Josiah Child and his descendents, to provide scenic woodland walks and lakeside vistas to complement Wanstead House, the showpiece of the family’s wealth and power.

The return to Manor park is via the River Roding and the route of one of London’s earliest railways.

START WALK 1


Walk 2 - A circuit around Wanstead Park and its Ornamental Waters
Approximately 3.5 miles / 5.5 Km (about one and a half  hours)

Keeping to the east of Wanstead Flats, this walk then passes through a street typifying Edwardian suburban respectability, before entering the heart of the parkland and lake system of Wanstead House. As the route circles the Ornamental Water, it takes in some of the expensively engineered views required to maintain status in eighteenth century England. The return to Manor Park passes evidence of Wanstead Flats' significant role during World War 2.

START WALK 2


Walk 3 - Hollow Ponds Snaresbrook and Wanstead High Street
Approximately 4.6 miles / 7.5 km (approx. 1.5 hours) to Snaresbrook Tube Station or 5.2 miles / 8.4 km (approx. 2 hours) to Wanstead Tube Station

This walk follows the route of Walk 1 as far as Lake House, before turning north towards Leyton Flats and Hollow Ponds. Following a detour to visit the “stone” which gives Leytonstone its name, the route crosses grassland to arrive at Hollow Ponds. After circling the lake, the walk passes Snaresbrook Crown Court (a Victorian take on a Jacobean country house), Eagle pond with its abundant ducks and geese, and Wanstead High Street with pubs, cafes and two tube stations, should you wish to opt for a shorter walk. The return to Manor Park across the Park and the Flats passes the neo classical St Mary’s church, built in the shadow of Wanstead House, and Wanstead Golf Club which incorporates its stable block.

START WALK 3


Walk 4 - The City of London Cemetery
Approximately 4 miles / 6 Km (about one and a quarter hours)

Starting and ending at Manor Park, this circular walk looks at the origins of Alexandra Lake on Wanstead Flats, and then explores the history, geography and significance of the City of London Cemetery. The cemetery opened in 1856, built on what had been previously farmland, and before that Aldersbrook Manor. It was to be used to replace burials in City Churchyards, which had become a health hazard. One of the largest cemeteries in the country, it is planted with trees from across the world. The walk looks at grand monuments to lost City Churches, and also the graves of individuals who were involved in significant events in London and in national history.

START WALK 4


Walk 5 - Manor Park to Valentines Park
Approximately 6.5 miles / 10.5 Km (about two and a quarter hours)

Starting at Manor Park, this linear walk goes to Valentines Park in Ilford, via Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park. The walk provides an opportunity to contrast this more modest House and its Park with its larger and more fashionable neighbour, and looks at it’s history as a house and as a municipal park. It finishes at Gants Hill or Ilford Stations.

START WALK 5


Walk 6 - Rediscovering Wanstead House
Approximately 6.5 miles / 10.5 Km (about two and a quarter hours)

Starting and ending at Manor Park, this circular walk looks at places where we can see the lasting remnants of Wanstead House. Although each of these sites only offer an echo of the House and Park in its prime, taken together they provide a surprisingly vivid sense of place and scale. The sites visited include:

  • Aldersbrook Manor
  • Aldersbrook Farm
  • The Reservoir
  • The Repton Oak
  • The Lake System
  • The Temple
  • The Grotto
  • The Glade
  • The Mounts
  • The Stable Block
  • St Mary the Virgin Church & Churchyard
  • The Foundations and Cellars of Wanstead House
  • Evelyn’s Avenue

Walk 7 - The River Roding
Approximately 6.5 miles / 10.5 Km (about two and a quarter hours)

Starting at Manor Park, this linear walk follows the path of the River Roding to Ray Park in Woodford. Although much of the walk runs alongside major roads, the river is surprisingly rural for lengthy stretches, and the river bank provides a different perspective on places familiar from the road.

START WALK 7


Walk 8a - EDGES - Manor Park to Forest Gate
Approximately 2 miles / 3 km (about 1.5 hours)

Starting at Manor Park and ending at Forest Gate, this linear walk is one of a pair that explore the history of places around the edges of Wanstead Flats. This walk looks at the Manor House, Manor Park Cemetery and some of the notable people buried there, and some of the remnants of life in Victorian and Edwardian Forest Gate.

START WALK 8a


Walk 8b - EDGES - Forest Gate to Leytonstone
Approximately 2.5 miles / 4 km (about 1.5 hours)

Starting at Forest Gate and ending at Leytonstone, this linear walk is one of a pair that explore the history of places around the edges of Wanstead Flats. 

This walk includes looking at the locations of and the background to Prisoner of War camps and Fairgrounds on the Flats. In addition, we look at the Model Yacht Pond, Cann Hall, the Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers, Evelyn's Avenue, the Lakehouse, the Quaker Meeting House, Leytonstone House, the Green Man, Leytonstone Village, Georgian Houses in Leytonstone High Road, Bearman’s Department Store and St John the Baptist Church.

START WALK 8b