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Never Trust A Mapmaker...
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lil_shepherd
Not for the first time, we spent several hours today looking for the Loughton Camp earthworks.

We had three maps. One was a sketch map issued by the Epping Forest Tourist Centre. One was the OS walker's map of the Forest. One was the local walker's map of the Forest, showing the major roads and paths.

The reason we found it so difficult was that none of these maps agreed on where the main paths were or what their names were or where they ran. For instance, the OS map showed what the other two maps called The Clay Ride as the Centennial Way, and one path turned into Three Forests Way without a blink long before it came to Epping Forest New Road. Paths that were supposed to lead off the main rides had disappeared into the undergrowth. Others were blocked by fallen trees.

Oh, eventually we did find the Camp (there will be photographs) and did find our way back to the car, but it would be nice if the Forest Administrators (the City of London) or the Local Council (Epping Forest District, for the most part) would get their act together, agree what the main rides are called (and inform Ordinance Survey), map them properly, and put up some sign posts or way posts at the points the tracks cross!

The hand drawn map was probably the most accurate, but its determination to keep you on the wide gravelled rides meant you were taken by the longest route (save for the one we eventually took!)

Next time, we'll know better.

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Google Earth to locate the Earthworks and the Fort and then GPS from your car set to the lat long positions would have got you there.

Mind you, you would have had to step off the paths into the forest.

Lil gave me a beautiful brass 19C pocket compass for my birthday a couple of years back - if only I could remember to take it with us there would have been no problem.

Besides, I haven't figured out how to use my MP3 player yet - I'd have no chance with GPS

Humph.

I have had bad experiences with GPS. I have had bad experiences with Google maps. Allow me to point you at the time Ina put a post code into Google maps and we spent two hours looking for a house that was, actually, on another road. Then there was my friend Paul, who put a post code into GPS and ended up on a private road over a mile away from the golf club he was aiming for as the crow flies, and five miles by road. He also relates how he was sent off the A1 and round in circles before ending coming back on at the same junction.

We have also been sent to villages two miles down the road from the one we were looking for, and along horrifying back roads with passing places which saved precisely a hundred yards from the A road method of getting in to the centre of a particular town.

Ina just put Loughton camp into Google maps and it came up with a 'map' with two things marked on it - Epping New Road and a balloon that indicated - though I doubt it - Loughton Camp.


Oh, and I was using it the other day and it failed to locate Copped Hall - luckily, I could find that by using the photos, because I knew where it was.

It is also plain that you have never stepped off the main paths in Epping Forest...

I have a great love of ring forts and other such, but they are frequently very hard to find -- I wonder if the maps simply careless or if the dratted things just move.

I'm pretty sure the paths in Epping Forest move...

But of course. It's a matter of national security.

After reading this I am no longer surprised that my brother and I failed to find a Roman fort at (I think) Cirencester using either the map provided by the local tourist centre (diagram rather than map) or our GPS system, or the road signs. Though it may have been that overgrown field...

It was probably the overgrown field. Though with Loughton Camp it is overgrown with huge trees, and valleys with high banks that might or might not be earthworks and contain equally large trees...

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