And yes, it was deserted when I arrived. As well as not having any barriers there are no members of staff here either. Of course, the station has CCTV and a button to press if you wish to speak to a member of staff. Having said that, the station was clean and even had a toilet and waiting room.
The obligatory hairdressers was amongst the shops as well as a newsagent that seemed to sell many items besides newspapers and sweets. I did ask if he knew of any buildings or places of interest but I was met with a blank expression.
Walking over the bridge it was possible to see where the branch line for the central line loop leaves the main line which carries on towards Epping.
I walked along the road which is named Forest Edge which gives you a bit of a clue as to what is beyond the line of trees. This section of Epping Forest is surrounded by housing. It is divided into two sections . One called Knighton Wood and the other is Lord's Bushes separated by Monkham's Lane. Knighton Wood was once part of the Buxton Estate and became an established ornamental garden with ponds, shrubs etc. After the death of the owner in 1930 the land was returned to Epping Forest. However remnants of the ponds, bamboo and rhododendron bushes still remain.
After enjoying a walk through the woods I walked back to the station
and wandered off in the opposite direction
At the end of Station Road is the Monkhams public house built at the turn of the 20th cent.
Crossing the road I made my way down Squirrels Lane and across the sports field as I wanted to look at the River Roding.
I didn't quite expect to see such a wonderful viaduct almost hidden away. As I was just admiring the structure, the iridescent blue flash of a kingfisher flashed past. I felt I had struck gold and found the hidden treasures of the area around Roding Valley Station.
I continued walking along the track which widened out into Luxborough Lane
Further along the lane was the Old Loughtonians' Hockey Club with its bright blue pitches. Across the Lane from the Hockey club there used to be a football training ground for one of the London clubs - Tottenham Hotspurs (aka Spurs) but they moved in 2012 to their new training ground in Enfield.
I then had to walk across a bridge over M11, a 55 mile motorway which runs North from the North Circular Road in South Woodford to the A14 near Cambridge. I have driven beneath this bridge many times on my journeys North but how different it will now feel as I drive along knowing what is either side of the bridge.
Time to make my way back to the station.
Close to the back entrance to the station is this small row of shops.The shops didn't inspire me. In fact on closer inspection they were more business premises than shops - therapy centre, accountants, hairdressers. But there was something about the last shop in the row that made me have a closer look, possibly because I couldn't work out what it was selling.
It turned out to be gun shop. There are very strict laws about gun ownership in the UK but according to their website this shop has been here since 1950 and is one of the largest gun shops in Essex although it seems a lot of their trade is in air rifles which are used for clay pigeon shooting..
Back at the station I crossed the bridge to the other platform to catch the tube back into London and before you ask, no there was no-one else at the station waiting for the train!
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