Loughton is a town and civil parish in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located between 11 and 13 miles (21 km) north east of Charing Cross in London, south of the M25 and west of the M11 motorway and has boundaries with Chingford, Waltham Abbey, Theydon Bois, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill. Loughton includes three conservation areas and there are 56 listed buildings in the town, together with a further 50 locally listed.
The parish of Loughton covers an area of about , of which over are part of Epping Forest. The ancient parish contained over , but in 1996 some parts of the south of the old parish were transferred to Buckhurst Hill parish, and other small portions to Chigwell and Theydon Bois. At the time of the 2001 census Loughton had a population of 30,340, and at the 2011 Census, 31,106. It is the most populous civil parish in the Epping Forest district, and within Essex it is the second most populous civil parish (after Canvey Island) and the second largest in area.