Bluebell season in the UK runs from April into May with it washing across the country in a wave of colour. The bluebells last for just a few weeks so making the most of the bluebell season is essential. There is nothing better than a bluebell walk in an ancient woodland as they start to emerge. Wherever you are in the UK it is possible to find a bluebell walk and this guide will provide some of the most stunning locations across the UK. This is just an introduction to get your adventures started, there are too many bluebell woods to even begin to include them all.
TYPES OF BLUEBELLS IN THE UK
Nothing beats the early morning scent and sight of a bluebell wood. With the heady fragrance hanging in the air and the cool dappled light filtering through the vibrant green young leafed tree canopy it is something special after a long winter.
Almost half the world’s bluebells are found in the UK and they are rare in other parts of the world.
Bluebells prefer the native beech woodlands where the later emergence of leaves allows the bluebells time to flower before the light drops. Once the leaves have emerged the woodland floor is too dark for bluebells to thrive.
The bluebells growing wild in England are the native bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) with a drooping head, curly edged flowers, a creamy white pollen and the beautiful delicate scent associated with bluebells.
In contrast the bolder, more regimented Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) is a darker colour with tubular flowers and no scent. These are found in gardens across the country.
Invasive and aggressive they pollinate with the native bluebell. It would be a disaster to lose one of our beautiful native flowers to a similar but totally uninvited guest in our ancient woodlands.
There are also some mutations to the bluebells and you will sometimes see white or pink bluebells. These are a special treat within the mass of blue that is commonly seen.
The bluebell has a range of names that include: English bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle, cuckoo’s boots, wood hyacinth, lady’s nightcap, witches’ thimbles as well as their scientific name Hyacinthoides non-scripta.
WHEN Do Bluebells Flower IN THE UK
The bluebells season in the UK lasts for just a few weeks with each flower only being at its best for a short while. This is usually from mid-April until mid-May but will vary slightly depending on how cold and damp the late winter and early spring has been. The first bluebells are usually seen in the far south of the country and then the blooms will spread north in a fragrant wave.
The best time of day is either early morning or just before sunset when long shadows and dappled light can enhance your photography. Misty mornings can add atmosphere to the photograph as can sunburst through the trees at sunset.
A slightly overcast day can bring out the details of the flowers and the trees which is great for more detailed photographs.
READ MORE: HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH BLUEBELLS IN THE UK
How to Visit Bluebell Woods, Protect the Bluebells and Not Break the Law
This may seem a bit extreme but bluebells are protected by law and you should be careful that you don’t land yourself with a substantial fine. This can range from £5000 to imprisonment if you are caught picking bluebells in a public park or woodland. Despite their rapid growth uprooting the bluebells is also prohibited and can land you in trouble. This isn’t just for you as a visitor, even the land owner is prevented from digging up the bluebell bulbs or selling the flowers under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Do Bluebells Flower Every Year
Bluebells are perennial plants and once they have matured they will flower every year. It can take a bluebell colony between 5 and 7 years to reach the flowering stage so if they are destroyed it is a slow and extended period before they are in flower again if the areas is replanted.
Bluebells are easily destroyed and if you trample on their leaves they will die back as they are unable to photosynthesis if the leaves are damaged. This means that they will not flower for the remainder of the season and may be destroyed for ever. If you are visiting a bluebell wood always follow the paths. If you want to photograph someone ‘within’ the bluebells always look for bends in the path or areas where the landowner has made a clearing within the bluebells.
How to Find Bluebell Woods in the UK
A lot of bluebell woods in the UK are hidden secrets that locals know about and share sparingly. However there are a number of places and organisations that open their bluebell woods to the public and make visiting a beautiful experience.
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Bluebell Woods in Scotland
Scotland has a later bluebell season than the UK, but they are stunning. Many of the bluebell locations are more rugged and exposed than the rest of the UK making them an adventure to visit.
Favourite Bluebell Walks in ScotlanD
- Glen Finglas, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
- Urquhart Bay, Drumnadrochit
- Deuchny Woods, Perth and Kinross
- Carstramon Wood, Dumfries and Galloway
- Kinclaven Bluebell Wood, Perthshire
- Fairy Glen, Rosemarkie, Highlands
- Balmacaan Wood, Inverness, Highlands
- Glasdrum Wood, Oban, Argyll & Bute
- Carron Glen, Denny, Falkirk
- Happy Valley, Orkney
- Dalkeith Estate, Midlothian
- Loch of the Lowes, Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross
- House of Dun, Brechin, Angus
- Keil’s Den, Kirkton of Largo, Fife
- Brodick, Isle of Arran
Glen Finglas (Brig ‘o’ Turk), Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park
This has to be one of the largest bluebell woodlands in Scotland and is surrounded by stunning landscapes. The area includes the bluebell woods as well as mountains and lochs.
The estate has 9 waymarked routes and the Great Trossachs Route runs through the area and includes some of the wild flower meadows. The visitor centre at Lendrick Hill has lots of information about the area and facilities, making it the best place to start your bluebell walk through these woods.
Urquhart Bay, Drumnadrochit
Close to Loch Ness is one of the best surviving ancient woodlands in Europe. This small woodland couldn’t be further from the tourist bustle of nearby Drumnadrochit and Urquhart Castle. Tree species include alder, ash, bird cherry and white willow which start to blossom at about the same time as the bluebells.
The paths through the woodland form a rough figure of eight although they are not always clear and the River Enrick cuts across one end of the woods.
There are no facilities here, but Drumnadrochit is close enough to ensure there are no problems. The path into the woods starts from the small cemetery in Drumnadrochit.
Deuchny WOod and Binn Hill, Perth and Kinross
If you are looking for a really ancient woodland steeped in history for your bluebell walk then Binn Hill and the adjacent Deuchny Wood is the place to visit. It is shown on a map drawn after the 1750 Jacobite Uprising.
The woods have a number of rough tracks as well as more formal paths. At the end of the track through the wood is Binn Tower a 19th Century folly. While you can’t enter the tower it is a beautiful addition to a bluebell walk. From the area around the tower there are beautiful views across the Carse of Gowrie.
Nearest Town: Perth
Postcode for Parking: PH2 7LN
What Three Words: ///lines.toxic.blur
OS Map: Explorer 369 – Perth and Kinross
Website: Kinnoull Woodland Park – Includes Deuchny Woods and Binn Hill
Carstramon Wood, Dumfries and Galloway
This ancient wood is made up of oak trees. These were once used for making charcoal and supplying the local mill with wood for their bobbins. Now the woodland is one of the best places in southern Scotland to see the bluebells in flower.
There are some well maintained paths through the woods and onto the hills beyond. A small visitors centre in Gatehouse of Fleet has information about the area and a small cafe that is open year round.
Bluebell Forests in Northern Ireland
Like the rest of the UK, bluebells in Northern Ireland are protected. This is locally through The Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. This prevents the picking or digging up of bulbs of any wild bluebells in Northern Ireland.
The bluebells in Northern Ireland are found in a range of locations including wooded areas and wild cliff top headlands. They flower at a similar time to central England, but those on exposed cliff tops can be battered by the stiff sea breezes.
Bluebell Walks in Northern Ireland
- Castle Coole, County Fermanagh
- Tollymore Forest Park, County Down
- Portglenone Forest Park, County Antrim
- Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down
- Prehen Wood, County Londonderry
- Mount Stewart, County Down
- Killaloo Wood, County Londonderry
- Carnmoney Hill, County Antrim
- Lisnabreeny, County Down
- Clements Wood, County Antrim
- Drumnaph Wood, County Londonderry
- Scarbo Country Park and Killynether Wood, County Down
- Knockmanny Forest, County Fermanagh
- Castle Ward, County Down
- Narrow Water Forest, County Down
Castle Coole, County Fermanagh
This stunning bluebell walk is located in the grounds of an 18th Century mansion with landscaped gardens and lakeside walks.
There are extensive trails around the estate including the Beech Trail which is a perfect route to follow to see the bluebells in the spring.
The house is closed over winter, but in the spring it is possible to explore inside as well as view the bluebells in the grounds.
Nearest Town: Enniskillen
Postcode for Parking: BT74 6JY
What Three Words: ///racetrack.hoops.flattery
OS Map: Discovery Map 11 – County Donegal, Country Tyrone and County Fermanagh
Website: National Trust – Castle Coole
Tollymore Forest Park, County Down
Tollymore Forest Park covers a large area at the foot of the Mourne Mountains and has panoramic views out towards the Irish Sea. It was the first state forest park in Northern Ireland established in 1955 and is close to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The name Tollymore comes from ‘Tulaigh Mhór’, meaning large hill or mound and it is in the surrounding hills that the River Shimna starts before passing through the forest.
As well as the forest and the numerous walks, there is the oldest Arboretum in the country, established in 1752 and numerous follies and grottoes dotted around the forest. The forest park has a great camp site and is open year round.
Nearest Town: Newcastle
Postcode for Parking: BT33 0PR
What Three Words: ///send.patrolled.trailer
OS Map: Discovery Map 36 – County Armagh, Down, Louth, Meath and Monaghan
Website: Tollymore Forest Park
Portglenone Forest, County Antrim
This forest is well known for its stunning bluebell display. It is an ancient woodland and was once compared to the New Forest in Hampshire for its size and quality of timber.
There are numerous trails around the woodland and all of them will allow you to see the bluebells as well as the wild garlic and wood anemones which are found in the woodland during the spring.
This is a simple location to see bluebells with no facilities outside of the small visitors centre.
Nearest Town: Ballymena
Postcode for Parking: BT44 8BN
What Three Words: ///fillers.approach.promotion
OS Map: Discovery Map 11 – County Donegal, Country Tyrone and County Fermanagh (County Antrim not available)
Website: Portglenone Forest Park
Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down
This bluebell location is really unique. The bluebells are not found just in a woodland, but instead cover the sand dunes that lead down to the beach.
The bluebells start in the woods and then spill out across the open heathland and sand dunes. Paths lead through the woodland and then there are marked boardwalk trails out across the dunes to the stunning beach. Make sure that you stay on the boardwalks in this fragile habitat.
Nearest Town: Dundrum
Postcode for Parking: BT33 0LW
What Three Words: ///nanny.weddings.inhabited
OS Map: Discovery Map 36 – County Armagh, Down, Louth, Meath and Monaghan
Website: Murlough Nature Reserve – National Trust
Bluebell walks in Wales
Bluebells grow across Wales from the open moorland on the Brecon Beacons to the exposed cliff tops on Skomer Island. The hidden river valleys that are full of waterfalls have an added pop of colour in the spring when the river banks are blanketed with bluebells.
Best Places to See Bluebells in Wales
- Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
- Gogerddan, Ceredigion
- Coed y Wenallt, Cardiff
- Coed y Felin, Flintshire
- National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire
- Upton Castle, Pembrokeshire
- Picton Castle and Gardens, Pembrokeshire
- Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire
- Cae Hir, Ceredigion
- Aberglasny House and Gardens, Carmarthenshire
- Plas yn Rhiw, Gwynedd
- Bodnant Gardens, Conwy
- Dolaucothi, Carmarthenshire
- Coed Aber Artro, Gwynedd
- Llanfoist, Monmouthshire
- Wentwood Forest, Monmouthshire
Skomer island, Pembrokeshire
Skomer Island is located a short distance off the coast of Pembrokeshire. It is best known for its puffins and other sea birds, but also puts on a magical display of bluebells.
The whole island is covered in bluebells with the paths snaking through their dense covering. It is lovely to see the puffins at any time, but the blanket of bluebells is something a bit different.
The island can be reached by boat which runs from Martins Haven and tickets must be purchased in advance.
READ MORE: SKOMER ISLAND TRIP PLANNING
Gogerddan is a semi-natural woodland that is being slowly restored back to its former glory. There is a marked circular trail that follows the undulating landscape giving unexpected views after some steep sections.
There is a small picnic area by the Nant Clarach stream. This is not the easiest bluebell walk but is worth the extra effort.
Nearest Town: Aberystwyth
Postcode for Parking: SY23 3BT
What Three Words: ///reminds.roadblock.motion
OS Map: Explorer 213 – Aberystwyth and Cwm Rheidol
Website: Natural Resources Wales – Gogerddan Woods
Coed y Felin, Flintshire
This nature reserve is built on an old railway line making it accessible for all. This isn’t always the case for bluebell woods but Coed y Felin has both easy access paths and steep inclines and rough paths for those who ant more adventure.
The main path along the railway line take you through the centre of the bluebells to a picnic area surrounded by the flowers. There are a number of paths that cross the woodland as well as the adjacent flower meadows which are beautiful in the summer months once the bluebells have gone over.
Bluebells in the North of England
The far north of England has both east and west coastlines and covers the highest landscapes in the whole of England. There is open moorland as well as high sea cliffs and all are home to some beautiful bluebell woods. The Lake district National Park, Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors all have bluebell woods that make for some easy walking away from the high peaks.
Bluebell Woods in the North of England
- Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire
- Loughrigg Fell, Cumbria
- Muncaster Castle and Gardens, Cumbria
- Allen Banks, Northumberland
- Speke Hall, Merseyside
- Dunham Massey, Cheshire
- Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire
- Wallington, Northumberland
- Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire
- Gibside, Tyne and Wear
- Hard Crags, West Yorkshire
- Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
- Embleton Beach, Northumberland
- Rode Hall and Gardens, Cheshire
- Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
- Forest of Bowland, Lancashire
- Lob Wood, Craven, Yorkshire
- Storthes Hall, West Yorkshire
- Elnup Wood, Cheshire
- Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire
- Spring Wood, Whalley, Lancashire
- Methley Deer Park, Yorkshire
- Middleton Woods, Yorkshire
- Rannerdale, Cumbria
- Park Wood, Bothal, Northumberland
Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire
One of the best places to see bluebells in Yorkshire is around Roseberry Topping, in Newton Wood.
The woods come to life with a blanket of purple colour in the spring, and can’t be missed if you’re climbing up Roseberry Topping. At 320 meters high, the hill boasts stunning views over the area.
Newton under Roseberry is the small village at the base of the hill, but Great Ayton is much larger and just a few miles away – it also has a train station.
Loughrigg Fell, Cumbria
Loughrigg Fell is one of the best places to see bluebells in Cumbria. It is just a short walk from Ambleside and has the most amazing views of the surrounding fells. After walking across the open bluebell covered fell a permissive path takes you to Rydal Cave an old slate quarry. Stepping stones take you into the quarry, but watch your head on the way in. A six mile circular walk will take you out across the fell to the cave and then back into Ambleside.
This is the perfect warm up walk before starting the higher peaks in the surrounding area. As with any walking in the Lake District make sure you have a map and a plan.
Nearest Town: Ambleside
Postcode for Parking: LA22 9LR
What Three Words: ///wiggly.neatly.disposal
OS Map: Explorer 7 – The Lake District: South-eastern area
Website: Loughrigg Fell Walk
Muncaster Castle and Gardens
Muncaster Castle is much more than just a bluebell walk and is an easy place to see bluebells in the north west of England. This haunted castle is built on Roman remains in the 13th Century and has been owned by the current family since 1208, if not longer.
It is open for visiting as well an overnight stay and is home to the Owl and Hawk Centre. The castle is surrounded by 77 acres of woodlands and Georgian designed gardens with original features from the 1780’s still existing within the landscape.
The bluebell walk is above the castle and takes you through a woodland carpeted in bluebells.
Allen Banks, Northumberland
Allen banks is bluebell wood in Northumberland that follows the meandering path of the River Allen. In the 1800’s the paths were made making a wilderness garden through the river valley and the surrounding woodland.
There are a number of trails, all of varying difficulty and length that take you past the small tarn and along the valley. This woodland is the largest in Northumberland and has one of the best displays of bluebells and wild garlic.
Bluebell Woods in The East of England
East Anglia is a low lying area with an exposed coastline out onto the North Sea. Many of the bluebell woods are inland with just a few along the coast. There are bluebell woods that are easily accessible from Norwich, Ipswich, Ely and Cambridge. Roads in East Anglia are less in number making it important to plan your route to find the nearest bluebell woods to you.
Bluebell Woods in the East of England
- Blickling Estate, Norfolk
- Reydon Wood, Suffolk
- Brampton Wood, Cambridgeshire
- Bluebell Wood, Gorleston, Norfolk
- Goslings Corner Wood, Lincolnshire
- Captain’s Wood, Suffolk
- Gamlingay Wood, Cambridgeshire
- Bacton Wood, Norfolk
- Bradfield Woods, Suffolk
- Freston Woods, Suffolk
- Buckenham Woods, Norfolk
- Arger Fen and Spouse’s Wood, Cambridgeshire
- Rigsby Wood, Lincolnshire
- Sutton Hoo, Suffolk
- Dole Wood, Lincolnshire
- Bourne Woods, Lincolnshire
Blickling Estate, Norfolk
While Blickling Estate may be best known as the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, it’s also one of the best places to see bluebells in Norfolk.
While you are at Blickling, it’s also worthwhile to tour the historic Hall and explore the formal gardens.
The best areas to see the bluebells at the Blickling Estate are the Temple Walk and the northern part of the Great Wood. You have several different trails that will take you to the Great Wood from the Main Car Park and then following the muli-use trail will take you to the best blooms.
Reydon Wood Nature Reserve, Suffolk
Reydon Wood is located close to the seaside town of Southwold in Suffolk and is tucked away down a farm track. It has been restored to an ancient woodland through the removal of the invasive conifer plantation.
It is now a wood that is full of wildlife and as well as the spring bluebells it is good for bird watching and looking for butterflies and wild flowers in the summer months.
There is a circular walk around the woodland which takes about an hour although it can be rough and muddy after rain.
BramptoN Wood, Cambridgeshire
Brampton woods is a nature reserve located in Cambridgeshire, opposite Lenton Lakes. The woodland is over 900 years old. In Springtime, the place becomes filled with beautiful bluebells and turns into a wonderful and colourful place to visit and relax in nature either by yourself or with the company.
The reserve has a dedicated walkway and as long as you stick to it, you will most likely find the bluebells on your journey, there are usually thousands of them so it will be hard to miss.
There are 2 miles of wide pathways but sometimes they do become slightly narrower. Also, be careful in harsh weather as it can become muddy/slippery. Dogs are permitted when kept on a lead, and there is a small car park off Brampton Road. It’s a beautiful place to go for a walk, suitable for all the family.’
Bluebell Woods, Gorleston, Norfolk
Bluebell Woods is located in a small area a few miles from Great Yarmouth, called Gorleston, it can be accessed via several entrances around the industrial estate and all the walks are circular.
The entire woods is filled with bluebells, so you won’t need to venture far to find them!
It’s a pretty even terrain, suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs, but just keep an eye out for protruding tree roots! There are various man made swings throughout the woods, but other than that not much else, other than the bluebells, it’s a great place to take the dog for a walk or let the children run off some steam
Nearest Town: Great Yarmouth
Postcode for Parking: NR31 9AL
What Three Words: ///Before.Yelled.Fruity
OS Map: Explorer 40 – The Broads
Bluebell Walks in Central England
Central England has a number of well known and beautiful bluebell woodlands. In many regions the bluebell woods cover varied landscapes but, central England is the true bluebell wood. The best known is Dockey Wood where the Ashridge Estate bluebells are at their best.
Bluebell WOods in Central England
- Everdon Stubbs, Northanptonshire
- Beaconwood and Winsel Woods, Worcestershire
- Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
- Dockey Wood, Hertfordshire
- Coughton Court Warwickshire
- Kedlestone, Derbyshire
- Harcourt Arboretum, Oxfordshire
- Longshaw, Derbyshire
- Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
- Dudmaston, Shropshire
- Stoneywell, Leicestershire
- Croft Castle, Herefordshire
- Stoke Wood, Oxfordshire
- Bluebell Wood, New Mills, Derbyshire
- Nesscliffe Hills, Shropshire
- Heartwood Forest, Hertfordshire
- Old Park Wood, Middlesex
- Longshaw Wood, Derbyshire
- Alne Wood, Warwickshire
- Long Wood, Derbyshire
- Outwoods, Charnwood, Leicestershire
- Badbury, Coleshill, Oxfordshire
- Kedleston, Derbyshire
- Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire
- Shaw Wood, Oakerthorpe, Derbyshire
- Heartwood Forest, Hertfordhire
- Uffmoor Wood, Worcestershire
- Shining Cliff woods, Derbyshire
- Badby Woods, Northamptonshire
- Barnsdale Wood, Rutland
- Chaddesden Wood, Derbyshire
- Mapperley Wood, Derbeyshire
- Old Sulehay, Leicestershire
- Dockey Wood, Hertfordshire
- Ivinghoe Beacon, Hertfordshire
Everdon Stubbs, Northamptonshire
Everdon Stubbs is a lovely place to explore with winding paths through areas of woodland and more open glades and rides.This is a great location to enjoy carpets of bluebells in late April and May. It is also home to rare wild daffodils and many other spring woodland flowers.
On the northern boundary of the wood there are the remains of a Saxon burial site. It is a place steeped in history, the name Everdon comes from the Old English ‘Boar Hill’ it is easy to imagine boar hunts amongst the trees.
The woodland itself is a mixture of English oak, sessile oak, sycamore, lowland birch and sweet chestnut. There is also a Stand of hornbeam which is uncommon in the area.
Everdon Stubbs can be dated back to Medieval times. The word Stubbs refers to the practice of coppicing trees to use and manage the wood which forms stumps . There are areas of coppiced trees in the wood today and they create a varied and florally rich habitat.
Archeologically it is a very interesting wood and area. An ancient ditch divides the wood East to West. Ridge and furrow remains can be seen from historical agricultural use. Walking into the open braken area on the northern edge you are in the site of the Saxon burial ground.
A walk at Everdon is always full of interesting discoveries and well worth a visit.
Beaconwood and Winsel Woods, Worcestershire
These beautiful woods are on the edge of the National Trust owned Chadwich Estate with the woodland being developed over the last 120 years although some of the older trees were planted over 250 years ago.
A circular path winds through the woodland and care should be taken as it is steep in places and can be quite slippery. This is one of the easiest bluebell woods to access as it is within sight of the M5. Nearby is Lickey Hills Country Park which also has bluebells.
Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Bluebell woods in Derbyshire merge into the hills of the Peak District and one place where a blanket of colour can be seen is Calke Abbey.
This National Trust property has a clear bluebell walk through the woodland which can be very popular.
It is an easy 40 minute walk that follows the edge of the deer park around the abbey grounds. Calke Abbey has a large stately home to explore and a small cafe.
Bluebell Woods in South East England
While there are numerous bluebell woods within London including Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood, Kew Gardens and Richmond Park it is always nice to escape the city for a breathe of fresh air. Bluebell walks in the south east can all be found within easy reach of the main towns and make for a perfect day out.
Best Bluebell Walks in South East England
- Brede High Woods, East Sussex
- Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
- Norsey Wood, Essex
- Micheldever Woods, Hampshire
- Cliveden House, Berkshire
- Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
- Arlington Bluebell Walk, Sussex
- Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
- Mottistone Gardens, Isle of Wight
- Hillhouse Wood, Essex
- Oare Gunpowder Works, Kent
- Bisham Woods Berkshire
- Flatropers Wood, Sussex
- Broomy Inclosure, Hampshire
- Shadwell Wood, Essex
- Emmetts Garden, Kent
- Mark Cross, Sussex
- Westmorland Park, Berkshire
- Hayley Green Wood, Berkshire
- Kings Wood, Challock, Kent
- Angmering Park, Sussex
- Culden Faw Estate, Oxfordshire
- White Down, Surrey
- Arlington, Polegate, Sussex
Brede High Woods, East Sussex
Brede High Woods are located five miles north-west of Battle in the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty.
These are one of the best bluebell woods in Sussex with many level paths and trails leading through carpets of fragrant blue. Head south from the car park and you’ll soon spot swathes of blue flowers and star bright wood anemones.
Many species make the woods their habitat, from rare beetles, birds and dormice to large mammals like deer and badger. A circular walk will take you through a Beech plantation, heathland and around Powdermill reservoir for a range of beautiful scenery.
winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
Winkworth Arboretum was developed in the 1930’s when 130 acres of land on the Thorncombe Estate was purchase by Wilfred Fox. He wanted to experiment with autumn colours and planted azaleas, Japanese maples and a range of other trees known for their amazing autumn colours.
At the same time he was developing a beautiful landscape for a bluebell walk in the spring with the small bluebell wood and spring walk. These two areas are located in the north corner of the arboretum close to the Badgers Bowl.
There are a number of trails around the arboretum which all pass close to the bluebell wood. There are steps involved in reaching the bluebell wood but in the spring there are bluebells everywhere which can be enjoyed by following even the Access for All route.
Micheldever Woods, Hampshire
Micheldever Wood is a small woodland area close to Winchester. The woodland stretched along the edge of the busy M3 and is easily seen from the road. The bluebells can be found throughout the woodland and extend right up to the edges of the woods by the fields.
There is a main parking area and from here a number of small paths snake around the woods although there are no marked trails. There are no facilities here, but Winchester is just a short drive away.
Micheldever is close to the New Forest bluebell woods but has much easier access, especially if travelling from London or Southampton.
READ NORE: MICHELDEVER WOODLAND WALK
Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
Sissinghurst Castle is a magical place in the Kent countryside. It has been the home to poets and writers as well as a prison and a base for the women’s land army during the war.
The castle grounds have formal gardens that become a blanket of blue colour in the spring. As well as the formal areas, as with all castles there are more wild areas to wander and explore.
Once you have explored the gardens there is the castle and the hidden South Cottage to step back and feel the true atmosphere of Sissinghurst.
Where to Find Bluebells in London
- Richmond Park
- Highgate Wood
- Oxleas Wood
- Wanstead Park
- Hyde Park
- Kew Gardens
- Gutteridge Wood
- Osterley Park
- Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
- Sydenham Hill Woods
Bluebell Woods in South WEst England
The South west of England extends out into the Atlantic and is generally warmer but wetter than the rest of the UK. This means that bluebells flourish in these perfect conditions and also flower much earlier than places further north and east. Bluebells around Bristol include Priory Woods and Leigh Woods which are incredibly close to the city centre while cities further west also have their own bluebell woods hidden away. Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor all have wide swathes of bluebells rolling across the open moors giving a beautiful colour to the barren landscape.
Bluebells in the South West of England
- Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
- Langdon Hill, Dorset
- Antony Woodland Garden, Cornwall
- Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset
- Ebbor Gorge, Somerset
- Emsworthy Mire, Devon
- Priory Wood, Bristol
- Ladies Walk, Montacute, Somerset
- Stourhead Gardens, Wiltshire
- Lanhydrock Estate, Cornwall
- Goblin Coombe, Somerset
- Wembury Woods, Devon
- Leigh Woods, Bristol
- Bathwick Wood, Bath
- Buckland Abbey, Devon
- Bowood House, Wiltshire
- Garston Wood, Wiltshire
- Cothelstone Hill, Somerset
- Thurlbear Woods, Somerset
- Sparkford Woods, Somerset
- Brockholes, Exmoor, Somerset
- Swell Wood, Somerset
- King’s Catle Wood, Wells, Somerset
- Aller Woods, Somerset
- Weston Woods, North Somerset
- Woolland Hill, Dorset
Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
Cheddar Gorge is the deepest gorge in England and the wooded sides are full of bluebells in the spring. While the woodlands around the village have a small number of bluebells it is better to head onto the Mendip Hills at the top of the gorge.
Black Rock, Longwood and Velvet Bottom are small nature reserves that roll into each other and are all full of bluebells. A circular walk from Black Rock on the main road through the Gorge goes through a deep wide valley with remains of the old lime kilns to the deep sided woodland called Longwood. Here you will find deer and birds in amongst the bluebells and wild garlic.
The walk to the woods are easy and there is a choice of circular loop with steep steps through the woodland or an out and back walk along the bottom of the valley
READ MORE: LONGWOOD WALK
Nearest Town: Cheddar
Postcode for Parking: BS40 7XT
What Three Words: ///hindered.scorch.sandals
OS Map: Explorer 141 – Cheddar gorge and Mendip Hills West
Website: Black Rock and Longwood Walk
Langdon Hill, Dorset
If you’re looking for bluebells in the UK, Langdon Hill along the Jurassic Coast of England is an excellent place to explore.
As part of the Golden Cap Estate, Langdon Hill offers its visitors an easy and relaxing 1.4 mile circular walk. In bluebell season the Corsican Pine forest is carpeted with the flowers as far as you can see. If you’re after a longer and slightly more challenging walk, make sure to incorporate Golden Cap into your itinerary which is also the highest point along the Jurassic Coast.
Antony Woodland Garden, Cornwall
Antony House is a National Trust property with the privately owned Antony Woodland Garden. Antony House is where where Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was filmed. This woodland garden contains 300 varieties of camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, azaleas and trees from around the world. The garden is divided into three areas; The Wilderness, West Down and the Woodland Walk.
A path from the Wilderness leads into the Cathedral, a shaded area next to the river. Here you will find bluebells and garlic filling the woodland along the river bank.
Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset
One of the popular bluebell woods in Dorset is at Abbot Street Copse on the Kingston Lacy Estate near Wimborne. There is free parking available at Pamphill Green, but be aware the car park can get very busy, especially at weekends.
A new plantation was started with secure walkways through the woods in 2019 in a hope to protect the bluebells from being trampled on by the many visitors each year.
Whilst you’re in the area admiring the bluebells, there are plenty of great woodland walks around Pamphill as well. Why not stop off at Pamphill Dairy for a nice hot drink or lunch afterwards.