14 of the best bluebell-filled walks in Britain
Every year, between April and May, a vibrant blue carpet appears under the shady canopy of hedges and trees, giving off a sweet scent and transforming even the smallest garden into a wild and mystical place.
There’s something so magical about a springtime walk among the bluebells – don’t miss your chance to stroll through beautiful British woodlands and marvel at these enchanting flowers. Here are 14 of the best National Trust woods around the UK to plan a walk among the bluebells.
Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Visit Blickling and discover one of the best places to see bluebells in the country. Follow winding paths through the Great Wood and pass through swathes of the dainty blue flowers. The best time to see bluebells here is late April/early May.
Yorkshire and North East
Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
Bluebells are the undisputed spring highlight at Hardcastle Crags. At their peak, usually in May, they form an almost unearthly blue haze through the woodlands and fill air with their sweet perfume.
London and South East
Hatchlands Park, Surrey
Situated on the edge of the beautiful Surrey Hills and surrounded by charming villages, the peaceful parkland is just 45 minutes from central London. Hatchlands Park is one of the largest country estates in the county, including ancient woodland and open parkland, with views of the historic house and Surrey countryside. Wix’s Wood is home to carpets of bluebells which appear in late April/early May. For latest updates on when the bluebells are out visit Hatchlands Park Facebook page.
Visitors can explore acres of recently opened ancient woodland surrounding the quintessentially English landscape. Stroll slowly through glorious beech avenues and soak up the bluebell phenomenon that appears here. Hinton welcomes picnickers in its woods and there are woodland ‘sofas’ carved out of fallen tree trunks where you can sit and admire the blue view.
Osterley Park in Isleworth has one of the greatest displays of bluebells in the capital. The large country estate is only eight miles from Hyde Park Corner, a short hop down the Piccadilly line, yet includes acres of parkland and a house that has been described as ‘the palace of palaces’. The bluebells are mainly found around the Long Walk in pockets of woodland surrounding the great meadow. Just further along is the natural play trail – perfect for families.
Formed through centuries of landscape design, Sheffield Park and Garden is a horticultural work of art with influences of ‘Capability’ Brown throughout. During the spring months the delicate heads of English bluebells emerge in copses and spread throughout the park.
Dunham Massey, Cheshire
Stroll down a camellia walk at Dunham Massey to see more than 10,000 plants in the cyclamen grove, the bluebell meadow and yellow meadow. The largest collection of these delicate flowers can be found under the oaks and witch hazels next to the Bog Garden.
Buckland Abbey, Devon
When you visit Buckland, you follow over 700 years of footsteps; from the Cistercians who built the Abbey and farmed the estate, to seafarers Grenville and Drake who changed the shape of the house and the fate of the country. Discover the beautiful sea of blue in the Great North Wood in early May.
Travel back in time as you wander around the 16th-century garden, one of the most important historic gardens in Europe. Get lost in the tranquil and mysterious woodland where the years of mining have left an unnatural, undulating landscape carpeted in bluebells throughout April and May.
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
With 3,800 acres of parkland, woodland and heathland to explore, Clumber Park is the perfect place for a bluebell-spotting stroll. Take the family for a peaceful walk and experience the grandeur of the estate.
Complete with mystical temples, follies and statues around every corner, Croome’s lakeside walk is a true ‘Capability’ Brown masterpiece. Throughout spring the bare parkland floor comes alive with bluebells, creating a natural wonder among the sculptures. Take a stroll past the thatched Ice House to the grand Rotunda, where wide-reaching views over the parkland are not to be missed at this time of year.
Dinefwr Park and Castle is an iconic place in the history of Wales and is the perfect spot to take a relaxing stroll through some of Carmarthenshire’s most scenic countryside. It’s the only designated parkland National Nature Reserve in the whole of Wales where you can discover ancient trees, rare liches and fungi and some of the best examples of British wildlife you’re likely to see, including dazzling displays of bluebells in spring.
With a 700-year-old castle, far-reaching views across the Cheshire and Shropshire plains and an award-winning garden, Chirk Castle’s 480-acre estate is a great place to follow the signs of spring. One of its late spring highlights is the enchanting spread of bluebells throughout the woodland in May. And while Chirk Castle may be steeped in history it is definitely not stuck in the past; these delicate blue beauties can now be enjoyed on a Segway tour through the estate or of course on a peaceful springtime stroll.
Strangford Lough, County Down
Strangford Lough is a unique and wonderful place of immense international importance for nature conservation. It is the largest sea lough in the British Isles, covering an area from Angus Rock at its mouth on the Irish Sea, to the vast sand-flats. It’s one of only three designated Marine Nature Reserves in the United Kingdom. Nugent’s Wood, at Portaferry, is one of the last refuges for the native red squirrel and is the perfect place for discovering bluebells.
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