There is something magical about bluebells. With their sudden, mystical takeover of British woodlands, it’s easy to see why these flowers have long been linked to the fairy world. Perfect for a floral ramble, the end of April and May are typically the best months to see Britain’s delicate bluebells in all their glory.
Here’s a round-up of six of the best bluebell woods that promise the most spectacular show…
1 Foxholes Nature Reserve, Cotswolds
Where: Bruern, Oxfordshire OX7 6QE
Details: Once a part of the ancient Wychwood Forest, this tranquil woodland is one of the best bluebell woods in the Cotswolds. Bordering the magical River Evenlode, the woodland floor becomes carpeted with a sea of rich blue come spring. Famed too for its abundant bird life, more than 50 bird species, including marsh tit, nuthatch and treecreeper breed in the wood, producing a chorus of song throughout spring and summer.
Make a break of it: Our luxury cottages in Chipping Norton and Kingham are a short walk/3.5 miles respectively to the beautiful Foxholes Nature Reserve.
2 Blickling Hall Woodlands, Norfolk (National Trust)
Where: Blickling Estate, Norfolk NR11 6NF
Details: Blickling’s grounds are home to 500 acres of ancient woodland which are renowned for their stunning display of English bluebells in late April and throughout May. One of the best places to see bluebells in the country, discover the house bathed in blue light, follow the special waymarked walking trails and take a plant home with you. Why not bring a rug and a picnic and enjoy blues music in the garden on May 28th when Blickling celebrates the beautiful bluebell season with its Blues Festival?
Make a break of it: Banningham Coach House and Weavers Loft are less than 4 miles from the Blickling Estate.
3 Lanhydrock, Cornwall (National Trust)
Where: Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 5AD
Details: Almost as soon as you set out into this magnificent Cornish estate, a sea of rich blue will greet you. Reputed to be the best bluebell woods in Cornwall, we recommend Lady’s Walk. Starting at the house, it takes you out into the bluebell-carpeted Great Wood, along the beech-lined avenue and back to Landhyrock’s landscaped gardens. Dogs are welcome throughout the gardens and woodland, although they must be kept on a lead. Unwind in one of the eateries afterwards – the Stable café welcomes your pooch in its outdoor seating area.
Make a break of it: Looe Island View and our farm cottages near Liskeard are within easy reach of Lanhydrock.
4 Arlington, East Sussex
Where: Arlington, East Sussex BN26 6SH
Details: Eight one-mile trails cut across 23 acres of stunning ancient woodland at Arlington, linking together across three farms. Head for the bluebells in Beatons Wood first, then pop over to neighbouring Parkwood Farm where your children can fuss over pigs, sheep and goats and watch the dairy herd being milked. The Beatons Wood trail is suitable for wheelchair users, and all the paths are signposted so you know what springtime delights you are looking at.
Make a break of it: Award-winning Brooks Lodge is about 20 minutes' drive away.
5 Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
Where: Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2AB
Details: Sissinghurst Castle Garden is a stunning place to explore at any time of year and spring is no exception. At this time of year, the Nuttery, the Orchard, the Delos and the Lime Walk especially are a treat. But the surrounding 460-acre estate is also wonderful, producing an indigo explosion of bluebells between April and May. There is a mapped three-mile walk on the National Trust website, which takes 1½ hours and passes through the bluebell wood, as well as the surrounding fields. There’s family fun to be had around the estate with quiz trails available for your little ones. You can also bring your canine companion along on a lead and enjoy the estate walks together. If you’re feeling hungry after your walk, stop off at The Old Dairy restaurant for a cream tea. All you have to do is decide which to put on first, cream or jam?
Make a break of it: Our gorgeous Kent boltholes are between 8 and 20 miles from Sissinghurst Castle Garden.
6 Long Wood, Somerset
Where: The Cheddar Complex, near Cheddar Gorge (nearest postcode BA5 3BT)
Details: This patch of woodland is considered to be one of the best bluebell woods to visit near the spectacular Cheddar Gorge, thanks to its stunning views and plentiful wildlife spotting opportunities, from buzzards to badgers and plenty in between. Three easy walking trails will guide you through tumbling cascades of bluebells, orchids and wood anemones. Long Wood, one of the Somerset Wildlife Trust reserves that make up the Cheddar Complex, is free and open every day.
Make a break of it: Our Somerset holiday cottages are 8 miles from the Cheddar Complex.