It’s one of the UK’s most beautiful natural sights: a carpet of vivid blue flowers stretching through a forest. Although bluebells are seemingly everywhere in spring, they’re still best experienced in the quiet of dense woodland. Here’s how to find bluebell woods online.
First, the big question: when’s the best time to see them? Bluebells flower between mid-April and late May in the UK. I find the flowers are usually at their best in the last week of April, but that might be different where you live.
Second, a few bluebell rules: don’t walk across them (not only will it damage the plants, but it’ll ruin them for other people), don’t dig up their bulbs (the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) made that a crime) and don’t one as they’re very poisonous. Dogs will also be affected by the toxins so keep an eye on your pooch.
Find bluebell woods online: The Woodland Trust
The best way of finding a world-class bluebell wood near you is via this page on The Woodland Trust’s excellent website. It contains links to woods in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Once you’ve clicked on a region, you’ll see a selection of the very best bluebell woods. Bear in mind that this is the Premier League of forests so you may need to drive for a while to see them.
Clicking on a listing will bring up a page containing the wood’s location and directions to it. You’ll also see its attractions (such as good views, ancient trees and marked trails) and history.
Happy bluebell hunting! If you’re ever in East Sussex, I thoroughly recommend Brede High Woods (above), which – and I’m tempting fate here – always has a spectacular display of bluebells. Even better, it’s surrounded by great pubs…
Find bluebell woods online: The National Trust
If you’re a member – or don’t mind potentially paying for your bluebells – the National Trust has put together an impressive list of woods and walks.
Unsurprisingly, they’re mostly located at National Trust properties, but that could be ideal if you want to combine the bluebells with a stately home or the obligatory tearoom.
Scroll down the bluebell homepage and select a region (sadly, Scotland is missing) to bring up a list of “top spots” near you.
Usefully, some of the listings even tell you if the bluebells have arrived. Good news for readers in Staffordshire…
As with The Woodland Trust, clicking on a link brings up a whole host of information. Think opening times, entrance fees (if applicable), directions, facilities, walks and the history of the site.
And the best news? There are enough bluebell woods on the website to keep you going for years.
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