Bluebells, birds and bubbling becks… bliss. It was the hottest day of the year so far, a rare and blissful 24c afternoon. A sudden rain shower and now the whole forest is steaming. The bluebells seem to have
come out overnight, unveiling themselves in the belly of the woodland. Betwixt the groves, braids and knots of blue slide to white before indigo, turned about by fingers of sunlight. The blue swell of heat lifts their fragrance from the earth. “The white hour, when ghosts walk”. I’ve waited with baited breath for them all year…
Such a sweet spot we found, a secret woodland spot at the back of the meadow I see from my window here, named Bluebell woods. I had no idea that for years this sweet little bluebell spot was only around the corner. According to folklore, the bluebell is the flower of the house goblin and anyone wearing a bluebell is compelled to tell the truth. They are a little late this year because of the cold snap we had in March but hopefully that means they will stick around for a while. Here are my tips for finding bluebells in your area…
. Follow your local dog walkers – or ask them! They are most likely to know if there are any pretty bluebell spots out and about in your area. It’s probably better to ask them as opposed to stalking hahaha yes me
. Go to your local town hall or library to find out history about your area. Find woodlands that have been around for a while. It is ancient woodland sites that bluebells are most likely to haunt as they do not spread around much. Another idea is to ask residents in your area, especially those that have lived there a while.
. Go to the Woodland Trust website and locate the woods near you. You can search your nearest woodland or find your nearest bluebell sites with National Trust. These tools are great to use to find out which woodlands are privately owned and which are open to the public, and what you might expect to see with each season.
. Go further afield and take a road trip to a renowned beauty spot! I love to hop on the bus or the train and go somewhere new and you can buy cheap bikes here with a bit of searching. To save you time I thought I would compile a little list of some of the most famous bluebell beauty spots in the UK, complete with nearby facilities…
1. Nostell Priory and parkland, Yorkshire (North East) – This attraction looks stunning, an 18th century architectural masterpiece complete with gorgeous interiors and vast rolling acres of land, garden and bluebell woodland… try to spot a deer! There are adapted toilets on the ground floor of the house or in the courtyard.
2. Blickling Estate, Norfolk (South East) – Famed for its stunning bluebells and historic park, this attraction boasts three cafes serving local, seasonal produce, a plant shop, gift shop, stamp shop and easy access toilets. It hosts plenty of parking space, at the price of £5 and is family friendly with plenty of room for pushchairs, yess
3. Waterhead, Ambleside in the Lakes (North West) – A sweet spot for bluebells here in the Lakes, you can find a multitude of wildflowers, wild garlic and bluebells in Skelghyll woods, an oak woodland. There are toilets adjacent to Waterhead car park and plenty of cute cafes and diners sit nearby. We love to spot swans at Waterhead pier and paddle at the shore of Lake Windermere in nearby Borrans park, it’s wonderfully serene; you can find our adventures here and here.
4. Dunham Massey, Cheshire (North Midlands) boasts Britain’s largest winter garden and one that blooms in every season. Accessible toilets are located in the visitor centre and stables and they even keep a celebrated rose garden. A herd of fallow deer also roam freely amongst the ancient trees of the parklands. It sounds such a fascinating, historical experience and the bluebells are meant to appear otherwordly when in season.
5. Emmetts garden, Kent (South East) – glorious bluebell steeped woodland with breathtaking views, complete with fascinating landmarks and a multitude of walks and criss crossing footpaths. Find parking facilities at nearby Toys Hill and enjoy scones or soup in their Old Stables tea room. Dogs are allowed everywhere!
6. Speke Hall, Merseyside (North West) – this place sounds fascinating, having witnessed more than 400 years of turbulent history. It prides itself on its Tudor era exterior and Victorian interior. The hall itself is surrounded by beautiful restored gardens and cloaked by woodland sporting thick carpets of bluebells. Dine in the Home Farm restaurant and find free parking 100 yards from Reception. Adapted toilets are available.
7. Stourhead, Wiltshire (South West) – This place looks to remind me a little of Rydal Hall and Sizergh Castle near me but on a huge scale, sporting over 2600 acres of estate and secret bluebell woodland. There are many little shops and diners and toilet facilities at visitor reception and main parking facilities are opposite.
8. Chirk Castel, Wrexham (Wales) – A beautiful bluebell woodland joins over 480 acres of parkland, 5.5 acres of manicured lawn surrounding rose and rock gardens and a castle with over 700 years of history. Facilities include a tea room, a seasonal kiosk serving hot, cold drinks and snacks, gift shops, electric car charging points, free parking space located 40m from the ticket office and adapted toilets by the visitor centre and courtyard.
I really want to travel the UK and discover these amazing places, especially in bluebell season. Credit to Country Life for their list of so many beautiful bluebell locations. Where’s your favourite woodland haunt? ♡