Best of British - Bluebell Walks
8th May 2014
The beginning of May sees the shaded floors of Britain’s wooded areas become cloaked in a carpet of vibrant bluebells. There’s still enough time to seek out this fleeting yet unforgettable sight in your area, plus it’s the perfect excuse to step outside and soak up a bit of early season sunshine, get a bit of light exercise and some colour in your cheeks, all whilst admiring one of Britain’s true springtime treasures.
We’ve selected our top 10 favourite spots from north to south, whilst visitwoods.org has built up a huge bank of bluebell woods across the country, so finding your local bluebell wood can be done in just a couple of clicks. You’ll find more than 800 ancient woods that promise spectacular displays so, no matter where you live, you needn’t miss out on this quintessentially British sign of spring.
1. Bruern Wood, Cotswolds
Once a part of the famous Wychward Forest, sitting on the banks of the magical River Everlade, Bruern is famous for its idyllic bluebells, abundant birdlife and historic abbey. You can also take a longer nine-mile walk to the nearby and equally special Foxholes.
2. Arlington, Sussex
7 picturesque walks, 3 working farms and 23 acres of ancient woodland – Arlington has everything you need for a perfect spring afternoon outdoors. With farm animals a-plenty and a quaint little Farm Shop, it’s an ideal trip out for the whole family.
3. Bunny Old Wood, Nottinghamshire
Bunny Old Wood’s 16 hectares are home to trees over 10,000 years old, over 50 species of birds, 20 species of butterflies and a plethora of spring flowers including wood anemones, stitchwort and last but certainly not least, thousands of bonnie bluebells.
4. Coed Cefn, Powys
An ancient Welsh woodland that comes complete with an Iron Age hilltop fort, Coed Cefn is known locally as Bluebell Wood thanks to its annual display of spring flowers. Don’t worry if the bluebells are already beginning to fade though, you’ll still be spoilt with a carpet of vibrant Red Campion and the golden hues of yellow Archangel.
5. Glen Finglas, Trossachs
The Woodland Trust’s largest estate, Glen Finglas embodies everything we love about Scotland – it’s sparkling lochs, vast heath-lands and dense woodlands, brought to life by these delicate-looking yet undeniably hardy little flowers.
6. Lanhydrock, Cornwall
Almost as soon as you set out into this astounding Cornish estate, a sea of rich blue will greet you. We recommend starting out on the Lady Walk from the house, which will take you out into the famous Great Wood, through pretty beech-lined avenues and back to the landscaped gardens of the manor.
7. Calke Abbey, Derbyshire
Faded and fragile yet unmistakably majestic, Calke Abbey promises to spark the imagination. Its overgrown gardens, wildflower meadows and peeling paint bring to mind eccentric families and the years of stories held behind its grand walls. Home to hundreds of acres of parkland, it’s a dreamy spot to see this year’s bluebells.
8. Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
A beautiful, steep sided Yorkshire valley full of deep ravines, tumbling waterfalls and over 25 miles of footpaths. A slow 3-mile stroll shows you the best of the bluebells whilst also taking you past Gibson Mill where you’ll find a little walker-friendly café so you can stop for a cup of tea as the sun streams through the woods.
9. Killaloo Wood, Londonderry
Sitting pretty in the River Faughan valley, Killaloo Wood is a true local treasure and, as the bluebells arrive, it really does come to life. The air is filled with the unforgettable fragrance of these delicate bells and wild garlic. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare purple hairstreak butterfly along with the eye-catching jewel-tones of a Kingfisher or Jay.
10. Sea Wood, Cumbria
Wander gently through the ancient Sea Wood, spotting bluebells and a diverse selection of birds, and you will soon find yourself on the pretty shingle beach of Ulverston Sands - the perfect spot for a lazy picnic on a Saturday afternoon!
Although the May flowers have arrived and those notorious April showers are supposedly behind us, here at Cotton Traders, we have enough British springs under out belts to know not to leave our waterproofs at home! If you’re heading out bluebell-spotting this month, be sure to take plenty of light layers to keep you warm, including a waterproof jacket that will protect you from the elements should the weather change.
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