Issue 92 is out now
Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

02nd May 2014

There’s something so wonderful about a bluebell wood, as if you have stepped into a magical kingdom. All is calm and peaceful, the only sound is the trill of birds and the air is infused with the sweet scent of the flowers. The colour is a radiant blue that seems to shimmer and hover under the trees, leaving a feeling of deep tranquillity. Every year I send a picture of my favourite bluebell woods to my British friend now living in Australia – I feel that if there were one thing I would miss more than anything if I emigrated it would be British woodland and bluebells.

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

02nd May 2014

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

02nd May 2014

The fact bluebells are at their best for such a short time only adds to their magic. Enjoy them while you can, savour the silent moments in the shade of the trees with a carpet of blue and store it all up to carry you through until next year. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to get your bluebell fix this year – be sure to get in touch if you have a favourite place to share with others.

Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
Set in a valley in the South Pennines, this majestic National Trust woodland has 25 miles of footpaths taking in mystical streams and tumbling waterfalls. The spring bluebells are breath-taking and there is a circular walk of 3 miles around the main bluebell areas.

Bunny Old Wood, Nottinghamshire
This ancient woodland is home to a vast variety of bird and butterfly species and even features in the Domesday Book. Every year, the woodland is carpeted with bluebells and other flora including wood anemone and yellow archangel. With woodland estimated to have covered these slopes for around 10,000 years, you have a sense of walking through history.

Arlington Bluebell Walk & Farm Trail, East Sussex
With a lovely, flat circular walk that takes in the central carpet of bluebells this woodland is suitable for those less mobile and children in buggies. In fact, they even have mobility scooters to loan out for free. Children will enjoy the pens of sheep, pigs and angora goats at the entrance and there are information boards throughout the woods detailing the local flora and fauna. There are eight walks altogether and these take in surrounding countryside.

Coed Cefn, Powys, Wales
Dominated by a canopy of oak and beech and ground flora including bluebells and bramble, this ancient Woodland Trust woodland site with an Iron Age hilltop fort alongside drystone walls and hedge boundary incorporates a historical angle to your woodland enjoyment. Soak up the bluebells in a magical historical setting.

Hole Park Gardens, Kent
Tucked away in the Weald of Kent lies Hole Park Garden, an attractively laid out, privately owned 15 acre garden. There are plenty of treasures to be found within its walls and hedges. In spring visitors can enjoy the wonderful carpet of bluebells, daffodils, camellias, wisteria, magnolia and other spring delights.

Blickling Estate, Norfolk
This National Trust estate was once the home of the Boleyn family, and now encompasses nearly 5000 acres. Throughout April and May, follow winding paths through the Great Wood to enjoy carpets of beautiful native bluebells. There’s a 5 mile walk throughout the wood that takes in the very best of the display.

Lanhydrock, Cornwall
With tranquil riverside paths and ancient woodland, this beautiful National Trust property and estate is home to a wonderful spring display of magnolias, daffodils and bluebells. The 1.5 miles Great Wood and Avenue Walk takes in this gorgeous swathe of colour.

Brookings Down Wood, South Devon
A beautiful Woodland Trust 16 acre woodland kept up by the locals of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo. English bluebells dominate a large area of the wood, with a profusion of campion, foxgloves, violets and corydalis. There are steep walks in places but well worth the climb to enjoy mystical glades of bluebells.

Tortoiseshell Wood, Lincolnshire
With a profusion of spring flowers, this Wildlife Trust wood is worth making the effort to find. Birds and butterflies abound and the display of bluebells and wood anenomes is stunning. Take your binoculars to spot rare bird species.

Heartwood Forest, Herts
Heartwood Forest is the largest new native woodland in England, created with help from community volunteers. The plan is to turn all 858 acres into woodland on a site once covered in ancient forest. Right in the heart of London’s green belt, rare butterflies and bluebells thrive.

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