Beautiful Bluebell Woods and Bluebell Gardens to Visit

Bluebell Woods and Bluebell Gardens

Since I wrote this article, I have produced a more extensive Bluebell Woods and Gardens’ Calendar. please click here to see my new Bluebell Calendar.

Bluebell woods and spring gardens full of bluebells are such wonderfully uplifting places to visit.  I hope you can enjoy time in amongst the bluebells this season, so you can envelop yourself with the scent and beauty of these awe-inspiring flowers.  I hope that you’ll enjoy this truly magical time of year!

I am a huge fan of our native bluebells – also known by their latin name of Hyacinthoides non-scripta – with their dainty, nodding, scented blue flowers.  I confess, I am not keen on the larger, more vigorous and upright Spanish bluebells – Hyacinthoides hispanica – with their paler blue flowers, which often aren’t fragrant.

Important information about bluebells

Sadly, as you may already know, Spanish bluebells have been widely grown in UK gardens, over the past century.  These Spanish bluebells have often been planted close to sites where our native UK bluebells were growing.  Both of these plants are pollinated by bees and other pollinating insects.  As a result of the two types of bluebells growing in close proximity to one another, consequently, the Spanish bluebell has been able to hybridise with our UK native bluebells, meaning our UK bluebells, which were once a common sight in springtime, are now more scarce.  We need to actively protect any remaining native bluebells.  Please avoid growing Spanish bluebells.  Never plant Spanish bluebells in the wild or close to sites which are home to our native, UK bluebells.

When visiting a bluebell wood or garden, please look after our bluebells.  Stick to the paths.  Avoid walking through the bluebells, as you will damage the plants’ flowers and leaves, which will affect the bulbs’ flowering in the following years.  Many of the bluebell woods that enjoyed a most impressive display, with large carpets of bluebells, have suffered in recent years due to walkers trampling over the plants to take photographs.  In some areas, a quarter of the bluebells have been lost, due to inconsiderate visitors wishing to take photographs.  I am sure that many of these visitors were unaware of the consequences of their actions, which is why I wanted to write this note.

How to use this guide to bluebell woods and gardens

At the very top of this page, you’ll find a list of headings – as I have divided up my suggested bluebell locations by their county, to make it easier for you to find a super bluebell wood, for a morning, afternoon, or an absolutely fabulous day out.  When you’ve finished, you can click on the upwards facing arrow, which you’ll find on the right hand side of the page.  Clicking on the arrow will return you to the top of the page.

NB. I have included links to information on access and facilities for disabled visitors, wherever possible.

Berkshire Bluebells

Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9NR. National Trust.
Enjoy the carpets of bluebells and buttercups in the Parkland, at Basildon Park.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Buckinghamshire Bluebells

Cliveden, Cliveden Road, Taplow, Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire, SL1 8NS.  National Trust.
Visitors to Cliveden can enjoy walking through a sea of bluebells in the ancient woodlands that surround the gardens.  There are many wild flowers growing at this National Trust garden, look out for anemones, violets, cowslips, and celandines.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Hughenden, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.  HP14 4LA.  National Trust.
Take a 1.2 mile walk through Woodcock Wood (here’s a link) taking in the sights and sounds enjoyed in this area of peaceful countryside.  Don’t forget to make time to stop and take in the view; you can admire the village of Hughenden Valley, the Chiltern hills, farmland, and countryside.  Look out for red kites circling above and bluebells covering the ground below.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Cheshire Bluebells

Rode Hall, Scholar Green, Cheshire, ST7 3QP.  For all the details of Rode Hall’s bluebell walks, please click here.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Cumbria Bluebells

Sea Wood, Ulverston, Cumbria. Woodland Trust.
Situated at the North-West shore of Morecambe Bay, Sea Wood has so much to offer visitors!  Enjoy the fantastic display of bluebells and anemones, which carpet the floor of this special woodland.

Warriners Wood, Kendal, Cumbria.  Woodland Trust.
Visitors can walk among the ash and sycamore trees in this woodland, where bluebells cloak the ground, as the weather warms up in springtime.

Dorset Bluebells

Duncliffe Wood, Duncliffe Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset, Woodland Trust.
Duncliffe Wood is an ancient woodland and a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.   Parts of the woodland are steep, but there are beautiful sights to be found.  Visitors can enjoy walks among the primroses, celandines, anemones, and bluebells, at Duncliffe Wood.

Greater London Bluebells

Gutteridge Wood, Lynhurst Crescent, North Hillingdon, Hillingdon, Great London, UB10 9AP. London Wildlife Trust.
An ancient oak and hazel, coppiced woodland with meadows and grassland.  Enjoy the carpets of bluebells stretching out across the woodland, look out for pretty butterflies and wildflowers.
Information for disabled visitors to Gutteridge Wood can be found here.

The Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park, 173 Clarence Street, Kingston Upon Thames, Richmond Park, Richmond, London, TW10 5HP.  Royal Parks.
This 40 acre woodland garden is an important nature reserve, it features a pond and stream and many native plants.  Visitors can admire this garden’s collection of Kurume Azaleas in bloom, alongside the carpets of bluebells, in springtime.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Sydenham Hill Wood and Cox’s Walk, Crescent Wood Road, Southwark, Greater London, SE26 6LS. London Wildlife Trust.
Together with the adjacent Dulwich Wood, this is the largest remaining tract of the old Great North Wood which once stretched from Deptford to Selhurst.  Visitors can enjoy a mix of ancient and new woodland, with garden plants that have survived from Victorian times.  Carpets of bluebells and wood anemones can be found in the woods.

Hampshire Bluebells

Exbury Gardens, Exbury, Southampton, Hampshire, SO45 1AZ.
Enjoy the vast collections of Rhododendrons collected by Lionel de Rothschild, which look at their best in May at Exbury Gardens.  Visitors can enjoy the sight of thousands of bluebells growing along the woodland walks and hedgerows.  There are also Camellias and Magnolias, and not forgetting Exbury’s famous Daffodil Meadow, which early visitors to the gardens can enjoy.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here

Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0LA.  National Trust.
Make sure you pick up a map when you’re visiting Hinton Ampner.  If you take a 30 minute walk past this National Trust property’s gardens you’ll find Hinton Ampner’s ancient woodland, which features wide tracks that allow visitors to walk through carpets of bluebells.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Micheldever Wood, Northington Lane, Near Winchester, Hampshire. Forestry Commission.
A beech woodland with a spectacular bluebell display each springtime.  You might be lucky enough to spot roe and fallow deer in the woods.

The Vyne, Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9HL.  National Trust.
Visitors to the Vyne can explore the garden’s historic woodlands and bluebell displays.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here

Hertfordshire Bluebells

Ashridge Estate, Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1LT.  National Trust.
If you’re looking for a full day’s walk or just an hour, you’ll find a variety of walks at the Ashridge Estate.  Visitors can make use of bridleways, cycleways, and hundreds of footpaths.  In the woodlands on the Ashridge Estate, bluebells carpet the woodland floor, as far as the eye can see.  Dockey Wood, part of the Ashridge Estate, really is a super place to enjoy a walk among the bluebells!  There’s a small charge to enter Dockey Wood during peak times whilst the bluebells are at their peak.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Kent Bluebells

Ashenbank Wood, Halfpence Lane, Gravesend, Cobham, Kent, DA12 3HB.  Woodland Trust.
This historic woodland is full of intrigue and beauty.  Visitors can enjoy beautiful displays of bluebells in this ancient woodland, but look out for anemones and other wild flowers, blooming under the oak, sweet chestnut, hornbeam, and field maple trees.  This is a great spot for wildlife.
You can find more about access and walks in Ashenbank Wood, via this link, here.

Emmetts Garden, Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent.  TN14 6BA.  National Trust.
Emmetts garden is carpeted in bluebells in springtime.  You can also see Azaleas, Tulips, Rhododendrons, and Magnolias – you’ll find lots of vibrantly coloured flowers at Emmetts Garden.  This garden provides visitors with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside; it’s the perfect place to re-discover the joy of spring!
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Hole Park, Benenden Road, Rolvenden, Kent, TN17 4JA.
The Barham family home, Hole Park usually opens daily for the spring season from the end of March.  Visitors can enjoy walking amongst carpets of bluebells in this pretty, country garden’s bluebell wood.  Hole Park is a 16 acre garden that features colourful displays of daffodils, Camellias, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Wisteria, and herbaceous borders.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Ightham Mote, Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0NT.  National Trust.
Scathes Wood on the Igtham Mote Estate, is carpeted in bluebells in the springtime.  Enjoy the bluebells and the ancient trees in this beautiful woodland.
Information for disabled gardeners can be found here.

Lake District Bluebells

Rannerdale Bluebells National Trust.
The most famous area of bluebells in the Lake District belongs to Rannerdale, where carpets of bluebells coat the hills of this pretty dell.  You can find out more about Rannerdale via this link to the National Trust’s website.  While, you can find out more about Buttermere, (the nearest area with shops and facilities), via this link to the National Trust’s website. suggest a walk (click here to see the details) from Rannerdale to Buttermere, over paths and rocky steps, along streams perfect for paddling, to take in the magical sight of this pretty area’s bluebells, which carpet the fields, delighting all who see them.

Leicestershire Bluebells

Burroughs Wood, Ratby, Leicestershire.  Woodland Trust.
Visitors to Burroughs Wood can explore an area of ancient woodland and an area of newly created woodland.  You’ll find swathes of bluebells in bloom in springtime.  Burroughs Wood is a pleasant place to visit, the paths are accessible and wild flowers abound this special area.

Stoneywell, Whitcrofts Lane, Ulverscroft, Leicestershire, LE67 9QE.  National Trust.
Stoneywell is a small, 1950s cottage that was created by Ernest Gimson.  This is an arts and crafts home that has been cared for by the National Trust since 2012.  Stoneywell’s visitors can explore an 11 acre bluebell wood in springtime.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Lincolnshire Bluebells

Tattershall Carrs, Tattershall, Lincolnshire.  Woodland Trust.
Tattershall Carrs is one of the last remnants of ancient wet, alder woodland that remains around the fens.  In ancient times, these fens would have been surrounded by extensive areas of woodland.  This fragment of historic, precious woodland extends to 71 acres, the ground is carpeted with bluebells every spring.

Norfolk Bluebells

Old Wood, Sheringham, Norfolk,.  Woodland Trust.
Old Wood is situated in an idyllic spot, just 15 minutes walk from the seaside, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beaty.  There’s a steep climb, which rewards energetic visitors with picturesque views of the Norfolk countryside.  If you’d rather avoid the climb, Old Wood features plenty of more accessible paths to enjoy an easier walk.  The broadleaf and conifer forests in Old Wood feature sweet chestnut, oak, and beech trees, which are underplanted with bluebells; these pretty wildflowers carpet the ground with shades of blue, in springtime.

Northamptonshire Bluebells

Coton Manor Garden, Coton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN6 8RQ.
The five acre beech woods at Coton Manor become a romantic haze of blue every springtime.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Nottinghamshire Bluebells

Clumber Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3AZ.  National Trust.
A Grade 1 listed Park, Clumber Park has so much to offer visitors.  Enjoy the beautiful bluebells growing amongst the veteran trees, in Clumber Park’s ancient woodland.  Clumber Park is home to all manner of wildlife, including woodpeckers, bats, and butterflies, that live in the native trees in this special forest of oak and native trees.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Surrey Bluebells

Chinthurst Hill, Wonersh Common Road (B2128), Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0PR. Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Enjoy the bluebell displays at Chinthurst Hill and look out for roe deer and other wildlife. The hill is very steep in places, but there are several wheelchair friendly kissing gates.

Cucknell’s Wood, South East of Shamley Green, Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0ST.  Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Cucknell’s Wood is a great place to see bluebells and other spring flowers.

Farnham Heath, Reeds Road, Near Tilford, Farnham, Surrey.  RSPB Reserve.
Farnham Heath is a nature reserve next to the Rural Life Centre between Frensham and Tilford – Farnham is the nearest town.  Enjoy spotting a variety of birds among the carpets of bluebells.
For information on accessibility and information for disabled visitors, please click here.

Little Wix Wood at Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RT. National Trust
Little Wix Wood is a super place to visit at bluebell time, here’s a link to a step-by-step route of a walk through the wood.
Information for disabled visitors to Hatchlands Park can be found here.

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB.
Enjoy the beautiful carpets of bluebells in the woodland at Kew Gardens.  Part of the bluebell woods in the grounds of Queen Charlotte’s Cottage are over 300 years old; this area of the gardens is just spectacular in May.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Ramster Hall, Chiddingfold, Guildford, Surrey, GU8 4SN.
Ramster gardens extend to over 20 acres of woodland, with mature Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Magnolias, Camellias and carpets of bluebells.  This is a colourful garden that’s filled with interest in May.  There are rare and unusual trees and shrubs to be found at Ramster, as well as a pretty woodland walk, with a lake and bog garden.  Wild orchids, meadow grasses and wild flowers flourish in this serene and peaceful garden.
Information for disabled visitors to Ramster Hall can be found here.

Runnymede, Windsor Road, Surrey, SL4 2JL. National Trust.
Runnymede is the location where King John sealed the Magna Carta, over 800 years ago, on 15th June 1215.  Take in the carpets of bluebells, but make sure you take time to visit the Ankerwycke yew, the National Trust’s oldest tree, which is estimated to be 2,500 years old.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here, together with details of the facilities offered at Runnymede.

The Sculpture Park, Jumps Road, Churt, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 2LH.
The Sculpture Park is set in 10 acres of grounds and features woodland, lakes, ponds and meadows.  There are displays of bluebells, daffodils, hyacinths and wild flowers, as well as 600 sculptures and art installations.
Information for disabled visitors to The Sculpture Park can be found here.

Bluebells at Winkworth Aboretum in Godalming.

Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4AD. National Trust.
Winkworth Arboretum is a beautiful place to visit.  The arboretum is set into the hillside; it’s a steep, but tranquil setting which features a lake and wetland area.  There are carpets of bluebells throughout the arboretum, as well as Azaleas, Magnolias and Rhododendrons among the collections of trees and plants.  Winkworth Arboretum is an ideal place for days out and picnics.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here, together with details of the facilities at Winkworth.

On the first Wednesday of every month, Winkworth Arboretum, offer a free seasonal, guided walk to ensure visitors have the opportunity to see the best areas of the arboretum and see what’s in flower or looking good each month.  The walks start at 2pm from January till March, and at 2.30pm, from April till October (normal admission rates apply).  For more details, please see their website.

Somerset Bluebells

Greyfield Wood, High Littleton, Somerset, Woodland Trust.
Greyfield Wood is comprised of conifer and ancient woodland, it’s a great place to enjoy seeing spring flowers including bluebells.  There are rushing streams and waterfalls in Greyfield Wood – you’ll find lots to interest and excite visitors.

Sussex Bluebells

The Arlington Bluebell Walk and Farm Trail, Bates Green Farm, Tye Hill Road, Arlington, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 6SH.
The Arlington Bluebell Walk and Farm Trail will be open from 10am until 5pm, every day, from the middle of April until the middle of May.  If you’re in any doubt as to whether the bluebells are in flower in Arlington, this website is updated every Friday to let you know, so you can plan your visit!  This is a great place for children and families to visit.  As well as enjoying the bluebell walks and countryside, visitors can meet the farm animals, which include pygmy goats, pigs, and Herdwick sheep.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Borde Hill Garden, Borde Hill Lane, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1XP.
At Borde Hill Garden, Warren Wood and Stephanie’s Glade burst into live in springtime with magnificent displays of bluebells, which are complimented by Rhododendrons above and pretty anemones below.  As well as the garden, there are 200 acres of woodland and parkland at Borde Hill, where visitors can admire champion trees, which are of a great age or size.  Visitors can discover many rare trees and a wide range of shrubs, bulbs, and perennials, growing in the gardens at Borde Hill.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Brede High Woods, Crips Corner, near Battle, East Sussex.  Woodland Trust.
Set in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Beauty, Brede High Woods feature areas of ancient and mixed woodland, underplanted with bluebells and other spring flowers.  As well as woodland, there are areas of grassland and heathland here, too.

Costells Wood, Scaynes Hill, Sussex, RH17 7PY.  Woodland Trust.
This 52 acre area of ancient woodland is home to many wildflowers, including bluebells, which flower beneath the broadleaved trees.  There are a few small ponds at this site, making it a great place to spot wildlife..

The Mens Ancient Woodland, A272, Billinghurst, West Sussex, RH14 0HR. Sussex Wildlife Trust.
This ancient beech and oak woodland covers 160 hectares and is a great place to see bluebells.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Nymans,Handcross, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6EB.  National Trust.
The garden and woods at Nymans are the perfect spot for enjoying the bluebells and a picnic.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Sheffield Park and Garden, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3QX.  National Trust.
Visitors can see swathes of bluebells planted under the collection of trees, rhododendrons, and fritillaries, in the gardens at Sheffield Park.  There are further carpets of bluebells waiting for visitors who venture out and explore Walk Wood, which is off the beaten track and requires sturdy footwear.  The bluebells in Walk Wood tend to flower a little earlier than those in the gardens.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Standen House and Garden, West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex.  RH19 4NE.  National Trust.
There are 20 acres of bluebell woods to explore at Standen House and Garden!  These ancient woodlands are a wonderful place to visit at any time of year.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

Wiltshire Bluebells

Clanger and Picket Woods, Clanger Lane, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 4LL.  Woodland Trust.
A site of Special Scientific Interest, the ancient woodlands here at Clanger and Picket Woods are home to a variety of plants and wildlife, including carpets of bluebells in springtime.  Listen out for woodpeckers and look out for birds and other wildlife in this special area of woodland.

Yorkshire Bluebells

Hackfall, Ripon, North Yorkshire.  HG4 4DY or HG4 3DE.  Woodland Trust.
The ancient woodlands at Hackfall have been restored.  You’ll find original features, including follies, grottos and temples in this fantastic woodland.  There’s so much to see here!  You’ll find fabulous waterfalls, meandering streams, and a pond complete with fountain.  Hackfall is home to a great many wildflowers, including bluebells and anemones.  This is a great spot for wildlife and birdwatching!  Sadly there’s no wheelchair access to Hackfall; the steep slope means this woodland is only suitable for able bodied visitors.

Hardcastle Crags, Midgehole Road, near Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, HX7 7AP.  National Trust.
Enjoy the bluebells at Hardcastle Crags and visit the nineteenth century mill, at this centre of this wooded valley.
Information for disabled visitors can be found here.

More ideas of places to visit, events calendars, and other articles that may interest you………….

For tips on the best plants to grow for bees and butterflies, please click here.

For information on magnificent spring gardens in Surrey that open for a few select dates in April, and May, please click here.

For details of beautiful, important and historic gardens to visit in Surrey, Hampshire, and West Sussex, please click here.

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One thought on “Beautiful Bluebell Woods and Bluebell Gardens to Visit

  1. Anne Maddox

    March 23, 2019 at 10:27am

    Thank you so much for this comprehensive list of places to visit to see bluebells – I’ve already decided to do the Rannerdale walk in the Lake District when we visit in May, which I didn’t know about before. I would like to suggest another site to add under ‘Leicestershire’ next time you update – I volunteer at a National Trust property called Stoneywell, and it has an 11 acre bluebell wood – see link to its website:

    Very best wishes

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      March 24, 2019 at 2:04pm

      Thank you so much Anne. I will update this article to include your lovely suggestion – thank you. Best wishes, Beth

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