9 GREAT PLACES TO SEE BLUEBELLS THIS SPRING…
Posted by Francesca De Franco on 13 Apr 2022
The bluebell season varies a little every year depending on how the weather has behaved (not well at the moment!). However, it roughly runs from mid-April until early May and provides an enchanting display.
Here are a few places in and around the area to view this natural spectacle.
Horton Country Park
Horton Country Park Local Nature Reserve covers over 152 hectares and is a renowned bluebell hotspot. The ancient woodland of Pond Wood is just one spot where you’ll find a host of bluebells.
Better still, on Sunday 24th, April you can enjoy a guided walk through the woods of Horton Country Park. Join a member of the Countryside Team at the Information Centre at 2:00 pm.
More details here.
14 Farmside Pl, Epsom KT19 8GW
These ancient woodlands are great all year round, but especially come to life during the spring time where, in those few weeks, you’ll catch a fantastic bluebell display.
Holly Lane, Nr Chipstead, CR5 3NR
Ashtead Common, looked after by the City of London Corporation, is a 500 acre ancient woodland, which is one of four National Nature Reserves in the county. It is made up of woodland, grassland, scrub and wetland and is home to over 50 different species of trees and shrubs. In season, the woodland is home to a beautiful array of bluebells, anemones and wood sorrel.
More information here
Woodfield Rd, Ashtead KT21 2DU (car park at Ashtead Railway Station plus Stew Ponds car park off Christchurch Road)
Within the gardens you’ll find them dotted through the Preserve Copse. However, as Bluebells are a wildflower, you will find them in more abundance by following one of the four way-marked walks, which take you further afield across the site’s 1400-acre estate.
The Ranmore Common walk is highly recommended and is signposted with blue markers and butterflies on the paths.
On Saturday, 23 April and Saturday 30, April (11am until 1pm), you can join the Rangers on a walk through the woodlands to spot the bluebells plus other ancient woodland indicator species such as sweet violets and primroses.
For more details go to: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey
Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BD
Langley Vale Wood
Langley Vale Wood is one of the Woodland Trust’s four First World War Centenary Woods. It consists of 640 acres of rolling hills and grassy fields. Great Hurst Wood, on the southern edge, is an ancient woodland with ash, oak, beech and sweet chestnut, and has an excellent bluebell display in spring.
There is no parking on site, so it’s best to go to the Epsom Downs and walk from there. Here is a rough address though: Headley Rd, Ashtead, Epsom KT18 6DH
More details here: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/woods/langley-vale-wood/
Headley Heath is managed by the National Trust and is a lovely mix of open heathland, woodland and chalk downland. There is a specific Bluebell walk, which is three miles long and takes approximately an hour and a half. It takes you through some of the lesser known parts of Headley Heath and a number of bluebell displays.
Headley Common Rd, Epsom KT18 6NN
Gatton Park is a beautiful historic parkland designed by Capability Brown, which features Edwardian gardens.
“Enjoy this delightful springtime stroll around Gatton Park, and discover the carpet of bluebells in Nut Wood. It’s like a story from Beatrix Potter.”
Here’s the bluebell trail around Gatton Park, which takes you right through Nut Wood: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/reigate-hill-and-gatton-park/trails/bluebell-walk-around-gatton-park
Whilst the trail is open all year round, Gatton Park itself is only open to the public on selected days throughout the year so check the website: https://gattonpark.co.uk/visit/opening-times/
Gatton Park, Reigate, RH2 0TW
Little Wix Wood (Hatchlands Park)
In season, ‘Little Wix Wood’ at the eastern edge of Hatchlands Park (National Trust) boasts one of the finest bluebell woods in the area; stretching from one end of the wood to the other. This small, quiet patch of ancient semi-natural woodland additionally features sweet chestnut, ash, oak, birch and hornbeam.
Hatchlands Park, East Clandon GU4 7RT
The 18th century landscaped gardens at Painshill are great at any time of year, but in April and May its woodlands are carpeted with bluebells. To catch the spectacle, walk through the woodland behind the Ruined Abbey then head over the Five Arch Bridge and up to the Turkish Tent.
More details about Painshill here: https://www.painshill.co.uk/
Cobham, KT11 1JE
Enjoy the wonderful bluebells but heed what the Woodland Trust says:
Bluebell bulbs are easily damaged by trampling so they can’t produce enough energy to flower and reproduce in subsequent years. Areas of high footfall can even cause entire colonies to die out. Help us to look after them by sticking to paths and avoid treading on or near bluebell plants.