The temperature outside is still a bit up and down but spring has sprung so it’s time to go in search of the season’s finest flowers, they are at their best between mid-April and late May. You don’t have to travel far to see the wonderful blue carpets of flowers, here are some top spots to see bluebells:
One of the top places to see the woodland in this 2000 hectare estate filled with the tiny blue flowers. The countryside space is open but car parking is limited, Ashridge have some helpful tips to help you plan and enjoy your visit on their website. See here for more details. Charges (£2 adult / £1 child) will apply to visit Dockey Woods on 30th April, 1st, 2nd, 7th & 8th May, no booking needed. Entry to the woods outside these times remains free. Please be aware that some of the paths through Dockey Wood are narrow and muddy, pushchairs and wheelchairs may struggle.
Bradenham Woods, near High Wycombe
Brimming with wildlife and with plenty of well marked walking routes, this is a great place to see the carpets of blue. See here for more details.
Hodgemoor Wood is a 250-acre woodland located between the historic town and villages of Amersham, Chalfont St. Giles and Seer Green. It is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and horseriders, with a wide variety of trees (oaks, birches, beeches, hornbeam), outstanding bluebells, foxgloves and other flora and fauna. There is a car park on Bottrells Lane at the northern edge of the site.
Bluebells line the drive and nestle amongst the woodland and parkland at Hughenden Manor. This Easter Hughenden have an Easter trail around the grounds with fun activities along the way. See here for more details.
Ipsden Heath, near Henley-on-Thames
Many people visit here in spring to the abundant display of bluebells and other colourful flora. See here for more details.
Penn Wood is one of the largest ancient woodlands in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The wood contains impressive bluebell areas in the spring and red kites and buzzards are commonly seen overhead. See here for more details.
Cowleaze Woods, near Watlington
Set high in the Chiltern Hills Cowleaze Wood is famed for its bluebells. The woods are large enough to lose the crowd but not so big that you get lost. There is a large car park adjoining the wood and plenty of picnic areas. See here for more details.
Wendover Woods, near Wendover
There’s plenty to see and do at Wendover Woods, the bluebells are amazing plus there’s an on-site café, endless walking trails, adventure playground and Go Ape. See here for more details.
Please check specific website before you travel.
Top Tips for photographing bluebells
Please remember that bluebells are a protected species so don’t pick them or damage them!
Go early or late to avoid lots of ‘extras’ invading your shot of the bluebells.
Vary the height and angle you take your photos. Try taking shots close to ground to make the bluebells appear larger or create vast carpets of blue by taking photos at head height or higher.
Think about the weather – you may think a misty morning isn’t ideal but it will add atmosphere to the carpets of bluebells. A slightly overcast day will give you the best results but you can photograph them in any weather.
For more tips about exposure and composing your photos see www.nationaltrust.org.uk