Bus To Bluebell Walks
In April and May, our ancient woodlands are awash with the much-loved, nodding heads of the bluebell. Millions of bulbs can exist in just one wood, giving rise to the 'blue carpets' that are a springtime joy.
Bluebells grow up to 50cm. They are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
The bluebell spends most of the year as bulb underground in ancient woodland, only emerging to flower and leaf from April onwards. This early flowering allows it to make the most of the sunlight that is still able to make it to the forest floor habitat, before the canopy becomes too dense. Millions of bulbs may exist in one bluebell wood, causing the blue carpets we so keenly associate with spring, and new plants are sometimes able to split off from these bulbs and grow as clones.
The Bluebell attracts the attention of plenty of pollinating insects.
The bluebell is, perhaps, one of our most famous and unmistakeable woodland flowers: look for long, narrow, drooping leaf fronds, and bending flower stems that are heavy with nodding, blue bell-shaped flowers
King’s Castle Wood, near Wells
Combine bluebells and history – this nature reserve is on the site of an Iron Age hill fort, just a mile away from the centre of Wells – with views across to Glastonbury Tor and the Somerset Levels.https://www.somersetwildlife.org/nature-reserves/kings-castle-woodhttps://footpathmap.co.uk/map/?zoom=14.0&lng=-2.64138&lat=51.20387https://www.google.com/maps/place/King's+Castle+Woodfirstname.lastname@example.org,-2.6314604,15z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x487223b6b82f537f:0xda03257b6f7cad0a!8m2!3d51.2084441!4d-2.6180924!16s%2Fg%2F1tj49y89
Bishop's Palace, Wells
IHome to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years, Bishop’s Palace is surrounded by a moat and visitors enter via a gatehouse and drawbridge. The palace grounds include 14 acres of landscaped gardens to explore, including an arboretum designed by Sir Harold Hillier which has encouraged the development of wildflowers. From snowdrops in February and early March to gorgeous displays of bluebells in late April, among primroses, violets, cow parsley and orchids, there’s plenty to admire during the spring and summer months.
For more information: https://bishopspalace.org.uk
Ladies Walk, Montacute
A short, semi-circular walk from a pathway alongside the village school, up through a hillside beech wood thronged with bluebells – you can just see the village and Elizabethan Montacute House through the trees – before heading down through a lane cutting deep through the hamstone back into Montacute.
Pit stop: Or go back into Montacute for the more formal The King’s Arms.
South West and Taunton
RSPB Swell Wood, Fivehead, between Taunton and Langport
As well as bluebells, you might also see nesting grey herons and little egrets (aaawww) in this part ancient woodland part abandoned oak plantation stretching 10 miles from Langport to the Blackdown Hills. Over 100 pairs of birds come to breed between March and June making it one of the largest colonies in the south west. Swell Wood is about 11 miles from Taunton, off the A378 between the villages of Fivehead and Curry Rivel.
Brockholes, along the South West Coast path, Exmoor
Six miles of rugged track and footpath (some narrow and exposed – eek) but it’s worth holding your nerve for amazing views across the Bristol Channel to the Brecon Beacons in Wales and the three valleys filled with bluebells and other flowers in amongst the gorse. And the brockholes? Ancient quarries.
Mascall's Wood comprises of an area of broadleaved ancient woodland on very steep slopes with a great diversity of woodland flora and lower slopes.
Aller and Beer Woods, near Othery
One of the Somerset Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves, this ancient woodland along the western slope of Aller Hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with oak and ash trees, wood-peckers, the odd deer, the rare star-shaped earthstar fungi as well as all those bluebells.
Fyne Court, Bridgwater (National Trust)
Located in the heart of Quantock Hills, witness the wild garden of Fyne Court in National Court where you can explore the blankets of beautiful snowdrops adorning the woodland floor with the pops of colour from yellow archangel, primroses, and bluebells. Fyne Court is supposed to be the great starting point to enjoy the walks through the countryside where you can enjoy the pristine and exotic views from the top of Quantocks.
For more information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/somerset/fyne-court
BY BUS: Hatch Green 23 service to Kingston St Mary where it is a 10mins walk.
Just over the border....
Bathwick Wood is the ideal location for Bath residents hoping for an afternoon walk amongst bluebells.
The National Trust wood fills with wild garlic and bluebells in the spring amid remnants of medieval terraces and embankments.