One of the loveliest spring sights to be seen, Bluebells flower between late March to early May, as the country begins to warm up for summer. Home to almost half of the world’s Bluebells, the UK’s woodlands, meadows and gardens are about to be carpeted by these beautiful spring flowers. Here’s some of the best places to head to see them in bloom...
One of the UK’s finest examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship, Standen House is a National Trust property set in the heart of Sussex. With Morris & Co. interiors creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the hillside garden and surrounding woodlands showcase year-round seasonal highlights, including a swathe of iridescent bluebells through both the Rockinghill and Hollybush woods. The perfect day out for interior and nature lovers alike, we suggest splitting your day between the properties historic interiors, and a walk through the bluebell woods, followed by a slice of cake in their Barn Café.
Lovingly created by four generations of the Barham family, this picturesque garden enjoys far-reaching views over the hills and woods of the Kentish Weald. A skilful mix of formal design and more naturalised planting, the 16 acre estate enjoy a spectacular display of bluebells each spring - so much so that the gardens’ website has a live ‘Bluebell Barometer’ which is updated to show when the flowers are at their most prolific. Don’t leave without visiting their Coach House to browse their range of local produce including homemade jam, estate-produced honey and Hole Park’s very own apple juice, made from Ashmead Kernel apples grown on their land.
Don your walking boots to explore the southern shores of Loch Creran, a Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve situated a stones’ throw from the Grampian mountains. An ancient semi natural deciduous woodland, home to rich agricultural biodiversity, you won’t have to share the beautiful carpet of bluebells with another sole. Interspersed with primrose, wood anemone and wood sorrel, the circular footpath will guide you through a bustling canopy full of butterflies and birdlife to a stunning viewpoint where you can enjoy fine coastal views from the peninsula.
Running along the Lynher Estuary, Antony Woodland Garden is one of the Cornwall’s best kept secrets. In addition to the 300+ varieties of camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, azaleas, and indigenous and exotic trees, a spring-time spectacle awaits its visitors as the bluebells that dominate its woodland floor begin to bloom. Join one of the guided tours from the head gardener himself, or stroll around the vibrant gardens at your own pace. The perfect day out that the whole family will enjoy discovering hidden sculptures, secluded coves and stunning views across the water.
A cherished beauty spot of the South Pennines, Hardcastle Crags sits within a steep-sided valley of unspoilt woodland, crystal-clean rivers and bubbling brooks. With miles of dog-friendly footpaths bisecting the woodland floor, those visiting in late April or early May will be rewarded with a sea of vivid blue that stretches as far as the eye can see. Their sweet, floral fragrance lingers beneath the treetop canopy, so allow yourself some time to stop, take a breath and enjoy this multi-sensual experience. With picnic areas throughout the valley, we suggest taking a packed lunch to refuel before you tackle the steep climb up to the Crags, which give the site its name, and offers spectacular, far-reaching views.
Known to locals as ‘The Bluebell Wood’, Coed Cefn occupies an Iron Age hilltop fort, overlooking Crickhowell, a pretty Welsh town set on the River Usk. Dominated by bluebells during the Spring, this woodland sanctuary offers visitors the chance to relax and recharge, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Alive with the sound of birdsong, the circular route takes walkers alongside charming dry stone walls and out to beautiful views across the surrounding countryside. We suggest continuing your walk down into the town to enjoy a delicious lunch at The Vine Tree, a 19th Century coaching inn located on the south side of the river. Boasting tableside views of the Black Mountains, this intimate restaurant uses locally sourced, fresh produce to showcase the very best of Welsh cuisine.
The exquisite array of pastoral designs on offer today leaves us spoiled for choice when decorating our homes. Moving through the seasons, we’ve picked some of our favourites for your interior inspiration.
Chosen for its links with exploration, spirituality and visionary thinking, in 2018, Pantone elected Ultra Violet as its colour focus. A rich purple shade with blue undertones, take a look at the ‘ultra’ stylish spaces making the most of this shade.
Image Credits: Standen House by National Trust Images / Laurence Perry, Hole Park Gardens, Shian Wood SWT Reserve by Scottish Wildlife Trust, Woodland Butterfly by The Wildlife Trust Organisation, Loch Linnhe by Forestry and Land Scotland, Anthony Woodland Garden, Gibson Mill by National Trust Images / Paul Harris, Coed Cefn Bluebells by The Woodland Trust / Lesley Newcombe.