Best local bluebell walks
Blooming 'eck! Bluebells are popping up in their thousands across Cov & Warks. Here's where to find the best of them on your mid-April to late May springtime walk.
Spring is in the air, and isn’t it gorgeous! We’re so lucky to have the most incredible number of bluebell woods in our area, so there are loads of options to get your fix of the little blue fellas. Here are 17 of the best hotspots to visit now.
Oversley Wood, Haselor, Alcester
Situated on the south side of the A46 between Alcester and Stratford this woodland is carpeted with bluebells in spring. There’s also an ancient coppice in the heart of the wood. You can go one of the circular walks to explore the wood, or visit the viewpoint for views to North West Alcester. No parking at the woods, but can walk here directly from Alcester via the Arden Way through Oversley Green.
Packwood House, Lapworth
I went for a walk here last week and the National Trust suggests a gorgeous one-hour circular walk around the much-restored Tudor house, park and gardens taking in woodlands filled with bluebells, which were just starting to come out, bee hives, orchard and wildflower meadow. The Yew Tree garden is now open and the magnolias in bloom. There’s also a shorter welly walk and Easter trail for younger kids. The takeaway café is open for coffees and snacks. See the various walks at Packwood and picnic spots.
Wappenbury Wood near Princethorpe
An ancient woodland dating back to the 15th Century with tranquil walks through a wildlife treasure trove and carpets of bluebells. On a sunny day look out for spot butterflies like a white admiral and purple hairstreak, impressively 88 species of birds have been recorded, with sightings of warblers, woodpeckers and tawny owl. Park in layby on Burnthurst Lane. No dogs.
This National Trust estate and the surrounding areas are awash with bluebells. The Ramblers suggest a walk starting from Hay Wood, a peaceful ancient woodland, into what was once part of the Forest of Arden, linking quiet lanes and paths to meadows of bluebells and the Stratford canal towpath.
Ryton Wood nr Ryton-on-Dunsmore
Ryton Wood, one of the best of the Princethorpe Woods covers 85 hectares and has been designated as an SSSI. Parts of the wood date back to the 11th century, with more than 40 species of tree and shrub, with oak the dominant tree. In Spring primrose, wood anemone and yellow pimpernel carpet the woodland floor and in the large, clear glades there are fabulous bluebell displays. Over summer watch out for an abundance of honeysuckle.
Hartshill Hayes Country Park, nr Nuneaton
Managed by Warwickshire County Council and covering 137 acres of woodland and open hilltop it has magnificent views across the Anker Valley and a stunning display of bluebells which are starting to bloom. Parking: £2.
Crackley Wood Nature Reserve, Kenilworth
Part of this ancient woodlands has been affected by felling due to the HS2 construction work but this small popular woodland is great for family walks and filled with bluebells in April-May, as well as red campion, wood anemone and foxgloves.
Piles Coppice, near Binley Woods, Coventry & Rugby
An ancient semi-natural woodland with amazing biodiversity including 500-year-old trees, rare moths, and fungi. Local tree wardens say it has one of the best displays of bluebells in Warwickshire – recently campaigners have been petitioning against tree-felling. It’s located in between Binley Woods, Coventry, and Rugby, off the A46 (CV3 2ZZ).
Hampton Wood & Meadow near Warwick
This 12-hectare reserve is famed for its primroses, which mingle with bluebells, wood anemone, and lesser celandine. According to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust more than 500 species of beetle have been discovered here and the woods are abundant with dragonflies and damselflies.
Whichford Woods, near Shipston-on-Stour
Situated on the edge of the Cotswolds, these delightful Broadleaved and conifer woodland are a popular bluebell spot, plus there’s also wildlife including fallow deer. There’s a number of woodland walking trails and fantastic views over the surrounding Warwickshire countryside After your walk pop into the dog-friendly The Norman Knight in Whichford with it’s outdoor pub garden overlooking the village green for refreshments.
The Macmillan Way long distance footpath runs through the woods so you extend your walk through Long Compton Woods to the village of Long Compton. Continue south you will soon come to Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments, the Rollright Stones.
Coughton Court’s sweetly scented bluebell wood is known as Timm’s Grove, and was popular with evacuees from London during the Second World War. One even wrote a poem about the bluebells swaying in the ancient woodland. And after the bluebells fade the delicate beauty of the Cow Parsley takes over at this National Trust
Tocil Wood Nature Reserve, nr Warwick University campus, Coventry
Stroll through an ancient woodland with a carpet of bluebells in this Warwickshire Wildlife run reserve on the campus at Warwick University in Gibbet Hill Road, Gibbet Hill, Coventry.
Bagot’s Castle, Baginton
In springtime, the banks leading down from this 14th century castle to the River Sowe are covered in thick carpet of bluebells. There are woodland paths, ornamental ponds, picnic benches and children’s trail set in 19-acres of pastureland, plus three rare Bagot goats born at Cotswold Farm Park. Bagot’s Castle is open weekends, 10.30am-4pm.
Cawston Woods, Cawston, nr Rugby
This lush privately-owned ancient woodland in my neck of the woods came under the threat of housing a few years ago but was saved from the bulldozers by a 1,500 petition. It’s a real hidden gem – popular with dog walkers and very peaceful with the most stunning bluebell walks.
Oakley Wood, Leamington Spa
A beautiful woodland with mowed paths to walk on and trails with banks of bluebells.
Snitterfield Bushes, nr Stratford-upon-Avon
Situated three miles north of Stratford-Upon-Avon, Snitterfield Bushes reserve lies either side of the Snitterfield to Bearley Road. You can spot an impressive 250 different species of plants, including an exquisite carpet of bluebells, primroses and early-purple orchids in spring. You might also see herb-paris, fragrant agrimony, columbine, meadow saffron or bird’s-nest orchid.
Yew Tree Farm bluebells, Wootton Wawen
Last but not least, Yew Tree Farm has announced that they’re truly sorry their annual charity bluebell walk will not be taking place in 2021 due to Covid restrictions. But they are able to offer exclusive access to the woods with Alan Rangers 4 hour Photography course in the bluebells (that’s his stunning sunrise photo taken in the woods above)! The Wootton Wawen farm usually attracts thousands of visitors to its annual charity walk and there’s no public access to the beautiful woods. On a positive note the shopping outlets in the courtyard have reopened.
SLIGHTLY FURTHER AFIELD:
Badby Wood, nr Daventry, Northants
Owned by the Fawsley Estate, Badby Woods is open to the public and is famous for its Bluebells. You enter the wood through what is left of a fantastic gatehouse. These woods are also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Stoke Wood, near Bicester
This 400-year-old Woodland Trust site is carpeted with blue beauties in the Spring and has marked trails so you won’t get lost and eaten by the Gruffalo or anything (and please stick to them – apparently rare fauna there is under threat from trampling). There’s also a variety of butterflies and birds, including tawny owls.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
No explanation needed for Blenheim: beautiful heritage site plus bluebells is a dead cert. The palace, formal gardens and pleasure gardens are currently closed to the public, but if you live in the vicinity you can still visit Blenheim Park between 10am – 4pm, as long as you keep your distance.
Great Tew Estate, north Oxfordshire
About as quintessentially English as a Cotswold village can get (it’s a popular filming location for The Crown), Great Tew is eight miles north east of Chippy and has acres and acres (3,500 to be exact) of woodland, parks and farmland- all prime bluebell hotspots.
Please let me know in the comments if there are any omissions!