Best bluebell walks in Warwickshire
Bluebells are popping up across Warks and the West Mids. Here's where to find the best of them on your daily dose of exercise.
You’ve got one walk a day, so best make it gorgeous! We’re so lucky to have the most incredible number of bluebell woods in our area and while, sadly, a few are closed to the public this year, and others under threat from HS2 there are still loads of options to get your fix of the little blue fellas. Here are 12 of the best local hotspots that you can still visit during lockdown. Please add any of your favourites still open in the comments section.
Cawston Woods, (Cawston, nr Rugby)
This beautiful privately-owned ancient woodland came under the threat of housing 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 beautiful bluebell walks.
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.
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.
Oakley Wood, Leamington Spa
A beautiful woodland with mowed paths to walk on and trails with banks of bluebells.
Crackley Wood, Kenilworth
A popular local nature reserve full of shady paths and open grassy glades famous for its spring bluebells dotted with delicate wood anemone, yellow pimpernel and common dog-violet. Car parking at several points on Crackley Lane.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.