If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise.

Except it’s unlikely that you’ll find a teddy bear or picnic.

Instead take a trip to the woods in Spring time and you will be greeted with one of Britain’s most incredible sights.

A vast sea of bluebells – carpeting the forest floor in front of you.

And if the sight of Britain’s favourite flower doesn’t make you go weak at the knees – the smell most definitely will.

fox in Bluebells photo by Lee Roberts / flintman45 CC

A fox hiding in the bluebells. Photo by Lee Roberts / flintman45 CC

Every year, for a month every spring, in thousands of woods and fields across the UK, the humble bluebell makes an appearance.

Half of the world’s bluebell woods are situated here in the UK so no matter where in the country you are, there’s a good chance of finding somewhere close by to witness this incredible occasion.

There are two types of bluebell found in the UK, the native and the Spanish, and most can be commonly found in ancient woodlands that date back as far as the 17th century.

It’s also possible to find them on the edge of country paths, coastal areas and cliffs.

A single bluebell in Berkshire

Between April & May is the best time to go bluebell hunting, most start blooming early to mid April the further south in the UK you go, with many of Scotland’s bluebells making an appearance end of the month into May.

But where should you go to find these incredible flowers? Here’s a rundown of some of the best places to go:

Bluebells in the sunshine photo by Nickirp, CC

Bluebells in the sunshine photo by Nickirp, CC 

England

Heartwood Forest, Sandbridge, Hertfordshire
A short distance from London and within the green belt, this forest is home to more than 500,000 trees, with an incredible display of bluebells.

Emmetts Garden, Kent
The Edwardian hillside turns a beautiful shade of blue in Springtime, and it’s also a great spot for views over the Kent countryside.

Blinkling Estate, Norfolk
Love Bluebells? Then put a trip to Blinkling Estate to the top of your list. This is one of the best places in the country to see the flowers, and of course take a stroll around the exquisite estate. Don’t forget to explore the breathtaking mansion, too.

Hatchlands Park, Surrey
Discover the ancient woodland in this incredible park on the outskirts of London (less than an hour from central London!) It is located on the edge of the Surrey Hills, to the east of the park. Little Wix Wood is home to one of the best bluebell meadows in the area. A well marked-out path allows you to see the flowers bloom from one end of the wood to another.

Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
This incredible woodland is also home to waterfalls and unspoiled English countryside. The bluebells tend to make an appearance late spring, but when they do the woodland is awash with blue. It’s also a good time to enjoy a picnic or explore the rocky paths and hilltops.

Waterhead, Ambleside
Some of the finest bluebells can be found dotted around Ambleside, in particular Skelghyll Woods where you will be mesmerised by the spring flowers and birds.

Basildon Park, Berkshire
A late bloomer, the bluebells at this 18th century house are stunning. The woodland is pretty and ripe for exploring, and the views from the park and fantastic. The house even made an appearance in Dowton Abbey.

Kensington Roof Gardens
Need your bluebell fix but stuck in the city? Leave London life behind and explore a roof garden with a difference. Wander around this garden which is home to a mature woodland, and take in the spring plants and flowers, including stunning bluebells!

Wales

Coen Cefn, Powys
Whether you want to visit the Ironage hilltop fort or the woodland, it is definitely worth making a trip to see the bluebells blossom underneath a roof of oak and beech.
Coed-y-Bwnydd, Monmouthshire
Home to one of the best preserved Iron Age Hill forts, this gorgeous part of the world attracts visitors who marvel at the stunning wildlife and the carpet of bluebells that adorn the area in Spring.
Abermawr, Pembrokeshire
This secluded shingle beach is one of the more unusual spots to find bluebells. Leave the beach and explore the woodland behind to get a big surprise.

Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
Join the puffins who call this island home and explore the swathes of bluebells that adorn the fields. The island is left with a coat of bluebells that will impress you from the moment you leave the boat.

Scotland

Glen Finglas, Trossachs National Park
Explore the open heath and lochs, and take in the incredible smell of the bluebells in this 10,000 acre wood. Check out the Drippan loop trail for some of the best bluebells in Scotland.
Fairy Glen, Fortrose, Highland
Discover picturesque waterfalls and stunning bluebell woods in this highland glen.  This RSPB wood is also a great place to spot native birds and other wildlife.

Binn Wood, Perth and Kinross
This more mature wood is home to a spectacular display of bluebells. The terrain can be a little tricky underfoot, but follow the path to find the bluebells carpeting the whole area.

My walk in a bluebell forest

Woman walking through a bluebell wood

On a sunny spring day, there’s really nothing like going for a walk to take in the spring air. I was visiting Runnymede National Trust and decided to visit a beautiful woods nearby to embrace the bluebells.

A walk down a hill and it hits you. The sea of blue is captivating and somewhat intoxicating, as it stretches out into the distance.

There’s something very magical about walking through a bluebell meadow. I walked along the path that had been created and watched as the bluebells slowly moved in the breeze, swaying backwards and forwards.

And if the sight of these beautiful flowers wasn’t enough, the smell definitely had me hooked.

Bluebells woodland in Berkshire

There’s a genuine concern that in years to come, the beautiful bluebell meadows of Britain could be a thing of the past. So now really is the time to protect them for generations to enjoy before it’s too late.

Have you been inspired to find woodland close to you? The woodland Trust has a fabulous website to help you find one nearby.