The 10 Best bluebell walks
The thermometer is all over the place but spring has sprung so it's time to go in search of the season's finest flowers
1. Bowdown Woods, Berkshire
The one-mile path at Bowdown (which includes some sharp slopes and flatland) may be one of the shorter walks on the list, but there's still lots to amuse the entire family, including a plethora of plants and unusual butterflies.
2. Carstramon Woods, Galloway
With its steep paths cutting through dense forest, Carstramon isn't the most accessible of walks. But it's worth persevering, as come late April (things takes a little longer this far north), the copse is at the peak of its bloom.
3. Coed Cefn, Powys
The ancient deciduous forest in Powys doesn't just have a rolling carpet of bluebells that pop up among the oak and beech trees each year, it also has the remains of an Iron Age Hilltop fort on which your children, or maybe you, can play at being Indiana Jones for a day.
4. Bunny Old Wood, Nottinghamshire
Bunny Old Wood is an ancient 16-acre coppiced woodland mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Visitors are free to roam over this rich habitat for fauna and flora. Alongside its dense bluebell carpet, you'll find about 50 species of birds and 20 species of butterflies.
5. Kensington Roof Gardens, London
OK, so you'd be hard pressed to have a proper walk in this 1.5- acre garden in the sky in London's Kensington. But if you just want a place to sit and ponder, amid a sea of bluebells, it's a delight. Do call ahead, however, to ensure they aren't closed for a private function.
6. GLen Finglas, Stirling
At 15 miles on the circular path, the main walk at Glen Finglas isn't one to be taken lightly, but if you put in the effort, you get due rewards with views from the summit of Ben Ledi stretching all the way out to the shores of Loch Venachar.
7. Scar and Castlebeck Wood, Yorkshire
Although it's pretty close to Scarborough, you feel like you're on another planet – or at least another age – in these secluded, ravine-cut woods. Tear your eyes from the azure around your feet and you'll find herons, woodcocks and kingfishers swooping through the trees.
8. Hole Park, Kent
It's a crowded field when it comes to pretty gardens in Kent, but aristocratic Hole Park has a major advantage: its bluebell wood. Check the online bluebell barometer to find out when it is best to visit. Opens this Friday.
Adults £6, children £1, holepark.com
9. Carnmoney Hill, County Antrim
At Carnmoney you can enjoy a low woodland walk taking about 45 minutes or a hilltop hike lasting two hours. Either way, there are flowers aplenty and some lovely views of Belfast.
10. Arlington, Sussex
Eight one-mile trails cut across this lovely bit of East Sussex woodland. Head for the well-marked bluebell wood first, then pop over to neighbouring Parkwood Farm to see the pigs, sheep and goats.
Adults £4, children £1.50, bluebellwalk.co.uk
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