There is something just so timelessly beautiful about the carpets of blue that takeover our local woodlands at this time of year. Nothing hints of summer days out and picnic and play plans as much as the scent and sight of vivid blues and gorgeous greens. Whilst small patches can be found around almost any open space and in any wooded area in May, there are some pretty special places locally where carpets stretch out as far as the eye can see. Have a look at these suggestions:
Blackbury Camp in East Devon is the undisputed top spot for bluebells and the mysterious and peaceful feel to the area just adds to the beautiful flower display.
Well known for it’s spring flowers, Dunsford Woods around Steps Bridge (and the woods around the stepping stones themselves) are also bedecked with bluebells as their time comes. There are lots of other pretty spring flowers such as wood anemones to spot too.
Hembury Hill Fort has a beautiful display of bluebells around it’s lower slopes. These are currently hard to reach and I would suggest walking down to the them from the higher Witness Moor Woods car park. The views from the fort out across the Blackdown Hills are just amazing!
A new spot to us are the woods at Meldon, in Dartmoor National Park. We reached these by cycling along the Granite Way and following the footpath down beside the viaduct, but they can also be reached by road if you follow directions to Meldon Quarry, or by train from Okehampton to Meldon Station.
Combe Woods outside Honiton are small but pretty and have flowers more than worth visiting for at this time of year.
The National Trust’s Killerton Estate not only has incredible displays of bluebells close to the house in their woods and The Clump that can be reached via their main entrance, but also has impressive displays at Danes Wood, in parts of Ashclyst Forest (areas such as White Down Copse and Paradise Copse have a lot more to see than the main Forest Gate area). The woods at Columjohn, reachable from Ellerhayes always offer and impressive display, with a backdrop of East Devon views as a bonus too!
There are blankets of bluebells visible in the woods of Rockbeare Manor, and whilst you can’t walk among them, they do provide a lovely hit of scent and colour as you either walk, cycle or push a buggy around the loop walks available there.
If you like to combine your flower spotting with sea views, venture out to Salcombe Hill above Sidmouth and admire the bluebell clumps in the woods before finding the ‘frog stone’ and soaking up the sea views!