9 of the prettiest places to spot bluebells in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 11:21 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:21 08 May 2018
The arrival of bluebells truly marks spring, providing a gorgeous sea of blue across the Somerset countryside. We pick 9 places to admire a beautiful display of this delicate flower in the county
1. Long Wood, near Cheddar Gorge
The Cheddar Complex boasts three Somerset Wildlife Trust managed reserves: Velvet Bottom, Black Rock and Long Wood, all giving visitors the chance to explore the beauty of the Mendip Hills. A popular spot all year round, on the arrival of late spring, the ancient bluebell woodland of Long Wood becomes awash with blue and the scent of wild garlic fills the air.
2. Brockholes, Exmoor
We’re fortunate to boast such a gorgeous stretch of coastline in the county, and there are plenty of walks along the South West Coast path which capture the beauty of our beaches. This circular walk beginning at Burgundy Chapel Combe car park is challenging but rewards ramblers with stunning views out across the Bristol Channel, as well as bluebells and other wild flowers filling the landscape to admire.
3. Swell Wood, near Fivehead
Just a short drive from Taunton’s town centre is Swell Wood, a haven for wild flowers when the winter draws to a close. Expect to see swathes of pretty bluebells, orchids and primroses carpeting the woodland floor. Swell Wood is also a haven for birdlife, and is the home of the largest colony of breeding grey herons in the South West.
4. King’s Castle Wood, near Wells
A truly wonderful sight to behold, butterflies weave their way in and out of the wild flowers, including beautiful bluebells and Dog’s Mercury that dot the ground of King’s Castle Wood during the later spring and summer months. The reserve is at an ancient Iron Age hill fort just a short walk from the popular attractions Wells has to offer.
5. Aller and Beer Woods, near Langport
Aller and Beer Woods stretch out over nearly 60 hectares, and declared a Site of Scientific Interest in the 1950s. The Somerset Wildlife Trust manage a reserve within the woodland, sitting along the west-facing slope of Aller Hill. This secluded shelter of woodland welcomes an array of wildflowers including an impressive display of bluebells during spring.
6. Thurlbear Wood, near Taunton
As those later spring months draw upon, Thurlbear Wood becomes a sea of blue with the arrival of pretty bluebells, alongside spotted orchids, wild dog violets and primroses. We aren’t the only visitors to be delighted at the sight of the delicate flower – expect to share your view with plenty of butterflies! Don’t miss the chance to enjoy mesmerising views over the Blackdown Hills at the edge of the woodland provide.
7. Leigh Woods, near Clifton
Sitting above the striking landscape of Avon Gorge, and in close proximity to the busy Clifton Suspension Bridge, you’ll be forgiven for not believing how peaceful Leigh Woods can be. A popular spot for city dwellers wanting an afternoon of quiet in the countryside, and mountain bikers too, the woods arguably become even more wonderful when swathes of bluebells start to carpet the ground.
8. Weston Woods, near Weston-Super-Mare
With a number of scenic routes within the woodland, it’s little wonder that Weston Woods is a much-loved destination for daring cyclists, horse-riders, families and those seeking an escape from the busy seaside promenade to spend a few hours. During the latter spring months, the landscape warmly welcomes beautiful bluebells for visitors to admire.
9. Bishop’s Palace, Wells
Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years, Bishop’s Palace is surrounded by a moat and visitors enter via a gatehouse and drawbridge. The palace grounds include 14 acres of landscaped gardens to explore, including an arboretum designed by Sir Harold Hillier which has encouraged the development of wild flowers. From snowdrops in February and early March to gorgeous displays of bluebells in late April, among primroses, violets, cow parsley and orchids, there’s plenty to admire during the spring and summer months.