So it’s that time of year again. Bristol is alive with a blanket of bluebells, and what better opportunity to take than this bank holiday weekend, to get out there and explore the great beyond?
We’ve picked a few of Bristol’s most loved bluebell vantage points – so what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and don’t miss your chance to catch the most spectacular scene. Mother Nature really does do it best. But be on your guard, as bluebells are meant to signify the summoning of fairies (if you are into folklore)…
Once part of the Tyntesfield Estate, Prior’s Wood offers a breathtaking view of the bluebells at this time of year. With its ancient woodlands, streams and plantations, there are parts of Prior’s Wood that date back to the 1600s.
As well as an abundance of bluebells, you will also find various species of trees including lime trees, oak and hazel. If you are lucky, you might even find mature sweet chestnut. For the best view of the bluebells, we recommend you visit the southern and western corners of the wood. The prime time to view the blanket of bluebells would be late April/early May.
For more information on Prior’s Wood: www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk
Long Wood makes up the Cheddar Complex, famous for its caves and of course, Cheddar Gorge, too.
The best time to view the bluebells at Long Wood is in May. Access is via Black Rock, just a mile away from Cheddar, if arriving by road. Alternatively, you can cycle, which brings you very close to Long Wood.
Long Wood offers a dramatic view of the bluebells.
For more information on Long Wood: www.somersetwildlife.org
Folly Farm offers an idyllic spot to view the burgeoning bluebells as they blossom in the spring. With over 250 acres of untouched countryside, a peaceful 18th century farmhouse and views extending towards the Mendips, this is a unique location to spend an afternoon.
A rare opportunity to experience wildflower meadows, some of which have been lost since the 1930s. You will also find all different varieties of butterflies including the rare ringlet, small tortoiseshell, the gatekeeper and the marbled white.
This is truly a spectacular vantage point from which to experience the bluebells this year.
For more information on Folly Farm: www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk
On the south westerly side of Avon Gorge, Leigh Woods are often the place to go to witness the first showing of bluebells. Take part on a walking trail and discover the hidden depths of this beautiful woodland. Our favourite is the Veteran Tree Walk – you’ll find out so much more about the ancient trees within the woodland, including the Monolith Beech, the Yew and the Lime pollard.
On Sunday 8 May (10am – 12pm), you can join in with the Failand Spring Walk and discover the beauty within Leigh Woods and all its flora and fauna and wildlife in abundance. Bookable online (£5 per person).
For more information on Leigh Woods: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Once a former quarry site, Weston Big Wood is situated in the Portishead area of Bristol. The wood dates back to Iron Age times with evidence remaining of old medieval boundaries dating from the Middle Ages and used to divide the land into sections.
Nightingale Valley and Black Rock Quarry lie very close to Weston Big Wood, which are both quite picturesque and interesting. As well as the bright blanket of bluebells, you will also find hazel trees, violets and wood anemones.
The recommended time to visit is between April and July, and then again in the autumn months.
For more information on Weston Big Wood: www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk
For further information on local bluebell walks in your area visit: www.visitwoods.org.uk
Image credits: JD Photography