There is something a little special about Springtime in the Forest of Dean. It’s April and time for the bright green leaves of the beech trees to unfold. Take a closer look and you will see tiny tinges of blue amongst the strands of green grass. Memories of walking through the fragrant carpets of bluebells, beneath the light green canape, on a beautiful Spring day.
The iconic bluebell takes it’s name from it’s deep violet-blue hue and bell-shaped petals. Protected under British law it is a native wild flower and the Forest of Dean is a well-known hot spot. Visitors come from far and wide to see the spectacular sight always a welcome sign that Winter is over. In collaboration with my friends here is our ‘top 5 places the locals go to see the Bluebells’
- Cadora Woods
Cadora Woods is located in the lower Wye Valley and is one of the most important concentrations of semi-natural ancient woodland in Britain. With plenty of paths to explore and a host of wildlife to discover. In springtime the brambles underfoot come alive in a sea of the iconic native flower.
- Bradley Hill & Soudley Ponds
Take the circular route at Soudley Ponds or the steep path up the ridge towards Blaize Bailey and be rewarded with beautiful views over the River Severn and a sea of blue. At the Dean Heritage Centre directly opposite take the woodland path towards Blaize Bailey to see the best of the bluebells. Between the village of Soudley and the well-known picnic spot Wenchford is Bradley Hill. The winding road stretches from the small village of Soudley towards Blackpool Bridge (where you can see the Roman Road) and onto Wenchford with carpets of blue beneath the beech wood.
- May Hill
May Hill is a well-known landmark and the highest point in the Forest of Dean at 971 feet. Easily recognised by the clump of trees, which date back to ancient times, that grow at its peak. It’s summit is in Gloucestershire and its northern slopes are in Herefordshire. Three footpaths lead to the top. On a clear day you can see views that span multiple counties revealing carpets of blue flowing down its slopes.
- Cannop Ponds
Often home to moor hens, ducks, geese and swans Cannop Ponds consists of two large ponds one of which is a natural nature reserve. Why not make a day of it and hire some bikes. The family Trail is one of the most popular traffic free cycle routes in Britain and follows the old railway tracks through oak and beech woods into Cannop valley where you can see a carpet of blue by the waters edge.
- RSPB Highnam Woods
Highnam Woods is a well known destination for bird watchers interested in spotting Nightingales. Wander the pathways for a chance for a fantastic photo opportunity with the impressive sea of bluebells.
With thanks to Forest of Dean and Wye Valley for ‘Discover Bluebells Galore this Spring’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpFSziNY32Q
Why not take a picnic on your search for bluebells? Forest of Dean Deli will make up a bespoke picnic with next day collection and we have a blog giving ‘5 perfect picnic locations’ https://willowforeststays.com/5-perfect-picnic-locations
Take a photo and send to @willowforeststays to let us know where you saw the bluebells and we will share to our stories.
* * * * *