Somerset’s bluebell hotspots
Our local woodlands are carpeted in brilliant blue blooms, so here's where to catch them – while they last – with nearby pit stops thrown in too!
Tip toe, through the tulips! Ooops, wrong flower. What’s a sure sign that Spring has sprung ? Finally retiring your thermal vest, yes. But more excitingly it’s the arrival of bluebell season. We’re so lucky to have the most incredible number of bluebell woods in our ‘hood – quick, catch ’em while they last. Have I missed any good ones out? Let me know…
Wayford Woods, near Crewkerne
Criss-crossing paths, a large pond, a swing, a meadow and masses of beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas as well as bluebells in a magical woodland hidden down an unmade road three miles south of Crewkerne. Holvert Lane, Wayford, Crewkerne, TA18 8QH
Pit stop: the Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St George just a few miles away.
Aller and Beer Woods, near Langport
One of the Somerset Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves, this ancient woodland along the western slope of Aller Hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with oak and ash trees, wood-peckers, the odd deer, the rare star-shaped earthstar fungi as well as all those bluebells.
Pit stop: back to Langport for lunches, coffee and cakes at the Kitchen at the Wharf.
RSPB Swell Wood, Fivehead, between Taunton and Langport
As well as bluebells, you might also see nesting grey herons and their little egrets (aaawww) in this part ancient woodland part abandoned oak plantation stretching 10 miles from Langport to the Blackdown Hills. Over 100 pairs of birds come to breed between March and June making it one of the largest colonies in the south west. Swell Wood is about 11 miles from Taunton, off the A378 between the villages of Fivehead and Curry Rivel.
Brockholes, along the South West Coast path, Exmoor
Six miles of rugged track and footpath (some narrow and exposed – eek) but it’s worth holding your nerve for amazing views across the Bristol Channel to the Brecon Beacons in Wales and the three valleys filled with bluebells and other flowers in amongst the gorse. And the brockholes? Ancient quarries.
Pit stop: a nice cuppa at the Periwinkle Tearooms in the National Trust village of Selworthy.
Ladies Walk, Montacute
A short, semi-circular walk from a pathway alongside the village school, up through a hillside beech wood thronged with bluebells – you can just see the village and Elizabethan Montacute House through the trees – before heading down through a lane cutting deep through the hamstone back into Montacute.
Pit stop: Turn left off the lane down a signposted track to reach The King’s Arms.
King’s Castle Wood, near Wells
Combine bluebells and history – this nature reserve is on the site of an Iron Age hill fort, just a mile away from the centre of Wells – with views across to Glastonbury Tor and the Somerset Levels.
Goblin Combe, near Cleeve
Worth a visit for the name alone. Grasslands above and woodlands below (where you’ll find those blue flowers) in a limestone gorge. Great views across the Mendips too.
Pit stop: rustic country pub The Crown in Churchill.
Long Wood, Cheddar
Ancient bluebell wood once owned by the mediaeval Witham Priory now under the custodianship of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, with an easy trail with stunning bluebells, orchids, anemones, wild garlic and a little stream.
Pit stop: 10 mins drive to The Swan in Wedmore.
Thurlbear Woods, near Taunton
With its incredible variety of flowers, fungi and wildlife in an ancient woodland you won’t be surprised to discover this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Secret glades, foot paths and a rookery, all there to discover.
Pit stop: The Farmer’s Arms, West Hatch.
Leigh Woods, Clifton
Winding trails through bluebell woods with spectacular views of Brunel’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge and the city through gaps in the trees. It being owned by the National Trust, there are picnic tables, a compostable loo and a downloadable family trail with kids play stuff along the route.
Pit stop: Grab a seat in the sunny courtyard at The Albion.