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Somerset’s bluebell hotspots

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.  Have we missed any good ones out? Let us know…

 

Greyfield Wood, near High Littleton

Once part of the Earl of Warwick’s hunting estate, then mined for coal, Greyfield Wood is one of Somerset’s largest ancient woodlands and a wonderful place to visit, with all kinds of wildlife (from voles to wild deer), a cascading waterfall – and fab bluebells. Take the footpath running south from the Greyfield Road out of High Littleton, about 10 miles from Bath.

Pitstop: the village pub The Star Inn for a pint; the unassuming yet Michelin star pub Pony & Trap for lunch, five miles up the road.

 

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 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.

Pitstop: The Firehouse in Curry Rivel for pizzas (see our review).

 

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: Got a dog with you? Head up to Ham Hill and onto the super dog-friendly Prince of Wales. Or go back into Montacute for the more formal 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.

Pit stops: you’ve got Wells up the road, with The Fountain, Ensemble restaurant and lots of cafes.

 

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.

 

Find more ideas here

DAYS OUTkid-friendlytravelwalking

3 comments on “Somerset’s bluebell hotspots”

  • Angela May 15, 2018

    RSPB Swell Wood very pretty, and also has vistas across the fields through the trees. Also if your timing is right, the Herons are nesting in the canopy of trees and you can observed from the cabin tucked in below.

    Reply
  • Colin Hyde April 18, 2019

    Another thought about Swell Wood. You say ‘their’ Little Egrets as if the herons might be protecting the egrets, which they clearly are not. Two separate, independent species, the egrets nest in the trees generally after the herons. In addition, you may take bird food (not whole peanuts this time of year) to top
    up the bird feeders near the car park. You could be rewarded with close up views of blue, great, coal, long-tailed and (unusually) marsh tits.

    Reply
    • suetucker April 18, 2019

      Many thanks for the info!

      Reply

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