Discover where to find the best bluebell woods in Wiltshire and when to visit them…
Man, I love Spring – first come the bright yellow daffs to let us know it’s on its way and then, almost in an instant, the grey days become more scarce, the evenings’ lighter and the trees burst alive with blossom.
Like nature itself, I feel renewed every year with the arrival of Spring and have a sudden burst of energy – a need to get out and bask in the sunshine and the fresh air. One of those special Spring moments I adore is the arrival of the bluebells, and that small window of time, usually in the latter half of April and early May, when they take over the woods, creating gorgeous carpets of blue as far as the eye can see.
Where I live in Wiltshire there are many wonderful places to see bluebells in bloom but there are a few outstanding locations that make for a great weekend nature walk. Here are my picks of the best bluebell woods in Wiltshire for those lucky enough to live in the region, or visit during beautiful bluebell season.
The best bluebell woods in Wiltshire
Stourhead is an amazing National Trust-owned estate that’s over 2,500 acres in size. Known for its immaculate landscaped gardens, if you visit at just the right time you can see the woods come alive in a sea of blue (and you may well spot the odd deer if you’re light-footed).
The National Trust actually runs Spring walks during the month of May, so visit their Stourhead website to find out when they’re on.
Oh, and if you like your history as well as nature, why not make a proper day of it and visit the stately home while you’re there?
Managed by the Forestry Commission, West Woods can be found near the ‘up’-market town of Marlborough, a lovely place to visit in its own right.
A popular spot for locals, these woods come alive in late Spring and are recommended as one of the best places in Wiltshire to see bluebells.
Between two of Wiltshire’s prettiest villages you’ll find Wheelers Wood. Sandy Lane is full of chocolate box thatched houses and Lacock is owned entirely by the National Trust, so you can imagine how gorgeous it must be!
Sandwiched between the two, this wood is a great spot for seeing blooming bluebells, if you’re up for a lazy countryside drive around our most picturesque villages. While you’re in the car, why not go a little further and also visit Castle Combe, another highlight of the South Cotswolds.
Very close to Sandy Lane you’ll also discover Bowood. Here you’ll find a country house and landscaped gardens to visit. Bowood is best known for its amazing rhododendron gardens which you can visit each Spring. These come alive the same time as the bluebells, so a trip here is a double whammy for flower fans (or keen Instagrammers)!
If you like your woods less ‘manicured’ than perhaps Bowood or Stourhead, then Clouts Wood is a good spot to visit.
A Wiltshire Wildlife Trust reserve, the focus is on caring for nature so it’s more ‘back to basics’ compared to the manmade gardens we’ve mentioned.
Brimming with wildlife (the woods are surrounded by meadows where you’ll find Exmoor ponies keeping the grass down) the bluebells will jostle for your attention with all the other wonderful sights this place offers.
If you visit later in the year you may also get a chance to see the rare ‘Bath asparagus’!
Ok, I’ve been a bit sneaky. This final recommendation isn’t actually in Wiltshire, but it is just a hop, skip and a jump away in Bristol – and well worth highlighting in this list.
Another National Trust owned woodland, Leigh Woods provides a haven for nature on the doorstep of the South West’s most modern, metropolitan city.
You can take winding paths through woods carpeted by bluebells, yet when you find gaps in the trees you’re greeted with exquisite views across Bristol. This place is actually a beautiful escape from the city at any time of year!