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The best 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!

Greys Court near Henley, captured on my phone last year!

What’s a sure sign that it’s finally Spring? 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. I’ve drawn up this list as a prompt as these stunning fields of blue are starting to bloom and will only last a few weeks. So, chop chop!

Every year when I write about bluebell hotspots I receive a flurry of messages about the ones I’ve forgotten. Have I finally nailed a comprehensive list this year, I wonder?! Please let me know if there are any omissions!


Greys Court, Henley

Not only a magically pretty National Trust building and gardens well worth a visit in its own right, but the Greys Court Spinney Woods are a sea of English bluebells, it’s an extrordinariliy beautiful site. Here’s my post about the bluebells at Greys Court from a few years back (an oldie but a goodie!). The walk itself is either a toddler friendly 750 metres or a more stretchy 2-3k depending on how you’re feeling.

Pit stop: Antony Worrall Thompson’s The Greyhound, Rotherfield Peppard, is 2.5 miles away or if you’re willing to travel further The Yew Tree in Frieth is a 20 minute drive.


Cowleaze Woods, nr Watlington

This lovely wood is set high in the Chiltern Hills with amazing views over the surrounding countryside. Plenty of paths to explore and a lovely option for little kids, with all the red kites flying around. But anywhere up near Christmas Common will provide stunning bluebells.

Pit stop:  The Fox & Hounds at Christmas Common is less than 2 miles away.

Badbury Clump, nr Faringdon

A spectacular display of bluebells among the beech trees at Badbury Hill and Badbury Clump. Badbury Clump is the remains of an Iron Age hill fort from about 600BC with woodland paths and trails perfect for families, with a free car park nearby.

Pit stop:  The Radnor Arms in the National Trust village of Coleshill

Foxholes, nr Burford

Ancient woodland 4 miles south of Burford, with an easy circular Wildlife Walk (1.75 miles) and carpets of bluebells in May, plus seven types of bat if you time your trip towards the end of the day!

Pit stop:  The Shaven Crown in Shipton-under-Wychwood is less than 3 miles away.

Wendover Wood, Wendover

My local go-to bluebell display, this 325 hectare wood has a cafe, Go Ape, riding trails, children’s woodland play area and displays of bluebells on the extensive paths. You can easily spend a whole day up here, so go when it’s sunny to make the most of the facilities.

Pit stop: Rumsey’s chocolaterie and family-friendly Italian restaurant Lucca are both in Wendover, a 5 minute drive.

Hollington Wood, Bucks

A Muddy reader tipped us off about this ancient woodland 8 miles north of Milton Keynes. It’s privately owned so make sure you stick to the paths and you’ll need to pre-book parking on site. The owners hold an annual bluebell open day on the May Bank Holiday – 7 May this year, which involves guided walks, refreshments and kids’ activities.

Pit stop: The newly opened Cherry Tree in Olney

Stoke Wood, near Bicester

This 400-year-old Woodland Trust site is carpeted with blue beauties in the Spring and has marked trails so you won’t get lost and eaten by the Gruffalo or anything (and please stick to them – apparently rare fauna there is under threat from trampling). There’s also a variety of butterflies and birds, including tawny owls.  Walked up an appetite?

Pit stop: Jacob’s Plough, Bicester

Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted

Yeah yeah I know, it’s just over the border into Herts, but the lovely 2000 hectare Ashridge Estate is awash with the little blue flowers over the next month. It’s all lovely and bikeable and there’s a decent outdoor cafe too.

Pit stop:  The Alford Arms, Frithden

Not forgetting… The Harcourt Arboretum at Nuneham Courtenay, south of Oxford with its peacocks and lovely gladed walks;  Adams Wood, between Frieth and Skirmett a few miles east of Christmas Common; the coppiced beech wood of Low Scrubs near Coombe Hill, just south of Wendover; Magdalen College Oxford; the woodlands of Cliveden House in Taplow; the beech woodlands around Hambleden Valley. Phew!

3 comments on “The best bluebell hotspots”

  • Lucy May 2, 2018

    Don’t forget The duck decoy @ boarstall

  • Annie Taylor April 6, 2018

    Great list, but a bit premature – I’ve only seen one bluebell out so far this year….. I think that it may be at least 2 more weeks to see them at their best.

    • muddystiletto April 27, 2018

      Hi Ann, yes we decided to put it out early this year but with the weather we probably should have waited!


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