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Bluebell wood hotspots

Our woodlands are a sea of blooms, so here’s where to catch them while they last – with nearby pit stops!

National Trist Bluebell woods Berkshire Photograph by Hugh Mothersole

Pic: National Trust/ Hugh Mothersole

Barmy about bluebells? word on the street is that they are starting to pop up. April through to May is the best time to see carpets of blue in Berkshire’s woodlands.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!

If you think there is a horrific omission, a crime against nature no less, let me know and I’ll put it on the list and if you visit any of the places I suggest, please let me know your thoughts! Right then (*gulp*), here we go.

 

Basildon Park, Lower Basildon

At Basildon Park just ask at the visitor centre for the best places to spot them around the grounds. There are number of walks you can enjoy of varying lengths. So if you have little Mudders the National Trust staff will point you in the right direction and the best routes to take.

Pit stop: The Royal Oak in Yattendon, just 5.5 miles away

Carpet of blue flowers in the woodland national trust photography by Hugh Mothersole

Pic: Hugh Mothersole

Cliveden, Taplow

We say Berkshire (*ahem* some say Buckinghamshire), but who cares, right? We can share the border and the beautiful Cliveden with our county neighbours. Particularly as there is more than enough it to go around. Enjoy miles of woodland paths and the carpet of bluebells on the woodland floor. The many paths mean that the flowers don’t get trampled and you get the full effect regardless of the many visitors.

Pit stop: If your purse doesn’t stretch to the Astor Grill, head to the Oak & Saw in Taplow, 2 miles away.

Pope’s Meadow, Bracknell

Pope’s Meadow, names after Binfield’s most famous resident – the 18th century poet and philosopher Alexander Pope, is a Green Flag Award winning site and has a small wooded copse full of bluebells. You never know, it might even inspire you write poetry too. At Binfield Road in Bracknell are The Three Copses (Temple Copse, Tinker’s Copse and Jock’s Copse ) – hazel coppice woodlands full of bluebells with a handy circular walk through them.

Pitstop: The Dog and Duck is just 4 miles away.

Blue bell shaped petals of the bluebell

Moor Copse, Tidmarsh

Moor Copse in Tidmarsh (between Theale and Pangbourne) is an area of tranquil woodland surround by a patchwork of meadows and pastures set in the heart of the Pang Valley. There’s a free guided tour on Saturday 29 April, 2.30pm-4.30pm to see the bluebells, early purple orchids and cowslips at their very best. It’s a 2-mile stroll, but the paths can get a bit muddy in places, so sandals and heel are probably not a good idea.

Pit stop: Make a dash to The Swan in Pangbourne, a riverside pub, just 2 miles away.

 

Warburg Nature Reserve, Henley

The Warburg Nature Reserve in Henley is holding a gentle guided stroll around the reserve to see the bluebells, other wild flowers and all the signs of spring on Saturday 28 April, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

Pit Stop: Rowers’ favourite The Little Angel on the Berkshire side of Henley, is 5 miles away.

Carpet of bluebells in Bowdown Wood Newbury with a fallen tree in the middle of the shot

Bowdown Woods, Newbury

Bowdown Woods just south of Newbury is a magical ancient wood that stretches from the vast heathland at Greenham Common down to the River Kennet and is full of hidden valleys, sunny glades and patches of heathland with bluebells at every turn. The Wildlife Walk takes in some damp clay areas on the lower slopes and steep climbs up to higher, drier ground.

Pit stop: The award winning gastropub The Newbury, is just 3 miles away in Newbury town centre.

Also worth visiting: Chazey Wood, within the Mapledurham estate. Highwood, Woodley with its mixture of lowland woodland and heathland which used to be part of the grounds of Woodley Lodge. The Coombe, Streatley, has an abundance of bluebells in the spring. Cayfield Copse, Caversham has a lovely woodland walk suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.

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