Forest floors have become carpeted with cobalt and indigo hues as bluebell season arrives.
Woodland walks are all the more stunning now that spring has bloomed, and one of Britain’s most beautiful wildflowers has burst into life.
Bluebell season in the UK usually lasts between mid April to late May depending on how mild the weather is, with two common species – the native English bluebell and its Spanish cousin – coming into flower.
Sweeping vistas of the eye-catching plants can be found at various locations in and around Bristol.
A few of our favourite woodland bluebell walks are listed below – let us know in the comments section below if you have other suggestions:
Prior’s Wood, Portbury
The breathtaking blanket of blue has already settled on the ancient Prior’s Wood this spring, with the image above taken only last weekend.
Southern and western parts of the woodland are best to see the bluebells.
Avon Wildlife Trust advises: “Please be considerate of the residential areas surrounding the woodland when parking – weekends during spring can be very busy.
“Enjoy the bluebells, but please do not pick them – they are are a protected species.”
As if the deer park, mansion house and beautiful scenery at Ashton Court was not already enough of a draw, part of the estate also boasts an impressive spread of bluebells.
These are located at Rownham Wood, which can be located on Bristol City Council’s map of the estate.
Weston Big Wood, near Portishead
This woodland near Portishead is also known to be a great area for bird watching, as well as for its array of wildflowers.
Avon Wildlife Trust advises visitors that access to paths is uphill and paths can be steep and muddy at times.
However, the scenery is worth it – the trust advises: “In springtime the ground is covered with wood anemones, violets and masses of bluebells.”
Lower Woods, South Gloucestershire
Covering almost 700 acres, Lower Woods is one of the largest ancient woodlands in the entire South West region, located near the village of Wickwar.
According to Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, which manages the site, otters have been known to play in the stretch of the Little Avon river that runs through the nature reserve.
Known for its spectacular views of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, Leigh Woods is a popular walking spot all year round.
The bluebells are located along the stream at Paradise Bottom, which can be viewed on the Forestry Commission’s map for those unfamiliar with the area.
Stoke Park Estate
Located next to the M32 motorway in Bristol, the Stoke Park Estate offers a huge expanse of parkland in an otherwise built-up area.
Bristol City Council advises that the bluebells can be best spotted on the Hermitage Trail around Long Wood and Hermitage Wood.
Slightly further afield from the city is the picturesque spot of Goblin Combe, a limestone gorge surrounded by woodland.
It is located near the North Somerset village of Cleeve, about half an hour’s drive from Bristol city centre, and boasts one of the best bluebell displays around.
Tyntesfield, near Wraxall
The National Trust estate is known for its beautifully manicured gardens, but the surrounding parkland is bordered by ancient woodland.
It shared these spectacular photos last weekend of the bluebells in bloom as far as the eye could see.