Muddy Walks: Bluebell Woods
Are your local bluebells featured in our list? If so, now is the time to get out and enjoy them.
Half the world’s population of bluebells can be found in the UK and there are loads of gorgeous places to admire them in Cornwall – here are eight beautiful bluebell walks to be going on with, which should keep you busy right the way through the month. Got any more suggestions? Let us know in the comments!
Often found alongside the prolific wild garlic that grows in abundance here, the carpets of flowers are surely one of the glorious scents of late spring in Cornwall.
The historic Enys Gardens are famous for their incredible display of bluebells but you’ll have to plan this one a bit and book in advance. Gardens open 1 April for five days for the Easter Trail and then close until the Bluebell Festival which runs from 1 -9 May when the gardens are open 11am-5pm every day. Come May you’ll be able to sip a beer with a killer Cornish view afterwards as you’re just a 10-minute drive from Muddy favourite, The Pandora Inn.
Really popular with families, this beautiful woodland near Bodmin is a great place to walk or cycle and is carpeted with bluebells at this time of year. Feeling peckish? You’ll find one of the most idyllic little woodland cafés anywhere – with delicious lunches and tea and cake galore. No booking necessary.
Helman Tor, Bodmin Moor
It’s not just the woodlands that are carpeted in bluebells, almost every lane will be full, and they also grow on the moor too. The nature reserve at Helman Tor makes a glorious peaceful walk – look out for the remains of a Neolithic hill settlement, as well as the marsh fritillary butterfly which can be seen in May and June. You can either set out for a specific walk up to the tor, or, for a whole day’s stomp, take the very much longer ancient pilgrimage called the Saints Way (Padstow to Fowey – it’s 30-odd miles, so I did it in four sections) and detour up to the tor to take in the view.
Managed by the National Trust, Godolphin is a big-old estate, with a rich mining heritage and acres of glorious gardens and countryside to explore. For bluebells, make a beeline for the peaceful woodland, which will be a swaying sea of blue from April to May. Pre-booked tickets only.
Just outside Truro, down the sort of very narrow roads that have grass growing down the middle, is the pretty little village of Idless, with its watermill and ancient woodland. Idless was chosen by the Forestry Commission as one of the ten best places in the UK to see bluebells growing wild – so despite the hairy roads, you really ought to go. It’s also popular with mountain bikers, if you prefer to speed past the bluebells on two wheels.
I’m not quite sure why Antony is one of the less well known of the Cornish gardens – it’s bloomin’ gorgeous and especially in spring. This woodland garden is divided into two parts: the smart landscaped bit and ‘The Wilderness’, which is where you’ll find the wild garlic and bluebell-filled woodland, stretching down to the River Lynher. It’s also one of just a few International Camellia Gardens of Excellence in the UK, with more than 600 varieties to feast your eyes on. (Closed Mondays and Fridays except Bank Holidays, pre-booked tickets only).
Another gorgeous National Trust property, Penrose has it all – woodland, coastline, open countryside and Cornwall’s largest natural lake – Loe Pool (where you may even spot an otter). There’s lots of accessible cycling paths here, or a nice place for a trail run, if you care to puff your way through the bluebells.
This is the magical woodland where Rogue Theatre can be found. When the bluebells begin blooming in Tehidy Woods it makes the enchanting performance all the more magical – sadly this spring no theatre due to Covid but the bluebells will still be there for you to enjoy. This is the biggest area of woodland in West Cornwall with several different entry points and nine miles of trails.