Each year we seek out annual Bluebell displays to mark the passage of the year from Spring into early Summer. The waves of blue and purple carpet, riding the woodland floor amongst fallen trees and well trodden pathways, provide a quite unique visual treat. There is something special about a spectacular display of flowers put on by nature vs. the wonderful man-made gardens that we visit more regularly.
Timing a visit to a Bluebell wood in its full glory is not always easy, this year (2017) the time to visit in Surrey is NOW – Easter weekend (April 15th onwards). However I can see from my records that in 2015 the Bluebells held out until early May so it is not always an April floral phenomenon.
There are THREE great Bluebell woodlands in Surrey that we have visited on family walks in our local area, all of them National Trust properties:
- Winkworth Arboretum (near Godalming)
Arrive early to visit Winkworth as the narrow but large car parks can get full very quickly and this is a very popular Bluebell viewing destination! There is often an Easter egg hunt on here for children; a series of clues that take you around the 62 acre estate amongst the Bluebells and the many Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Acers that grow here. Autumn is another great time to visit Winkworth to see a splendid display of unusual leaf colours.
- Abinger Roughs and Netley Park (between Dorking and Guildford off the A25)
Not a very well known site for Bluebells, Abinger Roughs provide a much more personal and much less busy display of Bluebells. The car park (just outside of Abinger village) caters for around 20 cars, but is rarely full to capacity. The woodland trails thread through pine trees, more traditional British trees and there is also a ‘Rhody Ramble’ providing a stunning display of Rhododendrons (usually after the Bluebells). There is a small picnic area where children have constructed small tree lined wigwams. Apparently Charles Darwin walked here a few times…
- Harewoods (Outwood, Redhill)
Outwood is just outside of Redhill and has a Windmill (currently for sale and in itself quite an interesting sight). If you park near the Windmill or further down near the main woodland track you can find the VERY impressive Bluebell trail. I have to say this location has only been introduced to us more recently, we knew of Outwood for the annual orchard-waking ‘Wassail’ event but not Bluebells. Harewoods is probably my favourite destination of the three for fabulous Bluebells.
Find out more about each of these destinations on the National Trust website:
> Winkworth Arboretum (near Godalming)
> Abinger Roughs and Netley Park (between Dorking and Guildford off the A25)
> Harewoods (Outwood, Redhill)