Spring in the park at Hatchlands

Bluebells at Hatchlands Park

After a long, grey winter what could be better than embracing the changing seasons with a blissful walk through springtime splendour. You can find spectacular spring colour all over our garden, parkland and woodland. Discover daffodils in the garden, blossom in the hedgerows, cowslips in the wildflower meadow and one of the very best bluebell woods around.

Seasonal highlights

Every year, springtime coincides with the reopening of our garden after its winter hibernation. As you stroll down the path between reception and our house, look out for daffodils and a small splash of bluebells underneath the huge London plane tree, as well as smaller spring flowers like scilla. You’ll find bees at their busiest, buzzing around the skimmia at the bottom of our path and big, bold, colourful lilacs in several of our flower beds.

Daffodils at Hatchlands
Daffodils in front of the house at Hatchlands
Daffodils at Hatchlands

Once you’re through the garden, head out into the park. Small, delicate, bright green leaves are newly visible on the parkland oak trees and flowering blackthorn blossom lines many of our woodland hedgerows. There’s also wildlife to see with new-born calves charging around in the fields and many of our wildfowl returning from a winter spent in warmer climes. 

In the meadow

Late in the season our wildflower meadow begins to return to life too. Following its annual winter trim the first flushes of colour arrive in the form of cowslips. Just as our bluebell wood is going over you should be able to wander round the corner and find a carpet of yellow instead.

Cowslips at Hatchlands
Cowslips in a meadow at Hatchlands
Cowslips at Hatchlands
Wood anemone at Hatchlands Park
Walking trail

The Long Walk 

You’ll find small drifts of bluebells along the parkland edge, with the adjoining Gason woodland full of colour visible from the path. The northern sections are dappled by acacia and wild cherry, lined by blossom filled hedgerows, and carpeted with a mix of wood anemone, primrose and cow parsley, dotted with violets. Along the western edge keep an ear out for bird song from the chiffchaffs, treecreepers and nuthatches. You could also see deer, stoats and barn owls, while buzzards and the occasional red kite circle above.

Beautiful bluebells

Tucked away at the eastern edge of our park you’ll find Little Wix Wood and one of the finest bluebell woods in the area. This small, quiet patch of ancient semi-natural woodland was first recorded in the Chertsey Chronicles during the 13th century and features sweet chestnut, ash, oak, birch and hornbeam.

Each April and May our woodland breaks out into a riot of colour, a sea of bluebells stretching from one end of the wood to the other. These delicate native English bluebells won’t flower in the average garden, but here they create a violet carpet along the woodland floor and a sweet scent fills the air.

Bluebells in Little Wix Wood
Bluebells at Hatchlands Park
Bluebells in Little Wix Wood

Half the world’s population of bluebells flower in the UK so why not pay us a visit for a quintessentially English springtime experience. Try taking the Wix Woods walk by following the blue way-marker posts to get there by the most direct route.

Much as we’d love to be able to give you a date to come and see them, our bluebells are unpredictable little chaps. The timing of their flowering is dependant on many factors, particularly our local climate conditions. You can keep up to date with their progress and find out when they’re in full bloom by following our social media feeds or by emailing us.
Bluebells at Hatchlands Park

Enjoy them with respect 

To most of us a spread of springtime bluebells is an irresistible sight and it’s tempting to step into the blue for a photo opportunity. However, you could be doing more damage than you realise.

Bluebells have soft leaves that, once damaged, are unable to photosynthesise and so die back. This means they can’t feed their bulbs, reducing the production of flowers and seeds. Narrow tracks become wider and the bluebells end up in patches instead of the carpet we love. The situation has become so critical in some areas that we've had to take measures to control the numbers of people and where they walk, to preserve the flowers for future generations.

This is not to say that we should stay away. Bluebells are an important part of our natural heritage and, as long as we treat them with respect, we’ll be able to enjoy our blue woodlands for years to come. We'd kindly ask that you always stick to the path and please never pick them.