Bluebells in the South West

A walk through the countryside we look after in the South West in April and May is often rewarded with carpets of bluebells. Here are some of the highlights from spring 2021 and don't forget to check back here nearer the time to find out how the bluebell season is shaping up for 2022.

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops and countryside locations are open. Many houses are also open to visit. Advance booking for visits helps us keep everyone safe and socially distanced. At quieter times such as weekdays, booking shouldn't be necessary, but to guarantee entry we recommend booking in advance, especially at weekends and bank holidays.

A snapshot of bluebells across the South West
Bluebells at Abbott Street Copse on the Kingston Lacy estate

Kingston Lacy, Dorset 

Abbott Street Copse at Kingston Lacy is full of veteran and ancient trees which are the perfect habitat for bluebells. The team have created a new plantation next to the original copse, where 2,500 trees and 1,500 hedgerow trees will help to conserve this important woodland.

Bluebells in the woods at Stourhead

Stourhead, Wiltshire 

Bonham Wood on the Stourhead estate is transformed with swathes of bluebells in May, complemented by views across the lake from behind the Temple of Apollo.

Bluebells in Devon

Bluebells in Cornwall

a path surrounded by bluebells with a large pink flowering rhododendron in the foreground leads down through the garden at Glendurgan in Cornwall

Brilliant bluebells at Glendurgan

Perfect woodland conditions provide the ideal habitat for bluebells to thrive, with each year's display more impressive than the last. Alongside bluebells and other wildflowers are imposing rhododendrons with their dramatic large flowers and vibrant display of colour.

English bluebell, Hyacinthus non-scriptus, in the garden in May at Killerton, Devon

Can you tell your English bluebells from your Spanish?

The English bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is striking, deep violet-blue, with tiny bell-shaped flowers which hang to one side of the stem (known as an influorescence). Spanish bluebells are very similar but their flowers hang around the stem, which grows straight upright.

" ...sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley..."
- Oscar Wilde
A pathway through a bluebell wood

Did you know?

Bluebells are delicate and easily damaged, especially if they’re trodden on. Damage can prevent the leaves from photosynthesizing, causing the plant to die back. Bluebells take between five and seven years to get established, so minor damage can have long-lasting impact. Help to look after the bluebells by watching where you tread, and sticking to marked pathways.

Bluebell woodlands

High energy bulbs that will light up your spring

Garden expert Ian Wright extols the magic of bluebells. 'To me bluebells are 'the' iconic flowers late spring. Watching our hedgerows and woodlands turn blue lifts the soul... and perhaps not surprisingly bluebells are also steeped in mystical folklore. Are fairies really summoned by the ringing of its bells? If you hear the bell does that mean your sudden demise? Or does wearing a wreath of flowers means you can only speak the truth?'

" Even the nineteenth-century Romantic poets Tennyson and Keats were under the spell of the bluebell, believing it symbolised regret and solitude. I say nonsense - this bulb is a true symbol of the fantastic beauty of nature. "
- Ian Wright, garden expert