Admire the bluebells at Scotney Castle this spring
As the weather warms up and the days become longer, the bluebells start to appear all around Scotney Castle. From the drive to the formal garden to the outer reaches of the estate, come and admire them as they carpet the ground with their delicate purple flowers.
The sight of bluebells carpeting the floor of a woodland is one not to miss at Scotney Castle this spring. Follow the recommendations of our rangers and head out onto the estate to see them in their natural habitat. You can also find them in the formal garden and along the drive.
Bluebells in the garden
If you're a bit short on time, don't want to get muddy or have mobility issues, then head into the formal garden and follow the network of paths to see the bluebells. On the approach to the Badger and Pepper play area, as you turn off the main path, there is a large patch of bluebells just here. Or you could head through the West Glade and behind the Island where you can sit and listen to the stream whilst admiring the carpet of bluebells.
Bluebells on the drive
If you admired the bluebells on your way in to Scotney, then why not take a more leisurely view of them once you've parked. You'll need to walk up through Colliers Wood then cut across to walk back along the drive. As well as bluebells, you’ll see buttery-yellow primroses and other wild flowers growing on the banks.
Bluebells on the estate
For the best views of the bluebells at Scotney Castle, head out on the estate. You'll need your wellies and allow at least an hour to walk there and back.
Take the path to Wilderness Camp and it will lead you to Colliers Wood. Here the bluebells deliver a wonderful display every year and you can then cut across to the left on a path that will bring you back to the driveway. The walk back to the property, either down the drive or through the Orchard, offers wonderful spring views.
Take the blue parkland trail through the Salvin Gate across the Sweetbourne and Bewl Bridges, turning left admiring the view of the Old Castle as you walk past it. When you reach the intersection with the red woodland trail, go through the gate into Kilndown Woods the turn left onto the orange hop trail towards Broadham Wood.Take some time here to listen to the birds sing as you admire the bluebells that carpet the floor in every direction.
Need some help navigating the estate?
With 780 acres to explore, it's easy to lost on the estate. We've identified several walking routes which are signposted and identified by colours. They vary in length and time required to complete them and take in different aspects and views of the estate.
You can pick up a map in visitor reception or you can download one to your phone using the link below. You could also join one of our estate walks led by our knowledgeable volunteer guides. Just check the 'What's On' section of the website or the noticeboard by the entrance gate to the property to see if any are running when you plan to visit.
Do you know your native bluebell from a Spanish one?
Commonly found in ancient woodland, native bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) grow wild around many parts of Europe. Not to be confused with the Spanish Bluebell which was introduced in 1680, the native bluebell has a curve to its flower stem rather than standing upright with the flowers all around the stem. Spanish bluebells are often a lighter blue and conical in shape too
The Spanish bluebell was introduced to the UK over 300 years ago. For many years it was contained but at the beginning of the last century, they started to creep into our natural habitats and hybrid versions appeared too. These have become more prolific over the years, putting our native bluebells at risk.