Bluebells at Standen

Bluebell fans are spoilt for choice at Standen, with bluebell coverage totalling around 20 acres across the estate. Once they are in full bloom the floor of Rockinghill and Hollybush wood are carpeted and the sight and scent is one of the most magical experiences nature has to offer.

" Most years the bluebells flower at the same time as the early purple orchids in Hollybush Wood, making a dramatic sight of blue and purple hues across the landscape. With lots of benches around the woods, it’s a great place to sit and enjoy the delicate scent and colour."
- James Masters, Head Gardener at Standen
Standen Bluebell
Standen Bluebell

Weather conditions permitting, the bluebells may also coincide with over 10,000 bright and bold tulips coming into flower around the house and garden in mid-April to mid-May as part of the Tulip Festival at Standen.    

Pick up an walk leaflet at Visitor Reception for suggested routes through the bluebell coverage or download one online before you go.

Whilst on a Bluebell walk there is plenty more to see than just flowers. The woods at Standen are home to of badgers, roe deer and fallow deer.  We have recently completed a new badger viewing platform that is available for public use in the woods. Listen out for the sounds of blackbird, chaffinch, chiffchaff, blackcap, magpie, great spotted woodpecker and woodpigeon, all found on the estate

" We’ve been restoring the woodlands at Standen to traditional coppice management, which has in turn made the bluebells flourish. It’s wonderful to see that an increasing number are flowering each year. "
- James Masters, Head Gardener at Standen

Five Facts about Bluebells

  • Bluebells depend on warm ground temperatures to help them grow and are normally, but not exclusively, found in old woodland, thick old hedges and on bracken-covered hillsides
  • Half of the world's population of bluebells can be found in the UK. UK bluebells are currently at risk of disappearing as a result of hybridizing with the scentless non-native Spanish bluebell which were often planted in gardens
  • The native British species, which will not flourish in the average garden, can be identified by its strong sweet scent, and intense violet-blue colour (rather than the pale blue of the Spanish plant), and has flowers that droop down like a bell along one side of the stem
  • The bluebell is associated with many old stories and folklore: ringing the ‘bells’ would summon fairies; wandering into a bluebell ring could put the walker under fairy enchantment leading to death; turning a bluebell flower inside out without tearing it would result in winning the heart of a loved one
  • The bluebell has lots of local names, including auld man’s bell, culverkeys, ring-o’-bells, wood bells and wild hyacinth