Bluebell season gets underway in April and from the middle of the month to the end of May, these dazzling delicate flowers carpet woodland areas across the country.
Going in search of bluebells is a great excuse for visiting London’s parks and gardens. If you want to venture further afield, there are many more National Trust gardens and homes all close to London.
Head for Kew Gardens where the grounds belonging to Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, at the back of the botanic gardens, feature one of London’s most spectacular bluebell woods. Likewise, the cherry blossoms that fringe Cherry Walk and the magnolias are in full bloom.
Getting there: Kew Gardens station (500m to Victoria Gate).
Entrance: from £15.50.
Kenwood and Hampstead Heath
Native bluebell displays pop up throughout the shady spots across the Heath. First of all, head for the stretch of lawn opposite the front of Kenwood House. They also grow along the edge of the North Wood and around Beech Mount.
Getting there: Highgate station (Northern Line) or Hampstead Heath (Train); Golders Green or Archway (Northern Line) then bus 210.
Highgate Woods is one of London’s great local parks and a popular haunt with locals. Apparently almost extinct at the turn of the 20th century, the bluebells have now returned, carpeting the ground with swathes of deep blue. Other attractions at Highgate Woods include an excellent children’s playground and a good café.
Getting there: Highgate station (Northern Line)
The Isabella Plantation is a 40-acre woodland garden best known for its azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Peak flowering season is in May but in April the Bluebell Walk’s woodland floor is carpeted with drifts of the heavily scented blue flowers.
Getting there: Richmond Station (National Rail or District Line). Get the 371 or 65 buses from the station to the pedestrian gate at Petersham.