Although I really like snowdrop walks and fields of daffodils, there’s something particularly special about when the bluebells start to appear across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. They’re at their best from mid-April to early May but that will vary slightly from year to year, depending on the weather.
You might not know this but it’s actually illegal to pick bluebells so, as beautiful as they are, don’t be tempted to take some home with you. They’re also incredibly delicate so please make sure you stick to the paths – it can take years for them to recover, if at all.
The Spanish Armada – Bluebell edition
Before I start sharing my favourite bluebell walks Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, did you know there are two types of bluebell; the Spanish and our native English versions. The Spanish ones are trying to invade and take over the English (I think we’ve been here before!). How can you tell the difference? Well the Spanish bluebells stand upright, don’t really smell of anything and like the sun so can be found outside of woodlands. The English version? They droop to the side but smell nice and don’t like the sun so they’re never found out in the open. There’s something about droopy, sun-shy English flowers vs Spaniards standing proudly in the sun that made me giggle!
Family friendly bluebell walks in Buckinghamshire
Wendover Woods, Wendover – Slightly hidden away there are tons of bluebells at Wendover Woods for you to walk through and explore. The best patch we found was if you follow the path of the Gruffalo orienteering trail. To the left of the visitor centre there’s the start of the Firecrest trail. Almost at the beginning of the track you’ll find the mouse, follow this path and then go through the staggered gate to follow the rest of the trail.
Cliveden woodlands, Taplow – I believe you might find some bluebells dotted around the grounds of Cliveden but the real magic is in the woodland. There are lots of small patches dotted around but next to Clive’s Den (point 5 on this map*) there’s an incredible display. Park at the woodland car park, rather than the main one.
Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe – The woodlands that surround Hughenden Manor are full of bluebells in April and May. There are various woodland paths for you to explore throughout the woodlands.
Finemere Wood, nr Aylesbury – When we visited Finemere Wood it’s fair to say that we were less than impressed BUT during the spring it comes into its own apparently. It’s a very popular bluebell spot and, actually I can see why BUT it’s not the easiest walk and isn’t pushchair friendly.
Penn Woods, nr Amersham – this might actually be one of the best displays in Bucks! It’s comparatively quiet, there’s free parking and a pub with a children’s play area!
Other bluebell woodland walks in Buckinghamshire
- Burnham Beeches nr Slough
Family friendly bluebell walks in Oxfordshire
Grey’s Court, Henley-on-Thames – Hidden away across the fields at the back of the main gardens is the Spinney Woods. In here you’ll find masses of beautiful bluebells to walk through.
Cowleaze Woods, Lewknor – You’ll stumble across the bluebells in this wood pretty much as soon as you leave the car park. When we visited at the end of last year they’d basically finished but you could tell how spectacular it must have been in full bloom.
Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, Aston Rowant – This is literally the other side of the M40 from Cowleaze Woods and has one of the most spectacular bluebell walks in Oxfordshire! There’s also a sculpture discovery trail to follow.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock – The formal gardens are full of daffodils in the spring but, in bluebell season it’s Blenheim’s stunning parkland and woodland you need to explore.
Other bluebell woodland walks in Oxfordshire
- Warburg Nature Reserve, Henley on Thames
- Rushbeds Woods, nr Bicester
- Badbury Clump nr Faringdon (affiliate link)
Bluebell walks in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is home to one of the most famous bluebell walks on the Ashridge Estate. Dockey Wood is popular with bluebell walkers because there’s so many in a condensed area and it’s a relatively short walk. At certain times access to Dockey Wood is chargeable, but there are other hot spots too. The area between the meadow and the boundary walk has lots of small footpaths with bluebells all around. Slightly more accessible is Foresters’ walk or park at Ling Ride and explore from there.
Hatfield House, Hatfield – The woodland garden is the best place to spot bluebells at at Hatfield House, although you might also see some on a walk through the woodland.
Other bluebell woodland walks in Hertfordshire
Bluebell walks in Bedfordshire
Ampthill Great Park, Ampthill – There aren’t masses of bluebells all over the place but there are some spectacular pockets.
Forest of Marston Vale isn’t just one forest, but several. You’ll find bluebells in Millennium Country Park (near the sewage works), over at Rectory Wood and near Marston Thrift
King’s Wood and Rammamere Heath are immediately next to the Stockgrove part of Rushmere Country Park. They have an incredible display of bluebells and was being considered as one of the best reserves for bluebells. They just had to count how many were on display.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch email@example.com or get in touch via Facebook