Where to see Bluebells in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean
As winter finally fades away we are being rewarded with one of the best signs of the arrival of spring with the appearance of the iconic bloom of bluebells. The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean is home to some of the most spectacular shows of these beautiful flowers in the country and visitors from across the UK and abroad eagerly await the bluebells return to see the stunning carpets of blue that can be found deep in the forest or even viewed from the road while driving.
The bluebells are usually at their best in the Forest during the second and third weeks of May, but the timing depends upon the weather, and they show about two weeks earlier in the Wye Valley. Bluebells are found in the oak or deciduous woodland; the big coniferous woods are too dark for them.
There are plenty of breath-taking vistas to choose from in the area
Dean Heritage Centre
From Dean Heritage Centre you can discover a magical walk or drive through the woodland of Soudley up Bradley Hill towards Blackpool Bridge. Take time to admire the carpet of blue under the coppice of trees as you reach the old Roman road. Continue into the Wenchford picnic site and you’ll be rewarded with a lagoon of bluebells.
Tintern Abbey and Brockweir
One of the most famous bluebell views has to be from Brockweir Wood. The valley rolls down to the striking ruins of Tintern Abbey and rises once again into seas of blue on the opposite fields. Bluebells in the Wye Valley tend to be out a couple of weeks before their Forest counterparts.
St Briavels Castle
Built in the early 12th century, St Briavel’s was an important royal castle on the frontier with Wales before becoming a crossbow bolt factory in the reign of Edward I. Now a youth hostel, it makes a fantastic starting point for walks in the surrounding woodland which becomes a riot of blue from the end of April.
Before heading down to Parva Farm Vineyard for a tipple, be sure to explore Coed Beddick, the woodland that overlooks the vines.
In the heart of the Forest of Dean, Beechenhurst makes the perfect base for exploring. Surrounded by unspoilt woodland, and the start of the famous Sculpture Trail, Beechenhurst is just the spot to set up a picnic and enjoy the blankets of blue all about you.
Speech House Hotel
The perfect place to enjoy a cream team with a view; Speech House Hotel is nestled in beautiful gardens. Take your tea as you overlook the ancient forest, bursting with spring colours, at its borders.
Enjoy the blooms on two wheels along the cycle trail from Speech House to the beautiful Cannop Ponds. Wander along the water’s edge surrounded with trees sheltering a carpet of bluebells.
Though worth the walk all-year-round, Symonds Yat in spring is something to behold. With the canopy still budding, you can look down into the Wye Valley and spot bluebell woods for miles around.
Lydney Park Gardens
As well as boasting gorgeous gardens, Lydney Park Estate has evidence of settlements dating back to 100BC, a Norman castle and extensive ruins of a Roman camp including a Roman temple.
Over time many impressive, exotic and rare trees have been planted in the Deer Park by successive generations of owners while the rich earth of the eight-acre woodland garden provides one of the most spectacular shows of bluebells around. Visit again later in the month to see fantastic displays of rhododendrons and azaleas.
Visible from many points around the Forest of Dean, May Hill is a well-known landmark with a distinctive clump of trees on its peak. Commanding views from the brow of hill reveal swathes of bluebells on its slopes. Why not go there on May Day to watch the sun rise and the morris men dance?