An endless sea of blue dotted the usually green forest floor. The sweet smell of the blossoming flowers punctuated the fresh air and I am dancing between the streaks of light, escaping through the dense canopy. That is what I had always imagined my visit to England in spring to be like. As with most expectations, that never quite came to pass. But this year was different. This year, I would see the bluebells in London and Brighton!
Got no time to read? Tweet it or pin it for later. (But know that the bluebells peak in early May and soon after whither away!)
Where to look for bluebells in London
A year ago, I had made the trip, mostly unsuccessfully but I wanted to travel to Shakespeare destinations in England, to see the infamous Bronte moors in Yorkshire and visit real life Mr Darcy’s place Pemberely. Being this occupied with #litnerd fangirling and also being a tad late, I managed to only see about 7 bluebells. Let’s make that 70, shall we?
And so I did an extensive google search for bluebells in London and ended up rather confused. Everything cool seemed to be hours away and hard to reach via public transport. Mulling it over and munching on my breakfast, a divine force seemed to be at work when suddenly the Woodland Trust appeared on the TV screen to talk about British bluebells.
Did you know that British bluebells are very much different from other bluebells in that they are droopy, curled and very fragrant? I didn’t either. Even better than this knowledge, was the link that pointed to a map of registered bluebell sightings all over England! This way I would surely find bluebells in London.
A bluebell forest in the heart of London?!
A day later, I was making my way through the picturesque Holland Park Mews in Kensington. From afar, the wisteria looked like purple waterfalls coming down whitewashed walls and black ironwrought fences and tiniest of stairs. It was such a sight to behold!
If seeing bluebells in London had not been my goal that day, I could have spent forever there. (Seriously, #housegoals. I encourage you to streetwalk it on Google Maps and then come back to read on.) Still, my need to finally tick that bucketlist item off my list was stronger and the entrance to Holland Park was not far.
Just a street further, I quickly found myself embraced by nature. Old oaks were silently bowing in the wind, possibly pointing to the newly painted floor in vibrant hues. Everywhere I looked there were bluebells. This being a park, the areas were fenced off. (Which is smart since bluebells are protected but people still like to stand or have their dogs sit in them. The instagram-craze can be quite detrimental to the natural environment.)
Halfway to Brighton, you will find a fairy tale of bluebells in Handcross
Of course, I can never get enough of the good things (can you?) and I knew of an actual bluebell forest between London and Brighton. I was headed for Brighton to learn more about local artists and enjoy the sea anyway. So this was perfect!
A bus ride later, I was basically jumping along the gravel paths and into the woods, in anticipation of what was to come. But I was not alone. There were cows. And if you know me, cows love chasing me (Across Swedish meadows, in Hong Kong’s jungles or in the Austrian Alps.) This time, however, there was a fence between me and the instantaneously gathering gang of black and white grass-eating mobsters. Ha!
With watchful eyes, the regurgitating crowd watched me as I disappeared into a sea of blue. The bluebells were everywhere and just as great as I had hoped for. Left and right they lined the paths, growing thick and dense on the ground.
So many other spots for Bluebells in England
Of course, there are so many more wonderful spots to explore the bluebells around London and all over England. They start blooming in late March in the South of England and can last up until the end of May in the North. (This is somewhat similar to the cherry blossoms in Japan.) So be quick to catch them! If you aren’t anywhere near bluebells in London, here are some more suggestions I found during my research.