Where to see Bluebells by bus and trainaround the UK

One of the great pleasures of spring is wandering among the lakes of bluebells that suddenly spill out in April and May through woods across the UK. Here are five places you don't need to drive to that are great for a springtime stroll.

  1. 3. Blickling Estate, Norfolk

    Arrive in style by steam railway, get the X44 bus from Norwich, or even walk the Weaver’s Way to arrive at the National Trust’s Blickling Hall. Follow the winding paths through Blickling’s Great Wood. There are carpets of bluebells under the trees, made even bluer by clever woodland management to let in just the right amount of light.

    • The X44 bus leaves Norwich bus station every half an hour (not Sundays), heading for Sheringham. Hop off in Aylsham and walk along Blickling Road to reach the estate. walk through the town, past the church and via Abel Heath – a lovely half hour’s walk in its own right.
    • The rural Bure Valley Line is a narrow-gauge steam railway from Hoveton and Wroxham stations, offering an eighteen-mile round trip through the Norfolk Countryside. It stops in Aylsham, 1¾ miles from Blickling. You can even book a combined train ride and cruise to see the Norfolk spring from the water.
    • Keen walkers could also follow the Weavers Way to Blickling along a dismantled railway line from North Walsham, eight miles away.
  1. 4. Stoneycliffe Wood Nature Reserve, Yorkshire

    This wood, just outside Wakefield, has some lovely springtime displays and you can follow winding paths through the green oak and birch trees.

    • Get the train to Wakefield Westgate; step out of the station onto Westgate and find stop W8 and hop on the hourly 231 bus towards Huddersfield, which crosses the River Calder. Get off at Coxley View and the entrance to the woods is nearby.
    • Harlow Carr Gardens are also not too far away (change trains at Leeds for Harrogate to visit them). A woodland area complements the beautiful stream-side and kitchen gardens, glasshouses and wildflower meadows. Spring arrives in the woods with a rainbow of rhododendrons and camellias.
    • There are a couple of options for getting there. One lovely way is to walk through Harrogate’s Valley Gardens, which are also a blaze of springtime colour with tulips, primroses, wallflowers and pansies.
    • And, afterwards, you could have lunch or tea at the famous Bettys tearoom. In fine weather, there’s a tea house right in the middle of the gardens.
  1. 5. Prisk Wood, Gwent

    This Site of Special Scientific Interest on the banks of the River Wye has stunning spring bluebells, together with wild garlic, wood anemones, early-purple orchids and yellow archangels. Mosses, ferns and saxifrage fringe the stream-side banks.

    • From Stand 1 in Chepstow bus station, catch the 69 bus towards Monmouth 
    • This bus takes you, past Chepstow racecourse and beautiful Tintern Abbey, and along the Wye Valley to the pretty village of Redbrook, on the Welsh-English border. Cross the river and turn left onto Lone Lane to find the wood.
    • The Bell Inn is right next to the bus stop (call 01600 713612 to check if it’s open). The Boat Inn is just over the bridge and serves beer, cider and perry from local brewers.
    • Offa’s Dyke Path leaves from the bus stop, up into the hills above the river.
    • There are also bluebells in Cadora Woods nearby; this whole valley is one of the UK’s most important areas of ancient semi-natural woodland.
    • On the way back, you could also visit Chepstow Castle, half an hour away by bus and ten minutes on foot.
    • And, if all that nature’s made you thirsty, check out the Riverside Wine Bar or another Boat Inn, both next to the castle and River Wye in Chepstow.

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount