Where to see bluebells in Hertfordshire

Where to see bluebells in Hertfordshire

With each year that passes, I find there are certain events in the British calendar which are starting to grow a bit stale. The culmination of the Premier League Football season for example, the build up to Christmas… no doubt you have your own mental list. However, the appearance of bluebells in our local Hertfordshire woodlands each spring has yet to lose its appeal.

Hertfordshire bluebells

Bluebell woods in Hertfordshire

So, when is the best time to see bluebells in the British countryside? Well, the end of April and the start of May are pretty reliable for bluebell displays. Some years the blooms can be enjoyed in early April but with the particularly cold winter we have experienced in 2018, I would expect the bluebells this year to peak at the beginning of May and continue to look impressive for several weeks. What follows are some of our favourite bluebell patches in Hertfordshire along with others we’re hoping to visit this year.

Ashridge Estate, near Berkhamsted
Perhaps the most well known stretch of bluebells in Hertfordshire, the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate is a fantastic outdoor space. There are woodlands and meadows, plenty of wildlife plus a monument to climb and a cafe to refuel in. We visited Ashridge Estate in mid April several years ago, it must have been a mild winter as the bluebells were already in full bloom.

Bluebells at Ashridge Estate, spring 2014

Ashridge Estate, mid April 2014

Whippendell Wood, Watford
If a walk amid bluebells sounds a bit tame, the Watford 10k race is known as the “bluebell run”. It takes in lovely Cassiobury Park (which features avenues of chestnut trees, a play area, cafe and bandstand) as well as the ancient woodland of Whippendell which will be carpeted with bluebells when the race takes place on the May Day bank holiday. Watford Junction is just 15 minutes train ride from London Euston.

Heartwood Forest, near St Albans
Part newly planted forest, part ancient woodland, Heartwood is a work in progress landscape which I’m keen to visit. There is plenty to keep kids interested including marked trails for little legs, a natural playground and den building areas.

Post Wood, Ware
Easily accessible from Ware train station, this is a great location if you want a car-free bluebell fix. Ware itself has a great selection of eateries to recharge in after your walk.

Panshanger Woods, Hertford
This was our first bluebell success story after moving to Hertfordshire and we return in all seasons as it’s such a great place to bring the children: bluebells, den building, an easy circular walk for youngsters and excellent blackberries come summer.

Bluebells at Panshanger woods, Hertford, early April 2016

Panshanger woods, Hertford, early April 2016

Bluebells at Panshanger Woods, Hertford, mid May 2016

Panshanger Woods, Hertford, mid May 2016

Sherrardspark Wood, Welwyn Garden City
This is a particularly large woodland to get lost in, despite its location within walking distance of Welwyn Garden City town centre. Like Post Wood in Ware, this is a good option if you’re after a car-free bluebell day trip.

Pryors Wood, Stevenage
Stevenage gets a bad rap but it has hidden gems of brilliance. We love the town’s museum and I’m looking forward to escaping the endless roundabouts and soulless shopping centres for a stroll amid the bluebells at this lovely sounding nature reserve.

Mardley Heath, near Welwyn Garden City
We’ve visited this wonderful woodland in autumn and winter but we’ve yet to visit in spring. The forest floor at Mardley Heath had pockets of green shoots when we wandered through it in February so I have high hopes for a brilliant display in April and May.

Bluebell shoots at Mardley Heath

Bluebell shoots at Mardley Heath mid February 2018

Tewin Orchard, near Welwyn Garden City
I’ve earmarked Tewin Orchard as a place to bring my boys when they’re a bit older to spy on badgers from the purpose built badger hides. At the moment the kids are too noisy for badgers to dare come close, so we’ll stick to the impressive bluebells in spring and the apple festival at the end of summer.

Gobions Woods, near Potters Bar
This sounds like a really interesting spot with ponds, a canal network and meadows as well as a bluebell wood which has a one mile waymarked trail running through it. Brookmans Park train station is a 20 minute walk from the woods.

Perrywood Lane woods, Watton at Stone
This is a great spot for cycling or horse riding and it’s buggy-friendly too. There are pathways running from Watton at Stone to Datchworth and each village has some good pubs if you need a pit stop. Otherwise, picnic amid the beautiful bluebells.

Bluebells at Perrywood Lane woods

Bluebells at Perrywood Lane woods, mid April 2017

Do you know any other bluebell woods in Hertfordshire to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.

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10 Comments

  1. April 4, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    We go to see the blue bells in Ashridge forest every year for the last five years. I have not been to the one in Panshanger. I would love to see that. Thank you so much for your recommendation.

    • smudgedpostcard
      April 4, 2018 / 6:55 pm

      Glad it’s close enough for you to get to!

  2. pigeonpairandme
    April 15, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    Thanks for these – I don’t think I’ve seen bluebells in any of these places, and it’s good to know where you can consistently find them. I was in Highgate Wood the other day, and hoped to spot some there, but you’re right about them blooming a tad later this year. There were none to be seen, anywhere!

    • smudgedpostcard
      April 15, 2018 / 8:26 pm

      Yes, really late. I normally drive past a patch every day and there’s no sign yet. But spring is coming this week!

  3. April 19, 2018 / 10:47 am

    I would love to visit England in bloom! We were recently there and just 1-2 weeks shy of nice spring weather! Bluebell season seems right up my alley! #FarawayFiles

    • smudgedpostcard
      April 19, 2018 / 11:36 am

      Good reason to return, just make sure you get a long weather forecast before you book your flight!

  4. April 19, 2018 / 12:38 pm

    Great list I want to visit this tear #farawayfiled

  5. April 19, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    A few of those are near us so I may try and go see them before they’re gone. Your photos are beautiful. 🙂

    • smudgedpostcard
      April 19, 2018 / 4:35 pm

      Hope you get to see some, they should be around for a while yet.

  6. mytripstales
    April 19, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    Great. I will try one of the places on the list. Beautiful photos. #farawayfiles

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