Bluebell walks in Dorset: 8 of the best places to go

Sunshine through the leaves in bluebell woods in Dorset. Photo credit: allou, Getty Images/iStockpho

Sunshine through the leaves in bluebell woods in Dorset. Photo credit: allou, Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Every May the ancient woodlands of Dorset are covered in a carpet of bluebells. We pick eight of the best spots to enjoy the seasonal colour in the county

1. Duncliffe Wood, near Shaftesbury

Duncliffe Wood near Shaftesbury boasts one of the largest areas of native woodland in Dorset, covering an area of 213 acres. The bluebells here thickly clothe the steep slopes, and with open public access, the wood attracts many visitors in early May.

2. Delcombe Wood, near Milton Abbas

Delcombe Wood is mostly private with only limited public access, but the drive (or walk) along the road from Bulbarrow to Milton can be glorious, especially on a dull or wet day in early May, with deep-blue swathes of bluebells interspersed with drifts of white ramsons (wild garlic).

3. Hooke Park, Hooke

In spring, this beech wood is smothered in a knee-deep tide of bluebells, and with trees all of the same age, it creates an eye-catching, repetitive effect on an attractive undulating site. The park is accessible to the public through a public footpath.

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4. Minterne Seat Coppice, near Batcombe

A path leading through Minterne Seat Coppice that is blanketed with vibrant Bluebells

A path leading through Minterne Seat Coppice that is blanketed with vibrant Bluebells - Credit: Michael W Beales BEM / Geograph

Minterne Seat Coppice, a small native woodland near Batcombe, is privately owned. However, in the past, the owners have given permission for limited access to view the bluebells, though much of this magnificent display can be seen from the roadside.

5. Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster

As short days and colder weather makes way for warmer climates, the garden of Kingston Lacy springs to life. From April through to May, Lime Avenue is awash with the bright colours of bluebells and wild garlic. Standard tickets to the house and gardens are £16.00 for adults and £8.00 for children.

6. Fifehead Wood, Fifehead Magdalen

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From butterflies and bats to buzzards and woodpeckers, an abundance of wildlife can be found in this beautiful broadleaved woods. Wildlife aside, Fifehead is also home to carpets of bluebells in the spring and the woods are a popular rambling spot for locals.

7. Hardy’s Cottage, Higher Bockhampton

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Whilst Hardy’s Cottage would usually be the star of the show when visiting Higher Bockhampton, the bluebells of Thorncombe Woods steal the limelight come spring. Rushy Pond and Black Heath can also be found here – the inspiration for the work of Thomas Hardy.

8. Bulbarrow Hill, near Woolland

With sweeping views of Blackmore Vale and as far as Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon, Bulbarrow Hill is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year. But one of our favourite seasons at Bulbarrow is spring when bluebells carpet the top – well worth the huff and puff up the hill!

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