Between April and May, the elusive bluebell comes out to play, creating a carpet of cobalt across the country. Here are the best places to catch them in London. Don’t wait around, these guys don’t stay in bloom for long. Just remember, no picking them – the native flowers are a protected species.
The sprawling 791-acre heath is patchwork of woodland and meadow where shadier spots, like Lime Avenue Bank, sprout the jewel blue flowers each spring. Hampstead Heath. Gospel Oak Overground.
In 1916 the Natural History Society said bluebells were almost extinct in this ancient wood but they weren’t giving up without a fight; today they carpet it in a deep blue mass. Highgate Wood. Highgate.
This ancient oak woodland brims with brilliant bluebells in spring and is a year-round haven for wildlife and wildflowers. Gutteridge Wood. Ruislip Gardens.
Osterley is one of the last surviving country estates in London and the woods in its sprawling grounds are a bit of a bluebell utopia. Osterley Park and House. Osterley.
Nestled at the back of the botanic gardens, the grounds of Queen Charlotte’s eighteenth-century thatched cottage has one of London’s most impressive bluebell woods. It’s massive, and parts of it are almost 300 years old. Just look at it! Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens. £15.50 adults.
Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park
Saunter along the Bluebell Walk for a peek at the native English flowers alongside colourful crop of rhododendrons and magnolias. Richmond Park. Richmond.
In 2013, local schoolchildren planted 40,000 native bluebells in Hyde Park to create a wildflower meadow and mark the beginning of spring. See if you can track them down. Hyde Park. Hyde Park Corner.
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (Bow Cemetery)
Set in a disused nineteenth-century cemetery, this park is the only woodland in Tower Hamlets and the bluebells that pop up between the gravestones make for some beautifully spectral scenes. Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Mile End.
Wanstead Park’s woodland becomes an azure haze in spring when thousands of bluebells bloom. Wanstead Park. Wanstead.
Ecologists reckon this is one of the most important woodlands for wildlife in the whole of London. Drifts of bluebells appear here in spring. Try visiting at the end of April or early May to see them at their best. Oxleas Wood. Falconwood rail.
Sydenham Hill Wood
This unique mix of new and ancient woodland, with remnants of a Victorian ornamental gardens contains over 200 species of plants, including the classic bluebell. Sydenham Hill Wood. Sydenham Hill rail.
Hidden away behind a group of houses and known to locals as the ‘secret wood’, Little Heath puts on a secret display of blue blooms when the weather begins to warm up. Littleheath Woods. Purley Oaks rail.
Want more green spaces? Here are some of the best walking routes in London.