Bluebell Forest, Ashridge

I have always dreamed of walking through one of Europe’s bluebell-carpeted woodlands. Today, only 40 minutes from central London, I finally did!

Bluebell woods occur in ancient beech forests throughout Great Britain and Europe, and actually indicate a forest’s age. Generally, these swaths of bluebells occur naturally in woodland 400 years or older! I couldn’t help but imagine ancient kings and poets alike exploring these whimsical paths. I can certainly imagine Keats taking a stroll or two through Hertfordshire’s Romantic woods and listening to a nightingale’s song.

With true Keatsian poignancy, these beautiful blossoms last only a few weeks, fading like a blue sky before a storm and disappearing into a blanket of green. But thankfully, they return every year between late April and early May. We were lucky to come across them this late in the season thanks to a cool spring.

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My lovely friend showed us around!

To access these woodlands, it certainly helps to have a car or, better yet, a guide who knows their way around! We took a quick 30 minute train into Berkhamsted, but then used a car to reach the bluebells themselves.

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The woods are tranquil and filled with gentle birdsong…and maybe a few baby lambs belting in the background, too!

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So many wee lambs this time of year!

Once you’ve seen enough of the bluebells (though I could see myself wasting away a whole day week here), you can enjoy a leisurely walk through the nearby Ashridge estate.  With winding paths, ancient trees, and beautiful lookout points, it’s a lovely way to spend a couple of hours!

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A lookout over the beautiful countryside
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Lovely farmland in greens and yellows

We finished-off our day in Hertfordshire with a quick visit to nearby Aldbury, a picturesque village with beautiful tudor houses and thatched roofs. Of course, my favourite parts were the roses and blossoming vines creeping up them.

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Red petals on white walls
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Sunny bird home

But its the blankets of bluebells that will lure me back every spring!

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