Nidd Gorge in Yorkshire named one of the best places to see bluebells in bloom in the UK

With spring getting well under way, there's now no better time than to get out into the woodland for a nice long walk.

And with bluebells now beginning to bloom, the Woodland Trust has put together a list of the best places to see the beautiful flowers looking their best.

The flowers traditionally bloom in April and May, and are crucially a vital source of pollen and nectar for insects. In fact, bees can even 'steal' nectar without pollinating it, by simply biting a hole in the bottom of the flower.

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And as always, good things come to those who wait as the flowers are delicate and can take five years to establish and colonise in an area.

Bluebells in Summerbridge

Fortunately for us here in Yorkshire, one area has been named as one of the best in the country to see the stunning flowers in full bloom.

Sally Bavin, Woodland Trust assistant conservation officer, says: “They are often found in ancient woodlands because large colonies take so long to establish. The early blooms provide an important source of pollen and nectar for emerging insects.

“But many ancient woodlands where bluebells were found have been destroyed over the years, so the special places which remain are extremely precious. It is vital for us to safeguard these.

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“We can all help with this by ensuring we do not damage the delicate flowers by keeping to the paths and keeping dogs from trampling through patches of bluebells.”

So stay on the paths, keep dogs on a short lead and take litter home with you. You should also never pick the wild flowers either – not least because, according to legend, if you do you’ll be led astray by fairies, never to be found again.

Here are seven picturesque places to see bluebells blooming this spring.

1. Kinclaven Bluebell Wood, Perthshire

Take the Oakwood Loop trail through Kinclaven Bluebell Wood (woodlandtrust.org.uk) in Perthshire, Scotland, to see the flowers in full bloom. If you’re lucky you might even spy a red squirrel or two.

2. Nidd Gorge, Yorkshire

Comprising of five woods, Nidd Gorge is a steep-sided valley near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. The River Nidd runs through the gorge, which has an interesting history – some Iron Age ramparts are still visible in places.

3. Killinthomas Woods, County Kildare

There are 10km of signposted walking trails spread over 200 acres at Killinthomas Woods (intokildare.ie) in County Kildare. As well as bluebells, in spring you’ll find pretty white wild garlic flowers blossoming on the forest floor.

4. Hole Park Gardens, Kent

A former Kent Garden of the Year winner, Hole Park country house (holepark.com) is surrounded by 16 acres of beautiful gardens. You can check the handy bluebell barometer online to find the optimal time to see the flowers in bloom.

5. Powerscourt Estate, County Wicklow

Surrounding the grand Powerscourt Estate country house (powerscourt.com) in County Wicklow, there are lots of walking trails suitable for different abilities. Head up the Derrybawn Woodland Trail past spectacular Poulanass Waterfall to where you’ll find bluebells sprouting in spring.

6. Blickling Estate, Norfolk

From the formal gardens of Kent’s Blickling Estate (nationaltrust.org.uk) to the Great Wood surrounding the property, you’ll spoilt for bluebell-spotting opportunities.

7. Graig Fawr, Wales

Every spring the beech woodland of Graig Fawr near Port Talbot in South Wales, explodes with colour as the bluebells blossom throughout the forest.