Five Beautiful Bluebell Walks for You and Your Dog
Thousands of bluebell woods appear throughout the UK every spring. Stumbling upon a beautiful sea of opalescent blue flowers, with their subtle yet intoxicating scent is a real treat. These wildflowers are a stunning part of British heritage – indeed, over half the world’s bluebells are on our very shores.
There are bound to be some bluebell woods in your area at this time of year, but in honour of the May Day Bank Holiday, we at Groomers have compiled a list of some of our favourite dog-friendly bluebell walks from around the UK, as well as some nearer to Groomers’ HQ here in Newbury.
Before you head off though there are a few key things to remember when venturing into the countryside:
- Ensure you are a responsible dog owner by controlling your pet or putting him on a lead around livestock and small children.
- If your dog is particularly boisterous, or likes to roam off the beaten track, it might be worth keeping him on a lead, so he does not trample on the bluebells or disturb the wildlife attracted to them.
- Close all gates.
- Take nothing that is not yours, and leave nothing behind that is.
- Do not pick the bluebells, no matter how tempting, as there will be less for others to enjoy.
- Make sure you pick up after your dog. This is especially important in bluebell woods, as the phosphorous found in canine faeces can be harmful to these delicate flowers.
Groomers’ Favourite Local Walks
Savernake Forest, Marlborough, Wiltshire
Length: 1 – 4 hours.
Description: Savernake Forest is some of the oldest woodland in the UK, and is officially an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are numerous bluebells throughout the forest at present, with certain areas stretching out under a light leafy canopy as far as the eye can see. Privately owned by the Earl of Cardigan, this 4,500-acre forest has extensive public access, with well-maintained paths. Forest parking, picnic areas and facilities are available on site, and the historic town of Marlborough is also close by. There is also a sea of bluebells in West Woods in near by Lockeridge right now.
Snelsmore Common, Newbury, Berkshire
Length: 1 – 3 hours.
Description: This common is a site of special scientific interest, and features a mixture of heath and woodland. There are numerous footpaths throughout the common, as well as plenty of facilities including parking, WCs, a picnic area and café. It is important to dogs under close control throughout the area, as families and cyclists also frequently use it.
Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
Length: 2 – 5 hours.
Description: This enchanting wooded valley has a various deep ravines, babbling brooks and some delightful waterfalls, as well as plenty of bluebells throughout the entire wooded area. There are some 15 miles of footpaths throughout the wood, some of which are steep or have steps. There is a national trust café at the Gibson Mill in the heart of the wood, as well as limited parking, which carries a small fee.
Coed Cefn, Crickhowell, Nr. Abergavenny, Powys
Length: 2 hours.
Description: Set under a canopy of historic oak and beech woodland walkers can find a thick carpet of bluebells and bramble. There is a wide, gently sloping path throughout the wood. The car park to the wood is just off the A40, on the south side of Crickhowell village.
Glen Finglas, Brig O’Turk, Stirling
Length: 1 – 5 hours.
Description: This dramatic walk takes place at the foot of the mountain of Ben Ledi, and passes by two lochs, as well as a number of beautiful bluebell patches. You can walk simply for an hour to view the bluebells, or you can attempt the epic 15 mile circular walk that sweeps right around the mountain. The main car park for this walk is sign posted, and is situated about half a mile east of Brig O’Turk village.