It is that wonderful time of year when the bluebells cover the floors of our beautiful woodlands.
We are lucky that there are many places to see them in our area - reader Frances Wilmot has put together her best places to visit.
Local bluebell woods by Frances Wilmot
Bluebells are a sign of ancient woodland and the UK has up to half of the world’s bluebell population. Warwickshire is blessed with several local woodlands with wonderful displays of bluebells: Kenilworth’s Crackley Woods, Wappenbury Wood near Princethorpe, Bubbenhall Wood, Ryton Wood, Austy Wood and two national Trust Properties: Coughton Court [bluebell wood walk] and Packwood [bluebell wood by the lake].
In neighbouring Northamptonshire within easy reach of Leamington are stunning bluebell woods such as Everdon Stubbs and Badby Woods. You will also see flowers such as delicate wood anemones, primroses, stitchwort, celandine and bugle as well as butterflies such as Orange Tip, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Brimstone. As a bonus, birdsong is a joy to hear, plus woodpeckers drumming on trees.
Crackley Woods: a two-mile circular walk is on easy level paths [access via Crackley Lane laybys for parking].
Wappenbury Wood has a variety of winding paths, and bluebells are spectacular at the bottom of the hill and on paths winding upwards [Warws Wildlife Trust, access via Burnthurst Lane, limited roadside parking].
Bubbenhall Wood has a level circular path, accessed on foot from Ryton Pool Country Park back gate to Paget Lane and footpath almost opposite crosses Bubbenhall Meadows to the wood [owned by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust– there is no public carparking on Paget Lane.]
Ryton Wood [inside Ryton Pools Country Park at the top end] has many wood anemones as well as bluebell vistas.
Austy Wood [accessed via the canal at Wootton Wawen near Yew Tree Craft centre on Pettiford Lane or Navigation pub on A34], 3.5 mile walk: take path uphill from bridge 51 [muddy in wet weather] to an amazing blue vista at the top. Take the signed path downhill to cross a field to reach A34, turn right to reach a footpath on the left heading across fields to the canal, and turn right to return to the start.