The best places to see Bluebells in Norfolk
Bluebell season in the UK is one of spring’s finest natural events. Just before the trees burst back to life in our woodlands areas, the dainty bluebell flower carpets forest floors, taking full advantage of that glorious spring sunshine.
What makes a visit to see wild bluebells extra special is that they most commonly flower in areas of ancient woodland (although hedgerows and fields are also great places to spot them too). Tread carefully amongst the carpets of purple and blue that erupt across the British countryside and you may just find yourself walking amongst the living history of the UK’s landscape.
To help you find the nearest site to spot bluebells, I’ve split the locations into north and south Norfolk (my definition of which is determined by whether they are north or south of Norwich).
When do Bluebells Flower?
Bluebells typically appear from mid-April until late May. If you do find yourself able to get out and visit them, it’s best to jump at the opportunity as they can soon disappear as quickly as they arrived, and you’ll have to wait until next year to be able to see them again.
Where to find Bluebells in North Norfolk
The UK is actually home to one of the densest populations of bluebell flowers, and in Norfolk, we’re fortunate enough to have some really great locations where it’s possible to see them.
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden
Fairhaven offers nature lovers plenty to enjoy all year round. During Bluebell season, Fairhaven hosts a special event (known as bluebell weeks) and open up their neighbouring, private woodland for visitors to discover the stunning wild ‘bells. This year (2019) bluebell weeks will run from 22nd April until 12th May.
Fairhaven garden is roughly 9 miles east of Norwich in South Walsham.
Foxley wood is an incredible place to visit because it’s thought to be one of Norfolk’s largest ancient woodland. It’s ancient status also means that a lot of the flora and fauna that grows there is pristine because it is protected by dense treelines. Be prepared for a rewarding, yet muddy walk to find the hidden treasure that is the seemingly unending carpets of bluebells amongst the trees.
You can find Foxley Wood roughly 16 miles (or around a 30-minute drive) from Norwich, along the Fakenham road.
Walsingham Abbey is best known for the beautiful ruins of the medieval Priory on its grounds. The estate also features acres of woodland and wildflower meadows. The Abbey is a popular choice for seeing the earliest signs of spring, the snowdrop, carpeting its woodland floors. It’s also a great location to spot bluebells too.
Walsingham Abbey can be found 28 miles north-west of Norwich, past Foxley, continuing along the Fakenham Road.
The Blickling estate is run by the national trust and is one of Norfolk’s most popular places to see bluebells, most likely due to the stunning backdrop of the stately hall and its picturesque lake. The estate grounds are also home to the centuries-old Great Wood which is carpeted in the wild blue flowers during bluebell season.
You can find Blickling Hall 13 miles north of Norwich, near to Aylsham.
Further north yet, nestled on the edge of the Norfolk coastline is Sheringham Park, another national trust gem. After taking a gentle stroll through the beautiful spring woodland, you can head north across the open parkland and climb the hill and the wooden gazebo structure for sweeping views of the nearby coastline.
Sheringham Park is also popular for its spectacular Rhododendron season. The park is once again filled with life and bursting with an array of colour from these beautiful blooms.
Sheringham Park is about 28 miles North of Norwich.
Lower Wood, Ashwellthorpe
For those living south of Norwich, Lower Wood in Ashwellthorpe is another example of the ancient woodland that can be found in Norfolk. As well as being a great location for wild bluebells, Lower Wood has an array of other species of flora waiting to be discovered, including purple orchids.
Lower Wood can be found 10 miles south of Norwich.
This ancient woodland is believed to date back to the 10th century and is one of the largest areas of woodland in South Norfolk. Over 125 species of wildflower has been recorded in Wayland Wood, including bluebells, and it’s another site for spotting early purple orchids.
Wayland Wood can be found 25miles south-west of Norwich.