Britain’s most wooded county is well known for its stunning displays of these delicate flowers.
The sight of a hazy violet-blue carpet of flowers resplendent in the dappled sunshine on a woodland floor is one of the great wonders of nature at this time of year.
The common wild bluebell thrives in heavy clay soils, which are often associated with ancient woodlands of oak, beech and chestnut. And many of the Trust’s own sites host some of the county’s best bluebell woods.
The native British bluebell has dark blue flowers, which hang down on one side of a drooping stem, shaped like a shepherd’s crook. They start to bloom in mid April.
Any bluebells you find in your garden are likely to be of the Spanish/Hybrid variety, which have paler blue flowers, which sprout at all angles from an upright stem.
A spring woodland walk with the promise of a vivid display of bluebells is a wonderful way to spend an hour or so. So why not head out to a bluebell wood near you? And remember to take your camera!
Here are the Trust’s top five bluebell woods:
Staffhurst Wood, Oxted
The wood is a fragment of the old 'Wildwood' that once covered much of southern England and has a fine mix of oak, ash, beech and coppiced hazel and hornbeam. As well as the stunning display of bluebells, Staffhurst also boasts a beautiful woodland pond.
Car park off Grants Lane, near Oxted - nearest postcode TN8 6QR.
Cucknells Wood, Shamley Green
A woodland known for its fine displays of spring flowers – including bluebells. Situated on Weald Clay, most of the wood is mixed with oak, ash, birch, rowan or mountain ash and hazel. Some holly, wild cherry, hawthorn and crab apple trees can also be seen.
Access off Stroud Lane, Shamley Green - nearest postcode GU5 0ST
Chinthurst Hill, Wonersh
A steep walk through ancient woodland to the top of the hill rewards visitors with fine views and beautiful displays of bluebells along the way. A quiet and peaceful spot, with many species of tree, including oak, sweet chestnut, hazel and rowan.
Car park off B2128 Wonersh Common Road - nearest postcode GU5 0PR
Sheepleas, West Horsley
A mosaic of ancient and recent woodlands, scrubs and open grassland on chalk. Look out for bluebells in the woodland of beech, ash and field maple and also stunning displays of cowslips in the meadows.
Car parks off A246 by St Mary’s Church - nearest postcode KT24 6AP, or Shere Road – nearest postcode KT24 6EP.
Wallis Wood, Walliswood Village, nr Cranleigh
Bluebells thrive in this typical example of a hazel coppice woodland on Weald Clay. There’s a woodland stream running through the site, which also has a small pool and is surrounded by pasture.
Parking in lay-by on Standon Lane – nearest postcode RH5 5QY, or park by village green by Scarlet Arms – nearest postcode RH5 5RD.
Don't forget wild common bluebells are a protected species under UK law, which means it’s illegal to dig up the plants or bulbs or to offer them for sale.