Birkdale House

Bluebells in the Lake District

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Birkdale House

24th April 2024

A Symphony of Blue: Five of the Best Places to See Bluebells in the Lake District

If you’re planning a visit to the Lake District this Spring, one of the most enchanting sights is the appearance of clouds of bluebells carpeting the woodlands. These delicate flowers with their nodding heads create enchanting carpets of blue across woodlands and open spaces, making Springtime the perfect time to explore the national park.

Bluebell Facts

Did you know that up to half of the world’s bluebells are found in the UK? There are two types of wild bluebell: the native British bluebell and the Spanish bluebell. The British bluebells are a very deep purple, whereas the Spanish are lighter in colour and sometimes are white or pink.

In ancient folklore, bluebells were believed to have healing properties. While we can’t guarantee their magical effects, there’s no denying their beauty.

Bluebells thrive in undisturbed soils, indicating the presence of ancient woodlands. These beautiful flowers are a vital food source for early-season butterflies and bees, playing a key role in the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

Lake District Bluebells

The Lake District provides the perfect habitat for these beloved bulbs to thrive – in fact, we have several areas around Birkdale House, including the extensive gardens. But for those willing to travel a little further afield, below are five of the best spots in the area to take in this stunning natural display.

Skelghyll Woods – Ambleside

Just a short drive from Birkdale House is Skelghyll Woods, one of the easiest places to see bluebells in the Lake District. This ancient woodland is jam-packed with these dainty blue flowers in May. It’s also home to some of Britain’s tallest trees, including the tallest Grand Fir in England and the tallest Douglas Fir in Cumbria.

The woodland is managed by the National Trust – look out for a Champion Tree trail here, and a chance explore these giants.

Rydal and Grasmere

If you continue driving along the A591 from Ambleside to Grasmere, you’ll see bluebells in the woodlands on either side of the road. These woods are carpeted with bluebells in Spring, and the whole area is popular with visiting tourists, thanks in part to the accessible pathways that have been created by the Lake District National Park Authority. In fact, there’s a Miles Without Stiles trail which is easily accessible and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Sizergh Castle – Kendal

Not far from our Windermere Holiday Cottages is Sizergh Castle, together with its amazing gardens. These are worth a visit any time of the year, but in May the paths lead you through swathes of bluebells.

Low Wood – Wasdale

Our next stop is the Wasdale Valley, a remote corner of Cumbria that offers breathtaking views and amazing walks, including an opportunity to conquer England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike.

However, if you’re looking for something altogether gentler, you’ll find an amazing carpet of bluebells at Low Wood. The dog-friendly walk is suitable for some types of pushchairs and brilliant for children. And the views are spectacular.

Rannerdale Knotts – Buttermere

It may be a bit of a drive from our Windermere and Ullswater Holiday Cottages, but it would be remiss of us not to mention one of the most famous places to see bluebells in the Lake District: Rannerdale, near Crummock Water and Buttermere.

Tucked away in the western Lake District, Rannerdale Knotts transforms into a breathtaking sea of blue during May. What’s more, instead of being a typical woodland setting, Rannerdale Valley boasts a breathtaking display of bluebells carpeting the open hillside.

If you happen upon a carpet of bluebells while you’re visiting the Lake District, why not spread the joy? Take some photos and share them using the hashtag #lakedistrictbluebells

Protecting Bluebells

Finally, please remember that bluebells, especially those in Rannerdale, urgently need protection. Stick to the paths when visiting bluebell areas to ensure everyone can enjoy these spring displays in the future.

For more information about our May availability, please click here.