Bluebell Carpets of the Island
The bluebells are all in bloom right now – a little late this year, but more spectacular than ever – and there are many lovely woodlands and downlands to see and smell these beautiful carpets of blue. Here are a few of our favourites.
Mottistone Manor Woods
Walk up the pathway that skirts Mottistone Manor to the west and the bluebells on the banks of the sunken pathway are just a taster of what unfolds when the pathway splits. Take the right-hand pathway signposted to the Longstone and then bear left/straight on where the path next forks, and you’ll be on a magical path like something out of a Disney film, with bluebells all around you. This pathway gets very narrow at the top, so it’s best to turn around at the top (when you reach the fence) and come back down to the main path. You can then rejoin the Longstone pathway to your left, with more bluebells up through the woods as far as this ancient monument. Mottistone Manor Garden has loads of bluebells too and is well worth a visit.
Always a great location for spring flowers, Firestone Copse is full of bluebells and has an eclectic selection of trees under which to see them. There is a gravel road around the woods if you have mobility issues or pushchairs, but the pathways leading off to the left from the car park are better for meandering walks. There are lots of different trees to discover and with bluebells beneath them, including a majestic avenue of redwoods deep into the woods. Plus, there is a picnic area here if you want to have lunch whilst you’re visiting.
This year is an especially good year for bluebells on Ventnor Down as a lot of the gorse has been cut back and bluebells have sprung up to cover the barren areas. From a distance it looks as if the top of the downs has turned a purply blue. On top of the downs, if coming by car, park in the last small car park on your right before the high fence. Then walk southeast towards the higher point of the downs to see the best showing of bluebells. Or for a longer walk you can clamber around the pathway that skirts the fence – this pathway is off the far corner of this car park by the information board. This longer walk will reward you with bluebells and foxgloves in the woodland and the bluebell downlands at the end.
To get to this ‘secret’ woods in Godshill you have to take the pathway up the right-hand side of the garden of the Griffin pub. Negotiating a couple of kissing gates on the way, the pathway bears slightly upwards, following a large field on your left. After about ten minutes you’ll see Beech Copse, and by this time there will be quite a few bluebells, campion and wood anemones bordering your path. Once in the woods, bear left and up the steep hill and at the top you will be rewarded by the sight of swathes of bluebells on different levels of the woods, beneath a canopy of bright green beech leaves.
For more idyllic walks across the Island, visit our walking guide.