One thing that gets asked time and time again each year is “where is the best place to see bluebells in and around Sevenoaks?”
I have compiled a handy list of the places that I have visited personally and those that have been recommended to me. Some are free and some you have to pay an entrance fee – I’ll mark them so you know. They are all fairly pushchair friendly too.
The first place we visited many years ago as a family was:
Bluebells at Andrew’s Wood, Polhill, Sevenoaks, Kent – FREE
This is a not-so hidden gem with abundant bluebells in Sevenoaks.
If you are driving from Sevenoaks, go past Polhill Garden Centre, enter the roundabout and take the fourth exit down Shacklands Road. You will see Andrew’s Wood on the right hand side. There is a car park but it fills up very quickly during bluebell season. You can park on the side of the road but it is quite tight so choose a suitable place.
There is an information centre and toilets on site here. You can pick up a leaflet and follow a walk or wander through the paths among the bluebells. Mostly pushchair friendly, just be aware there are tree roots and so on.
Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill, Sevenoaks, Kent – Bluebell Festival – PAID
Riverhill take their bluebells very seriously. SO seriously in fact that they are holding a Bluebell Festival 24th April to 6th May 2019, more information here. We went in early April and they were already starting to bloom. There promises to be a fabulous display in the coming weeks.
Riverhill has a lot to offer for all ages. There is a fab play area for kids and lots of places to sit in quiet contemplation. The cake is out of this world too! Mostly pushchair friendly but it is hilly
Bluebells at Emmetts Garden, Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent – PAID (free for National Trust members)
A short drive from Sevenoaks is Emmetts Garden. A National Trust property with everything you would expect from a National Trust property. Great play area, café and most importantly, BLUEBELLS.
We went to see the bluebells at Emmetts Garden last year and were blown away by the sight and scent of them. The best are down the valley which can be a bit tricky with a pushchair but doable.
Bluebells at Bore Place, Chiddingstone, Kent – FREE
There is a circular walk from Bore Place to Bough Beech that takes in the bluebells. You can download a map here or pop into reception for a leaflet. Bonus points for free parking! I’ve not been here myself yet but hope to in the next week or so.
Bluebells at Ightham Mote, Ightham, Sevenoaks – PAID (free for National Trust Members)
We reviewed Ightham Mote back in March – read about it here. It really is a very special space with plenty for old and young. We haven’t witnessed the bluebells here yet but I am assured they are glorious.
Top tip! Pack wellies if the kids enjoy paddling. Pushchair friendly
One Tree Hill, Carter’s Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent – FREE BLUEBELLS
One Tree Hill actually belongs to the National Trust but is free. Park in the car park and amble your way through the woods
Finally, go off the beaten track to spot bluebells
If you dont fancy a walk and are happy to look from the car, or find somewhere safe to park on the side of the road or in the villages then there are LOADS of bluebells in the woodlands around Ide Hill, Toys Hill, Otford, Shoreham and Eynsford.
The National Trust have put together these six Bluebells facts you might not know:
- The bluebell has many names: English bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle, Cuckoo’s Boots, Wood Hyacinth, Lady’s Nightcap and Witches’ Thimbles, Hyacinthoides non-scripta
- It is against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells
- If you plant bluebells, you should make sure it’s the English bluebell, not the Spanish version. This is a more vigorous plant and could out-compete our delicate native flower
- Almost half the world’s bluebells are found in the UK, they’re relatively rare in the rest of the world
- Bluebell colonies take a long time to establish – around 5-7 years from seed to flower.
- Bluebells can take years to recover after footfall damage. If a bluebell’s leaves are crushed, they die back from lack of food as the leaves cannot photosynthesise
PLEASE RESPECT THE BLUEBELLS!
**Please don’t trample through them to take a selfie.
Enjoy them from the path**