In spring, the Bluebell produces a nodding, one-sided inflorescence of 5–12 tubular, sweet-scented violet–blue flowers, with strongly recurved tepals, and 3–6 long, linear, basal leaves. The flower is particularly associated with ancient woodland where it may dominate the understory to produce carpets of violet–blue flowers in "bluebell woods". It is protected under UK law and it is said that half the world’s bluebells flower in the British Isles.
April is a great month for a woodland or river bank walk to view these spectacular plants - good for both the soul and mind!
We have been scouting to find the best bluebell walks in the local area for our guests to enjoy and discovered there are many beautiful “Bluebell” walks in West Sussex close to Chequers. Whether it is along the River Arun or through our local woods, you can enjoy the annual spectacle turning our woodlands into a beautiful blue landscape with trees bursting back into life and the beautiful background music of bird song once again. Here are a few examples of nearby places to enjoy the scene:
1) The Low Weald nature reserve of Ebernoe Common near Petworth encompasses ponds, streams and meadows as well as ancient woodland which are renowned for their beautifully scented bluebells. You can even hear the nightingales singing from April to June whilst enjoying the spectacular scene of bluebells. We advise you to park next to the church off Steel's Lane (sat nav gu28 9jy). If you are enjoying a stay at Chequers ask John or Lissette for maps or go to sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk for a map of paths.
2) Angmering park estate near littlehampton hosts the annual “Raw Energy Persuits” 10km and 10 mile bluebell trail walk and run in April April. This is a rare opportunity to explore the privately owned 11,000 acre Angmering Park Estate. The woods of which are peppered with picturesque cottages and outbuildings in amongst the stunning bluebells. This year will be the 9th staging of this spectacular trail event and sees people returning year after year to get involved. Contact Rawenergypursuits.co.uk/events for more info and to enter.
We advise our guests to park at The Fox pub in Patching (Sat Nav: BN13 3UJ).
3) Nymans Gardens West Sussex, National Trust Property organises bluebell walks from Tuesday 6th - Sunday 11th May Daily at 11am or 2pm. There is no need to book. WHilst we haven't been on one of teh bluebell walks, we can recommend Nymans for a day trip - it is an outstanding 20th Century Garden set around a romantic house and ruins in beautiful woodland.
4) Woods Mill Sussex wildlifetrust near Henfield where you can enjoy a pleasant walk through the woods scattered with bluebells and round the lake. I actually spent a wonderful 6 month sabbatical 3 years ago working on Woods Mill Nature Reserve so have a lot of information and stories to tell about this great trust. Just ask me about any questions you have!