Blue Magic in the woods
Hole Park Gardens
Are you looking for the best place to see the bluebells in Tunbridge Wells this Spring?
“The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air.
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care”
Emily Bronte’s words conjure up the enduring appeal of woods carpeted with this fragrant and beautiful flower.
Tunbridge Wells is surrounded by ancient and peaceful woodland, perfect for a weekend stroll to walk off Sunday lunch or an organised hike to explore the delights of the Wealden countryside.
If glorious gardens are more to your taste, with tea and cake and other culinary delights, there are a number of historic houses in the area famous for their grounds and hospitality.
Get off the Beaten Track
For wild walks close to the town centre, but still off the beaten track, head for the tranquillity of High Woods in Hawkenbury with its wonderful spring flowers. Explore Broadwater Down nature reserve on the southern tip of the town, where the woods are filled with birdsong and carpets of bluebells.
Hurst Wood, hidden away behind the St John’s area of the town, is also a mass of bluebells in late spring. Slightly further afield are the Birchden Woods in Groombridge and Shadwell Woods at Rusthall. They are a delight for dog walkers with plenty of open space to tire dogs out and woodland paths to roam.
Explore Further Afield
Just outside Tunbridge Wells and reachable by public transport the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge Place Gardens transforms into a fragrant blue carpet every spring. Venture into the formal gardens to see the beautiful spring bulbs of every variety and colour. Stop off at the café for a delicious lunch or indulgent tea and cake.
The 220 acres of grounds and woodlands at Burrswood offer walks, stunning views across the Kent and Sussex Weald. A warm welcome awaits you at the tearoom where delicious home-made lunches and afternoon tea using seasonal produce from the garden are available.
Glorious Gardens and Tearooms
A car ride away the woodlands at Pashley Manor Gardens are covered in a mantle of soft blue from the end of April until mid May. Visitors can enjoy walks through the woods alongside a pretty stream before exploring the rest of the gardens. The terrace and Garden Room Café are the perfect place to linger and sample the fabulous homemade food.
The Scotney Castle estate at Lamberhurst has plenty of walks and opportunities to see bluebells in the surrounding woodlands.
The spectacular displays of bluebells captivate visitors to Hole Park Gardens and are waiting to be discovered in the woodland. When you have finished exploring relax and treat yourself to tea and cake in café.
Adventures in Blue
Bluebells and woodland walks can be enjoyed at Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, Emmett’s Garden, and Ightham Mote all of which are awash with bluebells in spring. There are plenty of walks available to suit different abilities. All have the National Trust properties have cafes for refuelling after your adventures in the woods.
Bluebells have a special magic, a fragile fragrance and a deep ethereal blue which calms and cheers. They are a secret glory of the Weald. So what are you waiting for? Put on your walking boots and enjoy the countryside.
“And like a skylit water stood
The bluebells in the azured wood”
From A Shropshire Lad by A E Housman
Many of the gardens have spectacular displays in every season, historic buildings, exhibitions and a calendar of family, theatrical and musical events.
Why not extend your stay and explore further? See our Where To Stay pages for a selection of accommodation to suit every budget.