We almost didn’t make it out today. Izzy threw the mother of all tantrums as we left the house and refused to sit in the car seat. But, I knew it boiled down to tiredness and that once she’d had a sleep in the car she would be fine, so I persevered and now, sitting happily amongst a haze of Bluebells, the tantrum is easily forgotten.
We are exploring the woods at Buckland Abbey, having followed the footpath along the avenue of Beech trees and through the sunny fields of lambs and bullocks. The wood is carpeted with starry white Ramsons and drifts of Bluebells and we sit in silence amongst the cool, silver trunks, listening to the wind in the leaves and the gentle rain of leaf bud scales. We crouch down to smell the flowers, the pungent garlic and more subtle honeyed smell of the Bluebells. There are many other species here, too, Bugle, Herb-Robert, Red Campion and Yellow Pimpernel. Izzy is delighted by them all.
Our walk continues to a small clearing and a stream, where she chases a Brimstone butterfly and dips the toe of her shoe in the running water. I end up carrying her most of the way and she cuddles me tightly, instructing me to sing ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ on a loop.
There is another meltdown when it is time to leave, as Izzy is determined to sit in the driver’s seat, but it has all been worth it for the time that we got to just sit still together, absorbing the peace and beauty of the Bluebell wood.
- Creeping Buttercup
- Red Campion
- Yellow Pimpernel
We followed the ‘yellow’ footpath (aprox 1 mile) around the estate at Buckland Abbey, near Yelverton, which is a National Trust property. There is an entry fee, a car park, toilets, restaurant, shop and as always seems to be the case with National Trust places, it is extremely toddler and baby-friendly.
Other Bluebell woods
- Garston Woods, Salisbury
- Heartwood Forest, St Albans
- Glen Finglas, Stirling
- Burroughs Wood, Leicestershire
- Bowdon Woods, Newbury
- Foxley Wood, Norfolk
- The Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve, Worcestershire
- Selwyns Wood, Sussex
- Frith Wood, Gloucestershire
- Pendarves Wood, Cornwall