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Best bluebell walks in Hants & IoW

Blooming 'eck! Here's where to find the best local bluebell walks, plus our pick of nearby pubs for a cheeky pitstop.

Bluebells wood Hampshire

What’s a sure sign that it’s finally Spring? Finally retiring your thermal vest, yes. But more excitingly, it’s the arrival of bluebell season. We’re so lucky to have the most incredible number of bluebell woods in Hants and IoW – and all with great pubs in the neighbourhood. These stunning fields of blue will only last a few weeks. So, chop chop!


Roydon Woods, Nr Brockenhurst

Roydon Woods Jim Champion
Roydon Woods Bluebells – Photo: Jim Champion

A relatively recent addition to the Hampshire landscape, Roydon Woods was gifted to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust in 1978. On your stroll around here, you may be able to see evidence of ancient settlers dotted around. Located just less than two miles outside of Brockenhurst, it has a range of walks available. It’s worth noting there’s no car park around here, though there’s some roadside parking if you hunt around.

Pit Stop: The Hare and Hound in Sway has a nice outdoor garden, kids play area and large gin selection.

Hinton Ampner, nr Alresford and Winchester

Bluebells Hampshire Hinton Ampner National Trust
Bluebells at Hinton Ampner – Photo: National Trust images, Simon Newman

One thing that the National Trust do well is bluebells – in fact, Hinton Ampner near Alresford is just the first of several NT properties on this list. To make the most of their stunning carpet of ‘bells, you can pick up a map from the site and stroll for about 30 minutes to find these hidden beauties.

Pit Stop: The family-friendly Hinton Arms with its well-tended, flowery pub garden is a mere three-minute drive from the NT property.

Manor Farm Country Park, Southampton

At Manor Farm, you can discover the bluebells while also getting to pet all the adorable animals. As well as the farm, there’s a Blacksmiths Forge, play areas and much more. Pre-booking essential.

Pit Stops: The Plough at nearby Bursledon has a huge sunny garden and is less than 15 minutes’ drive away. Or tootle 2.8 miles down the road to The Jolly Sailor in Burlesdon. The traditional mariner pub (reopening on 20 May) has great views over Hamble Marina.

Upperford Copse, Nr Wickham

Wickham Bluebells J D Mack
Wickham Bluebells Photo: J D Mack

Upperford Copse is just outside of Wickham. It has a number of strolls to choose from, such as the super leisurely West Walk. With car parking on-site, a bookable BBQ pit (and the fact Muddy once saw Hugh Bonneville here), it’s a fab little meander around the forest.

Pit Stop: Super quirky with plenty of car parking outside and a courtyard garden, The Square Cow in Wickham, is just 1.9 miles away.

Exbury Gardens, near Southampton

This country park is a whopping 200 acres of family fun and natural beauty to poke about in. As well as the beautiful natural bluebells that pop out at this time of year, it’s also home to the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and shrubs. There’s even a mini train if you don’t fancy plodding around too much.

Pit Stop: Less than 15 minutes drive away, the gorgeous Master Builders in Bucklers Hard, Beaulieu has a heated marquee and restaurant terrace overlooking the river. Just 3.5 miles away is Monty’s Inn, the cosy country pub that’s part of the Montagu Arms.

Micheldever Woods, Winchester

Winchester Bluebells Hardo Müller
Micheldever – Photo: Hardo Müller

Hampshire’s bluebells are synonymous with Micheldever Woods, just 5 miles away from Winchester. With a car park at the entrance of the wood as well as a picnic site, it’s the perfect spot to check out that big blue carpet.

Pit Stop: Just 15 minutes away by car is the super cosy Woolpack Inn at Totford.

Itchen Valley Country Park, nr Eastleigh

Who knew the woods could be so jam-packed with things to do? With the obvious bluebell walk, Itchen Valley Country Park (5 miles away from Southampton) is also home to a Go Ape! course. Plus there’s wellbeing walks, Forest therapy, woodland playgrounds and numerous trails to explore.

Pit Stops: Muddy’s top pick in the area is the gorgeous Hiltonbury Farmhouse in nearby Chandler’s Ford, with heated outdoor seating and a cracking pub menu.

Durley Mill, Botley

With a Grade II listed watermill and millhouse, Durley Mill is just 7 miles away from Southampton and offers a real snapshot into how life ‘used to be’. With their beautiful bluebells in bloom through April and May, and heritage buildings to explore it’s a great spot that’s not too far from civilisation.

Pit Stop: The family-friendly Cricketers Inn at nearby Curdridge has a huge pub garden. Also in the neighbourhood, The Robin Hood is a ten-minute drive from the Mill. It’s a quaint countryside pub with bags of character.

The Vyne, nr Basingstoke

Vyne Bluebells Neil Thompson
The Vyne Bluebells – Photo: Neil Thompson

A year-round National Trust favourite, The Vyne is always a Spring stonker. The bluebell walk is a simple 1.3 miler and the grounds also offer up daffodils and cherry blossom for a bit of extra colour.

Pit Stop: The 17th Century White Hart in Sherfield on Loddon is less than ten minutes’ drive away. Importantly, it has great grub and a gorgeous gin garden with heated stretch tent overlooking the village green.

Zebon Copse, Church Crookham

Unusually named and unusually beautiful, Zebon Copse in the ancient settlement of Church Crookham offers some fab displays of that Springtime fave. You can also take a trek down the nearby Basingstoke Canal and enjoy all the sights and sounds of Hampshire in the Spring.

Pit Stop: The Exchequer in neighbouring Crookham with sizeable patio, corking local cheeseboard and great drinks menu is just 1.2 miles away.

Broomy Inclosure, New Forest

Barney Moss New Forest Bluebells
New Forest Bluebells – Photo: Barney Moss

Brilliant name, brilliant bluebells. With a range of walks starting at around 3 miles at a leisurely pace, you will be treated to a sea of flowers along with the creatures of the New Forest.

Pit Stop: The dog-friendly, wood-beamed High Corner Inn is right by the entrance to the inclosure.

Little Hyden Woods, Clanville, Waterlooville

A lovely little beauty spot on the edge of the South Downs, just south of Petersfield, Little Hyden Woods is so well known for the carpet of Spring flowers that pop up here, it’s more commonly known as bluebell woods.

Pit Stop: Just off the A3 and very close by, The Hampshire Hog is always popular, especially on Sundays. Get here early if you’re after a roast.


Mottistone Gardens, Newport

Just Another Caulkhead Mottistone Bluebells
Mottistone Bluebells – Photo: Just Another Caulkhead

Another National Trust beauty – and this one is on the Island. Located just off the Military Road on the B3399 (an absolutely breathtaking area in itself), is Mottistone Gardens and Estate. This spot, eight miles away from Newport, boasts hillsides covered in bluebell carpets and a view across the Channel.

Pit Stop: Just half a mile away is the beautiful The Sun Inn. 7 miles in the other direction is the White Mouse Inn, complete with an amazing view of The Needles.

Robin Hill, Newport

Everybody’s favourite country park on the Isle of Wight is scattered with woodlands and tucked away little spots to discover bluebells. There’s also lots to do with the kids while you’re here with their toboggan run and nature-themed attractions.

Pit Stop: The charming thatched Hare and Hounds is literally on the doorstep of Robin Hill. One mile down the road, it’s worth dropping into the characterful Dairyman’s Daughter and exploring the quirky Arreton Barns.

America Wood nr. Apse Heath

Just outside of Shanklin is America Wood. There’s a rumour that this place was named as they used the wood to build ships for the American War of Independence, but its a bit unfounded. Amongst the trees and the bluebells here, you’ll also be able to find wild badgers and more of the Island’s famous Red Squirrel population.

Pit Stop: You’ll need to head towards the coast for somewhere to grab a drink, but thankfully the Grade II listed Fisherman’s Cottage, located under Shanklin Chine, is just 2.5 miles away and has an amazing view.

Each year when we write about bluebell hotspots we receive a flurry of messages about the ones we’ve forgotten. Have I finally nailed a comprehensive list this year, I wonder? Please let me know if there are any omissions!

1 comment on “Best bluebell walks in Hants & IoW”

  • Rob Allen March 17, 2021

    Upperford Copse near Wickham is a magical place when the bluebells are in bloom.


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