See the first bluebells

Bluebells at Enys Garden, near Penryn, Cornwall

If you only do one thing in May, come and experience breathtaking carpets of bluebells in Cornwall.

You cannot take a bluebell for granted. A single bluebell is diminutive, en masse they take your breath away, often growing so close together they transform the woodland floor into a dazzling carpet of shimmering blue.

Why not come and see them for real? Below are some suggestions of where to visit.

Lanhydrock Estate, Bodmin
Step into an indigo dream at Lanhydrock where nearly every inch of woodland floor turns blue, from the entrance to the estate right down to the Fowey River at Respryn Bridge. Combine your walk with a visit to Lanhydrock House and its formal gardens (National Trust)

Tehidy Country Park, Camborne
Tehidy is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall with 9 miles of paths and 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes to explore, together with a café and a picnic area. With a different type of beauty for every season, Tehidy is an enchanting place to visit all year round, particularly in April and May when the Cornish bluebells appear, making an even more stunning woodland walk. Visitors may stroll around the lake, explore leafy glades or wilder areas of woodland or be immersed in the rich flora and fauna. 

Looe Valley, Duloe
The hill valley descends from the village of Duloe in South East Cornwall down to the Looe Valley at Sandplace. The road (B3254) winds down (mind the two sharp bends) and is flanked either side by wooded slopes carpeted with bluebells. If you turn left over the bridge at Sandplace and park up at Tregarland Bridge, you can take the most idyllic walk on a public bridle path just above the Looe River and scenic Looe Valley railway with views of the bluebell woods and also wild garlic brushing your ankles along the path.

Penrose Estate, Helston
The National Trust administered Penrose Estate is a mixture of rich farmland and woodland around Loe Pool, the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall and cut off from the sea by a broad shingle bar heaped up by heavy Atlantic seas. There are many paths to explore around the estate and it's a great place for bluebells in early May. 

Pencarrow House and Gardens, near Bodmin
Pencarrow House and Gardens lie at the foot of a sweeping valley between Bodmin and Wadebridge. The largely Georgian mansion is still owned and occupied by descendants of the family who settled there in the 1500s and has been open to the public since the 1970s. Bluebells and Wild Garlic carpet the woods in May/June. Free parking and dogs welcome off leads in the woods. 

Antony Woodland Garden, near Torpoint
Next to the National Trust administered Antony House at Torpoint (where Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was filmed) is the privately owned Antony Woodland Garden. This superb woodland garden contains 300 varieties of camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, azaleas plus both indigenous and exotic trees. The garden is also home to a National Collection of Camellia Japonica and divided into three sections: The Wilderness, West Down and the Woodland Walk. From the Wilderness the path leads along the river and into a shaded area of trees, known as the Cathedral, where bluebells and wild garlic dominate the woodland floor in late Spring.

Mount Edgcumbe, Cremyll, Torpoint
Mount Edgcumbe House is the former home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. Set in Grade I Cornish Gardens within 865 acres of country park on the Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall and overlooking the Tamar River and Plymouth. The woodland around this historic house and estate is full of great walking trails and carpeted with bluebells in late spring. Dogs welcome.

Godolphin House and Garden, Helston
Discover Godolphin House and Garden tucked away in lush countryside with over 700 years of Cornish history. You can soak up the atmosphere of peace and antiquity as you explore this romantic home and wander around the 16th-century garden, one of the most important historic gardens in Europe. It has barely changed over the years and boasts a beautiful path taking visitors through its winding bluebell wood.

Glendurgan Garden, near Falmouth
This superb tropical garden is fantastic for families, full of fun, natural beauty and amazing plants. Wander through the garden down to the beautiful hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River and walk beside the carpets of bluebells amongst fragrant rhododendrons. Watch birds and boats, skim stones and build sand-castles, or find a boat-seat, gigantic tulip-trees and ponds teeming with wildlife. 

Enys Gardens, near Penryn
Within the 30 acre gardens lie the open meadow known as Parc Lye, where the spring show of bluebells is breath-taking; the ponds, where the waterwheel can be found; the flower garden, which is gradually being restored to its former glory; a New Zealand garden, which reflects J.D. Enys’s plant hunting interests, and many woodland areas, which show different types of planting including many remarkable trees. Dogs on leads welcome.