16 stunning bluebell walks in Sussex
Blooming 'eck! Bluebells are popping up in their thousands across Sussex. Here's where to find the best of them on your sprightly springtime walk.
Spring is in the air, and isn’t it gorgeous! We’re so lucky to have the most incredible number of bluebell woods in our area, so there are loads of options to get your fix of the little blue fellas. Here are 16 of the best hotspots to visit now. Remember for National Trust and many other managed sites, you’ll need to book your visit in advance.
Stanmer Park, Brighton
The Great Wood at Stanmer Park is a gorgeous example of ancient woodland, right on the outskirts of Brighton. Stock up with drinks and cake from the Stanmer Tea Rooms in Stanmer Village before heading out along the wooded trails to explore.
Arlington bluebell walk and farm trail, near Polegate
This most famous of Sussex bluebell spots has been around since 1972. This year, just one of the seven walks is open to the public and it’s wheelchair accessible. Enjoy the glorious view of white star-like wood anemones and delicate, nodding bluebells. Booking ahead is essential. Picnic in the car park, no food available onsite this year sadly.
Wakehurst Place, East Grinstead
Always worth a visit, Kew’s sister site here in Sussex is glorious year-round and spring is no exception, with carpets of bluebells in the ancient woodland.
Leonardslee Lakes & Garden, Lower Beeding
The Bluebell Bank within the ancient woodland of Leonardslee’s 240-acre estate is at its best in April and May, a stunning carpet of blue, like something from a fairytale.
Abbots Wood, between Hailsham and Polegate
In the same area as Arlington Bluebell Walk, this ancient woodland is so named because it was once overseen by the Abbott at Battle Abbey.
Kipling’s former home, now a National Trust property, is surrounded by Sussex Weald Woodland where you can hunt for the carpets of blue. Tea room open for takeaway, book online in advance.
Butchers Wood, Hassocks
A lovely ancient oak woodland bursting with bluebells and with plenty of paths for exploration. Owned by the Woodland Trust, it’s in an AONB. No facilities.
Angmering Woods, Angmering
The woodland surrounding Angmering Park Estate, between Worthing and Arundel, dates back to the Norman Conquest and has one of the best bluebell displays in West Sussex alongside delicate wood anemones. You may also spot highland cattle.
Kingley Vale, Chichester
One of the most ancient yew woodlands in Western Europe, Kingley Vale near Chichester has some fantastic twisted trees that look like they belong in Lord of the Rings – in fact they’re among the oldest living things in England. There are also bluebell carpets here in Spring – follow the network of walking paths in the nature reserve.
Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park
Set to reopen on May 2 meaning you may catch the very last of this adorable steam train’s namesake as you travel between Sheffield Park Station and East Grinstead.
Sheffield Park & Garden, near Uckfield,
The aptly named Walk Wood at Sheffield Park reopened in 2017 following a 15 year restoration project which recreated a network of paths from the early 1700s. This is one of the best places on the site to see bluebells but you’ll also catch them in the gardens and on other walks.
Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath,
Another National Trust property. The woodland and the wild garden at Nymans are carpeted with bluebells. In the gardens around the historic house you can also see the magnificent magnolias.
Denmans Garden, Fontwell
This compact four acre contemporary country garden was designed by John Brookes MBE, who was influential in popularising the concept of the ‘outdoor room’. Bluebells are among the blooms you’ll see there this spring. Book ahead.
Standen Estate, East Grinstead
Around 20 of the 100 acres of the original Standen Estate should be bluebell-tastic this spring with Rockinghill and Hollybush woods carpeted. Purple orchids usually bloom in Hollybush to add to the magic and you may also catch the tulips flowering around the house and gardens. You can walk from Standen to the Bluebell Railway at Kingscote Station. The Standen House itself is an Arts and Crafts family home with interiors by Morris & Co.
Ebernoe Common, Near Petworth
This varied ancient wooded area, now a Sussex Wildlife Trust nature reserve, incorporates ponds, streams, meadows and reclaimed arable land. Besides bluebells you may see wild orchids, purple emperor butterlies and ponies that help to keep the grass grazed. The common is about five miles north of Petworth and there’s a car park at Ebernoe Church. The Mens nature reserve (note, no apostrophe – women are welcome!) is another bluebell spot near Petworth.
Brede High Woods, Battle,
Ancient and secondary woodland and open heathland combine at this spot in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The woods are to the north east of Powdermill Reservoir so you can combine bluebell spotting with waterside views. They’re managed by the Woodland Trust. Just over in Kent, also check out Sissinghurst Castle Garden.