Mid-May is almost upon us but there’s still time to fill the picnic basket, jump in the car and go in search of one of spring’s most breath taking sights: a bluebell wood. Last weekend we ventured into the South Downs and stumbled upon Butcher’s Wood in Hassocks, West Sussex, an ancient oak woodland peppered with bluebells and hazel (pictured).
With level paths winding under the canopy of trees the 17 acre wood is perfect for little feet and probably even negotiable with a decent off road buggy, although we went on foot. As well as main paths you’ll find narrower footpaths which will take you into the heart of the bluebells, as well as plenty of fallen logs and benches on which to make camp and picnic (also pictured).
On a cautionary note, don’t imagine skipping through blankets of bluebells and snapping the moment: although the bluebells make great pictures the Woodland Trust managed site is a protected area of outstanding natural beauty so anywhere other than the paths is strictly off-limits.
The choice of paths means you can choose a long or short walk depending on how little your littlest feet are. We visited on the May Day bank holiday weekend and I expected to join hoards of families admiring the bluebells, but the winding nature of the wood totally absorbed other people and we were, more or less, alone for the majority of our walk.
So if you’re anywhere in the vicinity before the bluebells are on their way out Butcher’s Wood is well worth a visit. And even better, totally free.
For more details including how to get there click here