Thursday, 28 April 2016

Galloping Gardener Walks © - Spectacular bluebell displays near London this Bank Holiday weekend - and some are dog friendly


There's nothing quite like glimpsing bluebells as you drive through the countryside and catch sight of a sea of cobalt colour in woodlands beside the road, but there are also many spectacular gardens to enjoy this weekend where you can enjoy bluebells and blossoms to your heart's content. Hole Park in Kent (above) has one of the best displays on offer, with wonderful woodland walks for adults and children. Open every day until 11th June daily (11.00-17.00) and then on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 31st October.
Bluebells at Ramster in Surrey
Ramster (above) near Chiddingfold in Surrey, has stunning spring colour displays and is famous for its azaleas and rhododendrons; you'll also be treated to spectacular bluebell displays. Opening hours are 10.00-17.00 daily until 12 June. **Dogs on leads are welcome. And if you're visiting Ramster, you may want to make the extra effort to go to Vann, which is very close by and open on Bank Holiday Monday (2 May, 14.00-18.00) and then daily from 3 May - 8 May, 10.00-18.00). 
High Beeches in West Sussex is another fine bluebell location
In Sussex, you've got High Beeches garden - another favourite of mine - and easily accessible from London. Open every afternoon (13.00- 17.00 pm) except Wednesday, you've got 27 acres to explore and fine displays of bluebells, azaleas, camellias and magnolias, as well as all the rhododendrons beginning to come into bloom. A great garden to go with the kids, because there's so much space for them to run around in! But only guide and assistance dogs permitted here.
Riverhill House has one of the finest bluebell woods in the country
And then of course, there's the famous Arlington Bluebell Walk in East Sussex - open this year for the 39th time and offering a walk through one of the most glorious Bluebell Oceans you're likely to find anywhere in the country! And close enough to Riverhill Himalayan Garden to combine the two in a day if you want a glut of bluebells. Open every day from 10.00 to 17.00 until 8 May.
An enormous amount of work has gone on at Riverhill Himalayan Garden since I last visited and this year sees another of the best bluebell displays in the country. But there's plenty else to see beside bluebells, you could easily spend half a day here admiring what's in bloom. Open Sunday to Wednesday inclusive 10.30-17.00 plus Bank Holidays. **Dogs on leads are welcome.