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carpet of purple

New Forest Bluebells & Breakfasts Trail

The beautiful wash of colour as a sea of bluebells covers the woodland floor is a long-awaited sight which paints the picture of Spring in the New Forest.

The vibrant mix of beech-leaf green and purple/blue on a sunny day makes the perfect backdrop to the first break of the season, by following the Bluebells & Breakfasts Trail. Scented scenery wakes the senses after the Winter greys and the taste of the renowned New Forest Breakfast is the ideal accompaniment to start the day early and catch the morning light on the shimmering bells.

The New Forest Breakfast has been developed by New Forest chefs to include all the best ingredients the region has to offer - often free range or organic - but it cuts down on food miles and Co2 emissions, as well as helping to support wildlife with traditional farming methods. Guaranteed to be made from at least three items of local produce, the breakfast is served at bed & breakfasts, hotels and attractions throughout the New Forest.

Download the New Forest Bluebells and Breakfast Trail and with sustenance inside you, head for the best New Forest National Park sites for bluebells at:

  1. Pondhead Inclosure, a well-fenced area near Lyndhurst which is protected from roaming stock and wild deer.
  2. Broomy Inclosure, north of Linwood.
  3. Exbury Gardens
  4. Roydon Woods near Brockenhurst, which is owned by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and has plenty of good vantage points.
  5. Sandleheath, near Fordingbridge, has a network of public footpaths and bridleways bordered by primroses and bluebells in the Spring.
  • Bluebells flower throughout April and May. The glossy green leaves appear in March and carpet the ground. The flowers appear in April and eventually stand about 30cm tall with bell-shaped flowers. Bluebell flowering times can be used as a powerful evidence of climate change, which is why the Natural History Museum launched a survey to build a nationwide picture of when both native and non-native species start flowering each year. 
  • The New Forest has 34 square kilometres of broad-leaved inclosures, where bluebells flourish under the canopy of trees. 
  • Bluebell is also the name of a New Forest pony.
Cycling is a good way to see bluebells during May. The cycle route between New Park, Brockenhurst and Bank is especially good.