Spring is finally here! In the Peak District, patches of snow are still lingering about but the bulbs are making headway as they push on through the remnants of winter. We’ll soon be arriving at one of the most joyful times of the year, when woodlands are transformed by the fabulous bluebells that bloom and create a carpet of colour. In this blog over the coming weeks I’ll be looking at some of the best places in the Peak District to explore – all from my new Year Round Walks book. One of the main places you want to head for over the next couple of months is Hayfield, on the park’s western fringe, where you’ll find the aptly named Bluebell Wood.
Tackle this walk in April and May and there’ll be thousands of bluebells flowering, so take your camera and allow plenty of time to stop and wonder. The spring wonder takes place in a nature reserve you’ll come across after only a few meters from the car park for the Sett Valley Trail. It will provide lasting memories. Accessibility is the key in Bluebell Wood; the path for the public has been upgraded in such a fashion that it’s possible for pushchairs and wheelchairs to get all the way around. Duckboards to negotiate the trickiest surfaces have been made out of recycled plastic to ensure they it lasts as long as possible and isn’t sat in a landfill for years to come. Although the main reason people come here is to experience the festival of bluebells that lasts a few weeks in the spring, there is plenty to see during the rest of the year. Stoats, mice and weasels live in the wood, with badgers and deer also passing through. Wild flowers include wood anemone and marsh marigolds, while the many tree species include oak, maple and willow. It’s a superb place and a real highlight of the walk.
Find out more about the walk and other places to visit in the spring in Peak District Year Round Walks, which is out now through Countryside Books. https://countrysidebooks.co.uk/collections/year-round-walks/products/peak-district-year-round-walks?variant=5219976216612