There's nothing like turning a corner on a forest walk to discover a carpet of bluebells sprawling the woodland floor.
On this island of ours, bluebells bloom from late April to early May and besides the Grand Stretch, are one of the first signs that summer's just around the corner.
The small blue perennials brighten up forest walks all over the country, so we've decided to round up some of our favourite places to enjoy them. Happy summer strolling.
Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve, Cork
A beautiful West Cork woodland walk where rivers flow and bluebells sprawl. After you've enjoyed the blue carpet, take a climb up Lady Bantry’s Lookout for views of Glengarriff, Garinish Island, Whiddy Island and Bantry Bay.
Emo Court, Laois
Enjoy a stroll in the grounds of Emo Court where you'll discover acres of woodlands and gardens, a peaceful lake and of course, plenty of bluebells.
Lissadell Woods, Co. Sligo
A lesser known woodland walk that starts at the carpark by Lissadell Beach, this spot is great for birdwatching as well as bluebells.
Derreen Woods, Co. Roscommon
Also known as Bluebell Wood, annually receives local, national and international publicity once Springtime hits and it's not hard to see why. Perfect for a Sunday ramble, soaking up the carpet of blue as you go.
Image via boyletoday.com
Clogrennan Woods, Carlow
Glogrennan Wood is a family friendly walk with beautiful views of Carlow Town and the River Barrow, and bluebells blooming throughout the woodlands.
Glenshelane Forest, Cappoquin, Waterford
Glenshelane Forest is home to two river glens and graded forest walks alongside them, with timber foot bridges and plenty of darling bells of blue.
This morning we paid our first visit to Glenshelane Wood, near Cappoquin in County Waterford.
What a lovely place for a walk! pic.twitter.com/BPoc9KMvrV
— Neil Jackman (@JackmanNeil) May 15, 2021
Killinthomas Wood, Rathangan, Kildare
Killinthomas Wood offers trails of the hike, bike, and running variety, with budding bluebells accenting fairytale-like countryside views.
— Eamon Timmins (@Eamon_Timmins) May 5, 2019
No one would need convincing to take a trip to Glendalough on a sunny day - the views, the lake, the goats that are cute from a distance - we love it all. But it's also a great place to enjoy these delicate blue Springtime blooms.
I’ve had so many nice comments recently from folks telling me that they enjoy my photos on Twitter, so here are a few from yesterday’s adventure to Devil’s Glen and Glendalough with @FreyaDasgupta. Not sure whether I was more in love with the bluebells, oaks, or beeches! 🤔🧡🌳 pic.twitter.com/kDk5viyv8u
— Hannah Millington (@Hannah_Hannes) May 15, 2022
Drumboe Woods, Ballybofey, Donegal
Drumboe Woods is the perfect place to watch the seasons change, whether it's bluebells blooming or leaves changing colour in Autumn. There are three short trails in the wood, all of which are well marked: the nature trail, the Multi Access Trail and the Drumboe Loop Trail.
Mount Stewart, Newtownards, County Down
A sea of bluebells is the first thing you see when you head to the Mount Stewart website, so you know they mean business. An amazing place to stroll and take in all the colours of spring, from show-stopping magnolias to roaming rhododendrons.
Did we miss out your favourite place to enjoy bluebells? Let us know!
Header image via Shutterstock