A Walk in the Bluebell Woods

The bank holiday weekend was a bit of a washout where we are.  Both Saturday and Sunday were mostly rainy with only the occasional glimpse of sunshine in between the torrential showers.  We managed to nip out to our local Waterstones (Ella’s favourite shop!) so she could buy a book with her pocket money, we watched DVDs and did some painting.  But by Monday I’d got serious cabin fever and was absolutely determined that we were going to go out and explore somewhere new, come rain or shine.

The husband had to work until 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday (he loves his job but sometimes it sucks that he has to work when everyone else has time off) so we met him when he finished and made our way to our destination.  Every year we try and visit some bluebell woods for a long walk in the fresh air and in previous years we’ve visited Yoxall Lodge and Sugnall Hall.  This year I wanted to go somewhere different so I’d done some research and settled upon Rode Hall and Gardens.

It took us about 45 minutes door to door and it was worth going that little bit further – it was stunning.  We only paid to go in the gardens and do the Bluebell Trail (£5 per adult and £1 per child, under 5’s free), though I’m tempted to go back and have a wander around Rode Hall itself as well for a couple of extra pounds each.  Perhaps we’ll go back in January or February next year – they have a Snowdrop Trail as well and we’ve never done that before.

The grounds were beautiful – lots of gorgeous old walls, gates and archways, statues and flowerbeds.  There were some enormous rhododendron bushes as well – a couple were beginning to flower but we were just slightly too early to see them fully in bloom.  I reckon in a week or so they’ll be absolutely stunning.  There was a little wishing well and a secret grotto that the girls loved too.

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The grounds were full of these gorgeous old walls and gateways

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Walking through the woodland to get to the bluebell trail

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One of the rhododendron bushes that was in flower

I think we ended up doing the Bluebell Trail backwards.  I’m not quite sure how that happened but it pretty much sums us up as a family – we rarely do things conventionally!  As a result we saw the grand finale of an incredible carpet of beautiful bluebells quite early on in our walk – they were spectacular.

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The first bluebells we found so of course I had to take an obligatory shot of the girls amongst them 😉

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These little arrows marked the bluebell trail

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An absolutely stunning carpet of bluebells – even more pretty in the sunshine!

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Stopping to take a closer look at (and smell) the flowers

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I love this photo

The girls had little quiz sheets to do along the way – they had to find various wicker animals on the trail and if they found them all they could hand it in at the end and get a prize (a lolly).

The trail wasn’t just about the bluebells though.  The rest of the grounds were beautiful too, with blossom trees, ponds/lakes and little waterfalls a-plenty.  Many of the plants were labelled too so they could learn what they all were.

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One of the wicker animals we had to find along the trail – he was rather magnificent

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At the end of the trail was a very tiny and cute little shop selling homemade cakes and dried bouquets of flowers. I think there was a tearoom too but we didn’t visit it as it was getting late and we needed to get home.

We had a lovely afternoon at Rode Hall and Gardens and will definitely go back again.

Please note: I have not been asked (or paid!) to write this post.  All images, thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.  We really enjoyed our time there and I wanted to share it with all of you so you can go and explore it too 🙂

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