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Kent: Where to see bluebells this spring at National Trust properties and Hole Park, Rolvenden

By Angela Cole

Spring's no time to feel blue - but if you really want blue in your life, dive into the season with a carpet of bluebells, which are bursting into bloom right now. Here's where to head in Kent to see them:

See bluebells across Kent this spring
See bluebells across Kent this spring

EMMETTS GARDEN, IDE HILL, SEVENOAKS

You may want to see crowds of bluebells, but less keen on seeing the crowds looking at them! Emmetts Garden's bluebells are a popular draw but if you want a calmer experience, and less searching for car parking spaces, staff recommend visiting Monday to Friday. If you do visit at a busy time, you can also park at nearby Toys Hill, which has a National Trust car park, and walks from it link up with the Emmetts Garden woodland, so you won't miss out on any of the flowers. To find out about the progress of the bluebells, join the Facebook page at emmettsgardenNT

For details and entry prices, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden

IGHTHAM MOTE, NEAR BOROUGH GREEN

Swathes of bluebells can be found in Scathes Wood, running alongside the driveway. The ancient woodland is home to around 15 acres carpeted in the distinctive blue colour of spring, so it's the perfect place to shake off winter. There are a number of estate walks you can try. To find one that suits you, visit nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote

Visitors at Emmetts Garden
Visitors at Emmetts Garden

SISSINGHURST CASTLE GARDEN

There are some 126million individual bluebells in the woodland at Sissinghurst, along with daffodils and crocuses. In the garden made famous by creators Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, springtime is full of wall flowers, tulips and narcissus.

For details go to nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden

KNOLE, SEVENOAKS

There are two opportunities to stroll through the 1,000 acre ancient deer park and admire the bluebells, the first of which is this weekend. The family walk takes you along the prehistoric riverbed to One Tree Hill, where there should be a carpet of bluebells. There should also be breathtaking views over the Weald. The family walks are on Saturday, April 28 and Saturday, May 5 between 2pm and 4pm. The event is free, with a suggested donation of £2. For more details visit nationaltrust.org.uk/knole

The site has also just become one of the Seven Wonders of the Weald, joining existing members Chiddingstone Castle, Scotney Castle, Hole Park, Kent and East Sussex Railway, Biddenden Vineyards and the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Knole was approached to joint the tourism partnership for its history and sweeping parkland with a wild deer herd, plus its grand showrooms and world class collection.

The partnership offers pass for one free visit to all the attractions for £30 over a year. For details go to sevenwonders.org.uk

Bluebells at Hole Park, Rolvenden
Bluebells at Hole Park, Rolvenden

HOLE PARK GARDENS, ROLVENDEN

The gardens host a Bluebell Festival from now until Thursday, May 3. The display of flowers can be enjoyed from the circular woodland walk, which takes you past the renovated ice house and through the garlic walk. There are also flowering meadows with fritillaries and buttercups.

Hole Park also has a bluebell barometer on its website, showing how well they are flowering, which is regularly updated.

Entry to the gardens is £7.50 and £1 for ages five to 18. For more information go to holepark.com

DID YOU KNOW..?

It is against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells.

If you plant bluebells, you should make sure it's the English bluebell, not the Spanish version. This is a more vigorous plant and could out-compete our delicate native flower.

Almost half the world's bluebells are found in the UK.

The blooming date for bluebells varies depending on the weather, but you can usually expect to see them in April and May.

A bumblebee clings to a bluebell
A bumblebee clings to a bluebell

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