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The best forests and gardens in the UK to see spring flowers

Simon Calder’s Travel

After a long, cold winter, there’s nothing like the sight of a forest floor carpetted in bluebells, or a cherry tree in full bloom to put a spring in your step.

What begins with snowdrops and crocuses in early spring continues with the arrival of daffodils and blackthorn, followed by bluebells and cherry blossom and oh so many more. In the course of just a few weeks, the UK countryside is transformed from a landscape of green and brown to a canvas of colour.

The exact timing of when the various species bloom depends, of course, on what the weather has been doing in the run up to spring (and over the previous autumn and winter, in fact), so while our round up should give you a good idea of what’s in flower when, if you’re hoping to see a particular display, it’s a good idea to check ahead with the specific garden or local wildlife trust ahead of your trip.

Whether your preference is for a wild woodland ramble or a sedate stroll through a manicured country house garden, we’ve got a springtime floral display that’ll put a smile on your face.

Alnwick Garden, Alnwick, Northumberland

People at Alnwick Garden in Northumberland admire the Cherry Orchard, the garden has the largest collection of ‘Taihaku’ in the world


This contemporary garden, which ajoins Northumberland’s 11th-century Alnwick Castle, is home to the largest collection of ‘Taihaku’ cherry trees in the world. A spring visit to the hillside orchard, with its carpet of tiny daffodils, is a truly immersive experience when all 329 trees bloom together for up to two weeks around the end of April or beginning of May. Make the most of the show of white blooms by taking a seat on one of the many swinging benches dotted throughout the orchard., tickets £12.10

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Castle Ward, Strangford, County Down

With half of the world’s bluebells said to be found here in the UK, you won’t have far to go to find a forest floor carpeted with these pretty blue blooms. One of our favourite places to see them is at 19th-century Castle Ward, in Strangford, Country Down, where you’ll find five miles of bluebell trails to explore – with the flowers appearing in April and May. Pick up a bluebell map at reception to help you find your way, or just wander where the mood takes you. Here, as in other bluebell woodland, remember to keep to the…

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