wild landscapes

The Bluebell Walk

Bluebells in Cornwall often grow in the open and not just in broadleaf woodlands or the outer edges. I see more bluebells in the lanes and on the hill than in the wood. I think of them as May flowers, but they seem to appear in April now, maybe because Aprils over the past few years have been warmer.

Following the horse trail around the base of Trencrom hill leads to a little dell where the bluebells grow in profusion. But before we get there let’s enjoy them where they grow at the sides of the path

There’s also white wood anemones in a few places, hard to photograph because they are growing amongst brambles and bracken.

The bluebells line the curves of the trail, you need to watch your feet so you don’t trample on them! Plenty of trip hazards too!

Before we reach the dell I spot a tiny paddock with a carpet of flowers so obviously I have to divert to see what that’s all about. We are talking native bluebells here by the way. The ones that only flower from one side of the stem and the flowers always droop downwards. Hyacinthoides non-scripta, otherwise named common bluebells, English bluebells, British bluebells, wood bells, fairy flowers and wild hyacinth. I’m rather partial to fairy flowers. They are also not really blue. If you examine them closely you will see that they are violet-blue with a more turquoise stripe on the base of the tubular bell flowers.

Native bluebells have:

  • narrow leaves, about 1-1.5cm wide
  • deep violet-blue (sometimes white), narrow, tubular-bell flowers, with tips that curl back
  • flowers on one side of the stem
  • distinctly drooping stems
  • sweet scent
  • cream-coloured pollen inside

My photos aren’t so clear as it was a bit breezy on the hill! Never a good thing when trying to take close-ups of flowers.

Back on the hill I follow the winding path to the dell, pausing to take a photo of a tree I have not noticed in flower before. Apple maybe? I will need to have another look later in the year.

When I reach the dell I am not disappointed, This natural hollow is filled with blue. And the fresh lime green of the trees are a lovely bright contrast. The views aren’t bad from here either.

The circular route around the base takes you onto part of the St Michael’s Way which is  one of the Camino routes. I haven’t walked the entire route Lelant to St Michael’s Mount, because I think it is badly signed and badly maintained. For instance the next section from the hill was signposted (I say was because the sign has disappeared) over a stile into a field which is usually full of cattle and the not only is the entrance a quagmire but there is no indication where the ‘path’ exists across the field. You’d think a route as important as this would be properly maintained. Anyway I digress.

Along this eastern side of the hill there are not so many bluebells even though this is the edge of the woodland. There is however a rather lovely track that is a lot less uneven and lined with many native trees such as oak, beech and maple and holly, along with hawthorn and others I can’t identify. Wild honeysuckle is prevalent here too so in the summer it is a highly fragrant stroll.

Exiting onto the lane I make my way up to the gate where I usually take my photo overlooking Godrevy lighthouse and the beaches to the north. Not today though as it is overcast and cloudy. Time to hurry home before it rains. Though one last stop to take a photo of the cow parsley just making its annual appearance.

Whilst we are confined to #StayAtHome I will be posting photos from around my house and garden to hopefully cheer us all up.

Jo’s Monday Walk


  1. This is a sight I hope to see for myself one day. What a shame the walking path isn’t better maintained.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You need a spring holiday then! Actually spring is the best time to visit Cornwall. And yes, if that route was properly maintained it would be fantastic. I’d happily walk more of it, but sliding in mud and wading through brambles or avoiding cattle is not for me.

  2. Bluebell heaven–thanks!

    1. Heyjude says:

      A pleasure. It really is lovely wandering around that hill. Although on that afternoon it was very breezy.

  3. pommepal says:

    A lovely walk Jude. I can’t remember the last time I saw bluebells flowering. A delightful sight

  4. margaret21 says:

    This looks fabulous. And I’m impressed by your bluebell photos in particular. I just cannot achieve the right blue!

    1. Heyjude says:

      A lot depends on the light and the camera. Last year I took photos in the evening and the flowers look purple.

  5. Leya says:

    A wonderful bluebell walk, Jude – and your photos sell Cornwall and St Michael’s Way for future travels! I hope they will sign post it better again. We plan to walk all the Skåne walks this spring and summer, as we cannot travel as usual.

  6. Very pretty. We were looking at bluebells in a park near us, though I suspect they might have been a different kind. (Spanish bluebells?)

    1. Heyjude says:

      Spanish ones have flowers on both sides of the stem and they do not have a fragrance. They look more like hyacinths, and come in paler blues, white and pink.

      1. Sounds like they were definitely Spanish then.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Still pretty.

  7. Cathy says:

    One of the benefits of the lockdown has been our daily walks and the pleasure of seeing things we might otherwise have missed, like all the bluebells which we have seen on verges and in woodlands

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think I started to notice the little things around me when I started taking part in a seasonal challenge, where the aim was to record the same place each month. I took the same route around Ludlow where I was living at the time and tried to take the same photographs.
      Something like that opens your eyes to the changes.

      1. Cathy says:

        Yes, that’s a good challenge – good to see your Ludlow photographs. Sometimes at the end of the year I have shown my End of Month View pictures for one part of the garden, which is at least interesting for me if nothing else!

  8. I remember going bluebell hunting as a child. What a lot of them you found. A really gorgeous sight. 😍

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