The enchanting bluebell woods in East London that can be reached on the London Underground

The enchanting bluebell woods in East London that can be reached on the London Underground

Bluebell season is fast approaching but thankfully you won’t have to get out to the home counties to enjoy them in all their glory. In East London, there’s a wood blooming with the beautiful flowers all easily accessible from the nearest Tube stop.

They flower from mid-April to late May, carpeting woodland across the country with their signature lilac. But for Londoners, one of the best places to see them is in Chalet Wood.

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The woodland is part of Wanstead Park and can be reached easily from either Wanstead or Redbridge Underground Station.

There are many types of bluebell but the one indigenous to the UK is known as the British bluebell. It has other fantastically twee nicknames such as Cuckoo’s Boots, Lady’s Nightcap and Witches’ Thimbles.

The beautiful colony in Wanstead didn’t all happen naturally. A local conservation group called the Wren Group have been working the land and encouraging the habitat for the plants.

The nearby Wanstead flats are also great for a walk

If you do go and visit be particularly careful not to tread on flowers. If you are tempted to nab a quick photo in the middle, fight the urge as it will cause a lot of harm. They’re delicate plants that can take years to recover from damage to the delicate leaves and stems.

For walkers in need of a break, there is a cafe in the park nearby overlooking Heronry Pond, open weekends all year, and also mid-week in the summer months.

Those wanting more of a challenge can take a long walk across Wanstead Flats or down the River Roding where you can walk down to Barking, thanks to the work of the Roding Trust.

Almost half the world’s bluebells are found in the UK and are rare in the rest of the world. Spanish bluebells have taken root here which are invasive and can drive out the native species.

On the Spanish flower, the bells are all around the stem. On English bluebells, they’re just on one side, which gives their signature drooping stature.

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