One of my earliest memories of my father is of him showing me Bluebells growing wild in the hedgerows but until now I had not seen a woodland bursting with them at the peak of perfection. So this weekend I dug out my wellies to visit the Arlington Bluebell Walk & Farm Trail.
Situated in Beaton's Wood, East Sussex the ancient woodland covers an area of 23 beautiful acres of coppiced Oak and Hornbeam. The wood is open for 6 weeks during April and May allowing visitors the opportunity to wander along the ancient meandering tracks and marvel at a carpet of wild, native English Bluebells as far as the eye can see and in the process raising funds for local charities.
I hadn't quite imagined the effect of seeing these plants en masse, visually the impact is quite overwhelming and the scent of millions of Bluebells wafting gently over you in waves is an unforgettable experience. Although you could probably walk the route in an hour or so, we were blissfully unaware of time and spent several hours wandering around, even happening upon a woodsman working an old fashioned lathe who made the grave mistake of offering me the chance to turn a chair spindle, which now bears a rather large gauge across it! Oops!