Bluebell Woods at Ashley Wood Nature Reserve

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Ashley Wood Nature Reserve can be found in Tarrant Keyneston which is located between Wimborne and Blandford.  The ancient woodland comes alive in spring and from mid/late April to early May you should see the most wonderful carpet of bluebells.

Ashley Wood Bluebells Dorset 13

Googling suggested to park on the main road and we drove up and down the small village working out the best way to get in to the woods.  We finally found out that there are several paths and since the village is very small I’d suggest parking where you see public parking bays and walking to the woods which you can see behind a few cottages.  We parked near the True Lovers Knot pub and because we couldn’t see a pathway on the main road when we arrived my husband suggested we walk down the lane which the pub sits on and then through the field next to it.  I’m not even sure if this was allowed so I probably wouldn’t advise it though.  We did however stay close to the edge of the field and stuck to the tractor paths which then led us up to a farm with a public path straight into the woods.  If you do venture down the lanes then look out for pheasants and rabbits in the hedgerows, we spotted quite a few on our walk.

We walked for over an hour taking in the most stunning sights of bluebells and noted there was plenty of pathways so you didn’t have to touch any of the wild flowers.  My children know the importance of not walking too close to flowers (I’m forever reminding them) so they were very good and only climbed the trees and fallen logs which are on the pathway.  We looped through the woods and knew we were coming back down close to the road and at this point the boys wanted to go one way while I wanted to go another so we said we’d have a race to the pub.  The girls won!  Although at one point I did question if we were in someone’s back garden when we came across a washing line haha.


Once we got back out on the main road the heavens opened and within just a few minutes we were drenched.  Luckily the pub provided a hot coffee for me and cold drinks for everyone else and we played a game at the table before heading back to the car and home again.

It’s very interesting to know that almost half of the world's bluebells are found in the UK and colonies of this wild flower take a long time to establish, around 5 to 7 years from seed to bloom.  They're considered so important that they're a protected species in the UK.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust acquired the reserve in 1999.  If you would like to read more about Ashley Wood Nature Reserve then please visit the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Pamphill Bluebell Woods is also currently in full bloom and nearby you’ll find Pamphill Dairy which has a café, play park, farm shop and an awesome ice cream parlour.  We’ve tested several of their homemade ice cream flavours over the years and thoroughly recommend a visit.  If you would like to read more then please see our blog post on Pamphill Bluebell Woods and Pamphill Dairy.

Need some more ideas on places to go in Dorset?

Free & low cost places to go in Dorset with kids

Pubs with play parks

Car boot sales in Dorset

Attractions and places to go in Dorset  

Ashley Wood Bluebells Dorset 13

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