Arlington Bluebell Walk: spring into action and discover the most beautiful woodland flower display nature has to offer

Arlington Bluebell Walk opens from April 11 to May 19, 2013

Given we are experiencing the coldest March in 50 years, please check to see if the bluebells are out yet!

If you go down to Arlington woods today you had better believe your eyes! It’s bluebell season once again and with 23 acres of English native bluebells to discover, you will most definitely have a big surprise.

A visit to Bluebell Walk near Arlington is one of the greatest pleasures springtime can offer lovers of the Sussex countryside. For 41 years the woodland walk, near Hailsham, has offered one of the most spectacular displays of English bluebells you can find anywhere in the UK, and this year’s crop won’t disappoint (although the weather is in charge of course!). Why not also walk through the white wood anemones which precede the bluebells – they will also be looking fabulous.

A visit to Arlington will also support others. As well as taking in the beautiful Sussex scenery, visitors will be helping to raise money for charity. This year 17 charities will take it in turns to provide walkers with food and drink.

Over the past 41 years since Arlington opened to the public, we have raised over £240,000 for 60 local charities – over £500,000 at today’s values!

As the great English spring weather may not always be predicable, to stop you feeling blue our team at Arlington will be also hosting a series of activities throughout the bluebell season.

If you want more than a walk amongst the bluebells why not:

  • Take a photo and enter our Photographic Competition – you could be on the front cover of our 2014 publicity leaflet!
  • ‘Paint Me a Bluebell’ – paint or draw anything to do with bluebells, send a photo of your work and visitors will vote for their favourite!
  • Enter our Children’s Quiz – post your finished quiz in the box in the Animal Barn and all correct entries will be entered into a draw!
  • Meet the author of popular children’s book Granny Marmalade and Uncle Tractor – or fancy learning how to make a ‘simple’ marmalade?
  • Learn more about farm animals – come along to see cows being milked
  • Visit the refurbished Bluebell Barn – while here walk around the Farmers Mini Market. Need any eggs, fruit juice, preserves, jellies?

And don’t forget, if you want to come more than once, why not join the Friends of Arlington Bluebell Walk and visit as many times as you like!

As well as all this our refurbished farm shop will also be open daily to offer drinks, snacks and hopefully some shelter from the spring sunshine or rain.

English bluebells at Arlington Bluebell Walk, East Sussex

English bluebells at Arlington Bluebell Walk, East Sussex

The eight walks over three working farms are suitable for all, including those with walking difficulties, who can be helped with free disability scooters, which were used a whopping 300 times last year.  Dogs are also most welcome, on leads.

“One of the best ways to enjoy the spring season is by visiting Arlington to watch nature come back to life. The bluebell woods never disappoint and the team there put on so many fabulous events there is something for every family member to enjoy. I visit with my family every year and they always make it bigger and better every year”. – Friend of the Arlington Bluebell Walk.

For more information contact Quentin Williamson on 01322 272676 or Ann Grain on 07861 376 844 or visit our website

Did you know?

  • ¹Most bluebells are found in ancient woodland where the rich habitat supports a whole host of species. Ancient woodland includes woods from the 17th century and some may even be remnants of the original wildwood that covered Britain after the last Ice Age.
  • Bluebells contain at least 15 biologically active compounds that may provide them with protection against insects and animals.
  • Certain extracts – water-soluble alkaloids – are similar to compounds tested for use in combating HIV and cancer.
  • The bulbs of bluebells are used in folk medicine as a diuretic or styptic, while the sap can be used as an adhesive.
  • The bluebell is a protected species in UK law.
  • Some estimates suggest the UK has up to half of the world’s total bluebell population.
  • Cross-breeding between the English (native) and Spanish species of bluebell means you may spot flowers which combine traits from both.

Unusual bluebell facts

1. In the Bronze Age, people used bluebell glue to attach feathers to their arrows

2. The Victorians used the starch from crushed bluebells to stiffen the ruffs of their collars and sleeves

3. Bluebell sap was used to bind pages to the spines of books

4. Legend also says that a field of bluebells is intricately woven with fairy enchantments

5. Bees can ‘steal’ nectar from bluebells by biting a hole in the bottom of the bell, reaching the nectar without pollinating the flower.

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