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A walk in a bluebell wood – Prior’s wood in Bristol – video

April and May are the Bluebell months in England but the April showers were also plentiful this year. For several weekends I’d been watching the bluebells in our front garden, wanting to get out into the Bluebell woods around Bristol but put off by the heavy rain. Finally we got a sunny day and set off for our Bluebell walk at Prior’s wood near Portbury, over the Clifton suspension bridge and turn left just before junction 19 of the M5.

Bluebells in Prior's Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Bluebells in Prior’s Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol

We parked the car in a lay-by just beyond the village of Portbury and walked back to the gated lane with the old lodge. The wood was once part of the Tyntesfield Estate near Wraxall that is now owned by the National Trust and timber was used in the estate sawmills.  Luckily I found a handy 1 page PDF guide to Prior’s Wood from the Avon Wildlife Trust, that gave us excellent directions and information for our bluebell walk.

I hope you enjoy the video below about the Bluebell walk at Prior’s wood near Bristol

If you can’t see the video above, view it on my blog here

Following the suggestion on the guide we headed straight up the hill rather than turning right by the lodge like everyone else and passing a house went through another gate on the track. Immediately after the gate we turned left following the Prior’s Wood signs and down some steps to a flat track that skirted the side of the hill. Down to our left was a stream but on the hillside were plenty of bluebells among the clearings of oaks and sweet chestnut trees.

Bluebells in Prior's Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Bluebells in Prior’s Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol

On this side of the hill the background hum of the motorway traffic was more muffled and somewhere high up in the trees a bird was warbling it’s heart out. I experimented with different camera settings, trying to get the perfect bluebell shot until Guy asked “do you think you have enough bluebell photos now?” and we continued our walk. Skirting the edge of the hill on a track that was muddy and churned up (thank goodness for the wellington boots) we eventually came  to the end of the high ground where we could see another gate into the wood and fields beyond. In the distance we could see the Children’s Hospice Southwest who had originally owned the wood and sold it to the Avon Wildlife Trust. Here there was an information sign and map of the woods and we turned down the hill, where countryside was more open but still with clouds of bluebells on either side – who says that bluebells only grow in the shade?

Bluebells in Prior's Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Bluebells in Prior’s Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol

At the end of the path was a stream with a slatted wooden bridge to cross and on the other side, a path that skirted the hill with thick woodland and more bluebells on either side although not quite so many, as the tree canopy was heavier here. After a while the paths opened up showing a vista of a meadow with some onion scented wild garlic (the thugs of the wood) and then we joined an open path with a view towards the motorway and walked back towards the lodge and the start of our walk. We passed a solo woman walking who asked us anxiously if we’d seen any bluebells? “Oh yes”, we said, “just up there and over there and round there”, but she’d have almost done better to turn back and start her walk in the other direction as we had. Behind her were two families, the mums chatting to one another, children banging sticks in mock fights that they’d picked up along the way.

If you get there next weekend, you’ll probably still see some bluebells but a week more and I expect they’ll be gone – I’m sure the walk is lovely just the same and you can always come back next year, from mid April to mid May. When the bluebells are in full bloom in your garden, they’ll be a couple of weeks behind in the woods. For more information about Prior’s wood, check the Avon Wildlife Trust page for Prior’s wood and print off their PDF guide to Prior’s wood before you go. The walk took us about an hour and a half, and if you’d like to try another Bluebell walk in Bristol there’s always the Bluebell wood near Abbot’s Leigh.

Check for the best hotel prices in Bristol and book here.

Bluebells in Prior's Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Bluebells in Prior’s Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol

Directions to Prior’s wood from the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Coming from Clifton village, drive over the Clifton Suspension bridge and at the next traffic lights opposite the entrance to Ashton Court turn right. Drive straight ahead along the A369 Abbots Leigh Road for about 10 minutes, then just before the roundabout of the junction 19 M5 motorway turn left following the signs to Portbury. When you reach the centre of Portbury village take the right fork of the road signposted to Portishead/Clevedon and then where the road makes a right turn, go straight ahead along Caswell Lane and park in the layby or in the car park of the rugby club a little further on. Walk back on yourself to the gated lane with the lodge house on the right side where there is an information sign to start the walk.

Directions to Prior’s wood from the M5 motorway

Come off the motorway at Junction 19 and follow signs for A369 , Clifton suspension bridge and Easton in Gordano. Immediately after coming off the roundabout onto the A369 (don’t go into the services), turn right following the sign for Portbury and continue using the directions above.

Bluebells in Prior's Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Bluebells in Prior’s Wood, Nr Portbury, Bristol

More woodland walks in England

A Bluebell wood at Abbots Leigh in Bristol
Snowdrops at Lytham Hall – in Lancashire, England
Everyday Lovely – Wild Garlic in the woods near Bristol

 

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heatheronhertravels' Bluebell wood - Prior's wood, Bristol photoset heatheronhertravels’ Bluebell wood – Prior’s wood, Bristol photoset

 

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeffrey Willius
    May 17, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Lovely, Heather! I don’t know which I enjoyed more in the video, the bluebells or the bird song. THanks for transporting me for a few moments.

    • Reply
      Heather
      May 19, 2012 at 7:53 am

      @Jeffrey – The birdsong felt really loud in the wood, so I must admit I turned the volume up for full effect

  • Reply
    A walk in a bluebell wood – Prior’s wood in Bristol – video_Go Time Travel Blog | Go Time Travel Blog
    May 18, 2012 at 7:38 am

    […] If you can’t see the video above, view i&#11… […]

  • Reply
    Sophie
    May 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Very pretty! I was visiting my mother yesterday and her garden was a carpet of bluebells (not as tall as the ones in your photos, though).

    • Reply
      Heather
      May 19, 2012 at 7:53 am

      @Sophie – one of the lovely things about the English seasons, that we get these wild flowers and then they’re gone for another year

  • Reply
    Victoria from Roomguide
    May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    A really good read!

    • Reply
      Heather
      May 22, 2012 at 8:24 am

      @Victoria Glad you enjoyed the article

  • Reply
    Ankit Ji
    May 28, 2012 at 11:06 am

    A ultimate Heather! I really appreciated to read post I love the picturization in this blog. It’s a wonderful green way to Grab many tpes of flawers.

  • Reply
    Caroline Duncan
    May 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Heather, Great tip. Thank you:) lovely walk and bluebells and wild garlic.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      May 12, 2013 at 7:50 am

      @Caroline Pleased that you enjoyed the post – happy bluebell hunting, they should be at their best in the next week or two

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