tree in the middle of bluebell flowers


According to the Woodland Trust, Kinclaven Bluebell Wood in Perthshire is one of the best places to see bluebells in full bloom. I visited a few bluebell woods in the UK, but Kinclaven is another level. It really takes your breath away.

Visiting at the right time in spring you will be rewarded with a spectacular showcase of these beautiful, delicate and very fragrant blue flowers. Out of this world it really is, just imagine the fairies plodding about in this ancient wood. Magic.

How to get to Kinclaven Bluebell Wood?

Kinclaven Bluebell Wood (previously known as Ballathie Bluebell Wood) is located in Stanley near Murthly in Perthshire, Scotland. Only half an hour from Perth or Dundee. There is an idea for your next day’s trip.

tree with green leaves surrounded by carpets of bluebells and ferns

Who owns Kinclaven Bluebell Wood?

It is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust who purchased the site from the Ballathie Estates in 2017, following a successful appeal and thanks to a gift left in a supporter’s will. Since then over 34,000 trees and native shrubs have been planted increasing the size of the wood by half.

Things to do in Kinclaven Bluebell Wood

Go for a walk

Take a stroll along the unsurfaced circular walk waymarked Oakwood Loop which is about 1,5 miles (2,5km) long. The best place is to start at the free car park (no toilet facilities). You can also extend the walk by exploring the path through the new woodland in Court Hill.

Spot the wildlife

Not only you can experience the ancient woodland carpeted in bluebells in May, but you can also spot a variety of wildlife. Red squirrels have been re-introduced to the area and if you are lucky you can come across a pine marten. Additionally, listen out for woodpeckers, linnets and spotted flycatchers.

Red squirrel sitting on a tree stump in woodland
Red Squirrel

Dog Walks

Take your doggies for walkies. Keep them under control and where signposted on the lead. Do not let them trample the bluebells.

About Bluebells

Native bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, is a member of the asparagus family. They are deep blue and grow on one side of the stem which gives them a distinctive nod or drooping look. Bluebells spend most of the time underground as bulbs. The presence of bluebells is an indicator of ancient woodland.

bluebell flower detail


What month do bluebell flower?

Bluebells usually flower from late March to May but it does vary from year to year. They flower in May in Kinclaven Bluebell Wood. They are one of the last spring flowers to bloom before the woodland canopy closes up and new leaves block out the sunlight.

bluebells close up

Do bluebells grow back every year?

Bluebells are perennials which means they flower every year.


bluebells and ferns

Can you pick bluebells in the woods?

The short answer is No. Bluebells are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). This means digging up the plant or bulb in the countryside is prohibited and landowners are prohibited from removing bluebells from their land to sell.

ancient woodland with bluebells

Are bluebells poisonous?

All parts of the bluebell plant contain toxic glycosides that are poisonous to humans, dogs, horses and cattle. If any part of the plant is eaten, it can cause serious stomach upset, and if consumed in large quantities, may be fatal. So please don’t eat them. Saying that you should not be picking them anyway! Also, do not mistake them for spring onions or garlic.

Trampling will destroy the bluebells

They are particularly sensitive to trampling. They develop slowly, each plant takes between 5 and 7 years to flower from seed. Once damaged, the leaves cannot produce food to put back into their bulbs, which means they are less able to produce flowers and seeds. Bluebells need centuries to carpet a woodland floor and are incredibly fragile. Remember, they are protected!

tree with green leaves surrounded by carpets of bluebells and ferns

Did you know?

Bluebell woods are somehow the UK’s speciality. Did you know that the UK’s woodlands are home to almost 50% of the world’s population of the bluebell? How cool is that?

tree surrounded by english bluebells ICM image (intentional camera movement)

Have you visited Kinclaven Bluebell Wood? Tell me about your experience at the end of this article. I would love to hear about it! 


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  1. A Capone Connection

    The bluebells look incredible. At first glance, I thought they were lavender fields. I’ve never even heard of seeing so many bluebells. I would love to see this in person one day. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing experience and beautiful pictures.

  2. Wow! I never knew something like this existed. Silly I know! Thanks for sharing

  3. What gorgeous flowers, and I had no idea that they were also protected! I’d love to stroll through these woods in the spring and enjoy the burst of bluebell color!

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