Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024

The bluebell season is here and is earlier than normal.  Usually the flowers are in full bloom around the May Bank holiday weekend.  This year their arrival appears to be 1 to 2 weeks early.  A blue carpet of bluebells is always stunning especially when set against the backdrop of the woodland.  This year I went to Hay Wood as a fellow photographer had taken a picture of the blue carpets of flowers and the scene looked stunning.  

Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
The blue carpet of bluebells.

Hay Wood is part of Forestry England and is a small wood which is near to Baddesley Clinton. The latter is an outstanding National Trust property which is always lovely to visit. We are fortunate to have Hay Wood nearby.  The bluebells appear on specific patches to the east and west parts of the woodland.  The easterly display was at its peak and even though I was there around midday, the light was wonderful.  The new shoots of green leaves glistened in the sun and the bluebells contrasted against the trees rising upwards.  

Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Light and shadows highlighting the scene.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Bluebells around the trees.

The bluebells to the west of the wood looked beautiful and they were still flowering.  More photographs of the blue carpet were taken.  The western part of the wood has a public footpath that links with St Michael’s church that is adjacent to the Baddesley Clinton estate.  I visited the church as there is the opportunity to take a picture of the bluebells in the foreground and the church providing the background interest.

Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
A solitary bluebell plant with a backdrop of green and blue.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Old tree trunks add interest to the scene.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
Muddy paths led to the bluebells.
Bluebells, Hay Wood, Near Baddesley Clinton, April 2024
St Michael’s Church, Baddesley Clinton with bluebells.

All these pictures were taken with my Fujifilm x100vi and  I bracketed the exposure of the pictures.  The 3 photographs were merged with the HDR function in Lightroom.  Some adjustments of the shadows and highlights plus dodging and burning were made.

If you enjoyed these pictures of the bluebells then please follow the links below to see previous entries in my blog.

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023

A new Lavender field to visit.  Warwickshire Lavender Fields is behind Coventry airport nestled in the beautiful countryside that remains between Coventry and Leamington Spa.  The fields are relatively young and started out in 2016.  Several photographic friends has told me about the fields and having done the Cotswolds Lavender fields, the family thought a fields closer to home would be worth a visit.

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
A low down view of the lavender fields
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Striking a pose in the colour purple.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Running through the lavender.

The day we chose was one of sunshine and showers.  The showers when they arrived were wet and windy.  This did not stop us having great fun at the fields. I understand that before we got there my oldest daughter had excelled at falling down a hole much to the amusement of the grandchildren.  When we arrived the heavens opened, and we got soaked.  However the rain did clear the fields, and everyone made for shelter. Although my camera was under threat from the rain, there were some wonderful photographic opportunities as people were crowded into the tents.  Even Lily came along to pose in front of the tents.  The children had such fun even though they got very wet.  The café served great coffee and lovely cakes and the shop offered a range of lavender products including bunches of lavender flowers.

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Then the rain came.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Luckily everyone could get into the tent to escape the rain.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Lily posing in front of everyone sheltering from the rain.
Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Chloe with her lavender flowers.

Whilst a bit of sunshine would have made the visit, we still enjoyed ourselves.  We set off home for a change of clothes and to share photographs of the day.  Well worth a visit and a very photogenic site for all photographers out there.

Warwickshire Lavender fields, Bubbenhall, Coventry, 2023
Lavender plants to take how with you.

If you want to know more about Warwickshire Lavender fields then please follow the link.

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Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood

Bluebells stretching out in a forest glen are always a wonderful sight to behold.  This year there has been an abundance of bluebells and they are slightly earlier than previous times.  For the photographer, bluebells are so appealing and to see the blue flowers either close up or at a distance is always very appealing.  This year I first noticed the bluebells when I visited the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and then again during a bike ride to Hay Wood that is close to home.  I have visited several bluebell woods before, including Austy Woods, and I am always on the lookout for one that may offer a different take on this renowned British walk.  The Heart of England Forest‘s Bluebell Wood which is in Great Alne, Warwickshire, held a charity woodland walk to help to conserve these irreplaceable ancient woodland habitats.  I found it by chance on browsing through Facebook and signed up for the event.

Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood
The start of the walk on a glorious spring day.
Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood
The path into the bluebell wood.
Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood
A beautiful ancient woodland with a lovely carpet of bluebells.

The wood is near to one of my favourite breweries, Purity Beer, but sadly we passed the entrance and arrived at the Great Alne wood.  Another time maybe! There were a few parked cars and there was a warm welcome from the organisers.  My daughter, Natasha and Noah, my grandson, came with me and we set off to explore.  This is an ancient wood and there were strategic signs placed along the way that gave us interesting nuggets of information about the wood.  There was also a tree log strategically placed midway during the walk, where we could get some lovely selfie pictures with a bluebell backdrop.  The place was quiet, and we felt at one with the place.  The wood has a rolling terrain with gentle hills which show off the bluebells.  Having had our fill of the bluebells we made our way back to the start.  There was a short detour to a hill that provided a view of the surrounding area.  The sun was out throughout the visit and this helped with the photography and views of both bluebells and scenery. 

Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood
Bluebell backgrounds always makes for a lovely photograph.
Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood
A view of bluebells in the ancient woodland.
Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood
The perfect opportunity for a lensball picture

Photographic tips – I took my tripod with me, and I used my Canon 5D mkIV.  I brought my general-purpose lens EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and a zoom lens EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM.  I added a polariser on the 24-70mm lens.  All pictures were taken in manual setting with the ISO 100 and I had my tripod to allow for a low shutter speed.  My trusty iPhone13 also delivered some excellent pictures.

Bluebell walk at Great Alne Wood
The final view of the Warwickshire countryside.

I have added links to previous bluebell walks.  Please also visit the Heart of England Forest websites to learn more about what they do protecting and developing our forests.
Bluebells in Austy Woods
Heart of England Forest


If I need to think things through or if I am stuck for something to photograph then I head for Lapworth.  The Canal Junction linking the Grand Union and the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal is a picturesque spot and has all those ingredients you need .  I had hoped for a spectacular sunset and whilst not an intense one, it did not disappoint.  I remembered to bring my wide angled lens and also a graduated filter.  This did make the difference and ensured that I got a good balance between the sky and the reflections in the water.  One of my pictures even made the BBC weather watchers and was shot on the iPhone.

The pedestrian bridge over the locks

Reflections of the sky

Where the canal splits with to the Grand Union or straight onto Stratford-upon-Avon

Standing further back from the Junction

The iPhone picture that made the BBC weather.