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10 of the best places in Britain to see spring flowers: readers’ tips

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “10 of the best places in Britain to see spring flowers: readers’ tips” was written by Guardian readers, for theguardian.com on Thursday 11th March 2021 10.57 UTC

Winning tip: Signs of renewal, Bath

Clusters of cotton, amethyst and mustard sprout proud from the morning dew; crocuses thrive above ground as the harsh winter sun gives way to a blinding dawn of new; a sign from Mother Nature that the seasons are changing. This delicate flower is a symbol of hope, change and vitality despite the interminable lockdown. Soon the manicured lawns of Bath’s Royal Victoria Park will be awash with colour as these delicate blossoms take root, a reminder that after the storms we’ve weathered, life will return in abundance to this sparse Eden, just as light will soon return to our lives.
Jenna Rainey

A floral mosaic in machair meadows, North Uist

Spring flowers in the Meadows of Machair, North Uist
The machair at Balranald is formed of lime-rich shell sand washed up thousands of years ago by the sea.
Photograph: Vanessa Wright

Machair is a rare and precious form of dune grassland found in the Outer Hebrides, built on the fragments of seashells laid down over thousands of years. Every spring at Balranald there blooms a mosaic of flora: dancing daisies, golden buttercups, and the purples and pinks of clover and cranesbill. Threatened bird species benefit from this unique habitat, including chough, corn bunting and the elusive corncrake, filling the air with the rasping call that sounds like its Latin name, Crex crex. I can’t wait!
Vanessa Wright

Guardian Travel readers’ tips

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be featured online and may appear in print. To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

Bursting into blossom, Nottingham

Pink blossom at Nottingham Arboretum
Cherry tree blossom at Nottingham Arboretum.
Photograph: Lucy

Nottingham Arboretum has some stunning blossom in March and April. There are more than 800 trees and 65 species but the pink and white blossoms dotted around the undulating grounds are just magnificent and leave a confetti of petals on the ground. There are also a number of listed structures and statues here, as well as an aviary, a duck pond, a bandstand and a cafe. It’s the oldest public park in Nottingham, opened in 1852, and the closest to the city centre – and it’s free to visit.

Timeless serenity among the graves, west London

South Ealing Cemetery brighter
Crocuses at South Ealing Cemetery.
Photograph: Annie Ward

Not far from the crowded parks of Gunnersbury and Walpole, South Ealing cemetery is a corner of timeless serenity. There’s a woodland feel to the old graveyard. In early spring the ground gleams bright with thousands of purple crocuses, interrupted by subtle drifts of snowdrops. Bluebells emerge later in the season. Wait until early evening and go for a wander among the gravestones and carved angels, all softened by time and moss and golden light. The air is hushed, then cut with sharp birdsong and the exuberance of new life.
Annie Ward

A glorious field of hope, Liverpool

Daffodils in Field of Hope, planted by Marie Curie charity, Sefton Park, Liverpool
The daffodils in the Field of Hope were planted by the Marie Curie charity.
Photograph: Jennifer Jones

A million daffodils were planted in the Field of Hope by the Marie Curie charity. Take a short walk from the car park in the south-east corner of Sefton Park and you are soon beguiled by the sight: they are beside the lake and beneath the trees, a scintillating saffron spread giving hope in spring. Some early-flowering species have been planted elsewhere in the park, so blooms will lift your spirits from late January through to April. Hope springs here, only two miles from Liverpool city centre.
Jennifer Jones

Glory illuminated, east London

Bluebells in Wanstead Park.
Bluebells in Wanstead Park’s Chalet Woods.
Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

A hidden gem of nature in London is Wanstead Park, a 140-acre, Grade II-listed park with tranquil woodlands and ornamental lakes, landscaped as a magnificent garden for Wanstead House in the 1700s. Though the mansion is long gone, splendour is easily found elsewhere, and nowhere more so than for a brief spell every spring in the park’s Chalet Woods. This small, unassuming patch of woodland unveils a dense carpet of bluebells during April, becoming stunningly illuminated with the rising or setting sun streaming through the canopy above.

Path of wonders, Pembrokeshire

Wildflowers on the cliffs of Pembrokeshire coast path near St Davids.
Wildflowers on the cliffs of Pembrokeshire coast path near St Davids.
Photograph: Michael Roberts/Getty Images

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path in south Wales – particularly north of St Davids – is a wonderful place to view spring flowers. At the sides of the footpath are the most beautiful primroses, daffodils, thrift, sea campions, cowslips and sea holly. There’s also a superb array of bird life to enjoy, including red kites and choughs. It is a spectacular stretch of coastline.
Maryclare Shields

None more blue, Surrey

A single bluebell flower
Bluebells start to bloom in woods from mid-April.
Photograph: John Insull/Alamy

The bluebells at Staffhurst Woods (a Surrey Wildlife Trust reserve) near Oxted are joyous from mid-April – every time you think you have reached peak blue you turn a corner and discover yet more swathes. Make sure you try both sides of the wood (a road runs through the middle).
Jennifer Woodcock

Pilgrimage to a place of peace, Warwickshire

Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
Our reader finds peace among the flowers of Baddesley Clinton.
Photograph: Tim Priest

Each year I make a spring pilgrimage to St Michael’s church, linked by an ancient lane to the National Trust’s moated house at Baddesley Clinton in Warwickshire. Its delight is in greenly golden daffodils, but snowdrops also grace the graves as sun streams through the fuzz now softening the trees. There is peace, and the past, and the promise of perpetuity.
Tim Priest

Uplifting colours and scents, Warwickshire

the formal gardens of a stately home, coughton court, warwickshire, england, ukMHC88P the formal gardens of a stately home, coughton court, warwickshire, england, uk
The formal gardens of Tudor Coughton Court come to life in spring.
Photograph: ImagesEurope/Alamy

For a truly captivating experience, explore Coughton Court near Alcester, in springtime. The award-winning gardens come to life as flowers peek through the earth and blossom begins to adorn the trees. As buds awaken from their slumber, joyful daffodils burst into the sunlight; the perfume of apple blossom caresses the air and the slumbering ferns begin to unfurl. A murmur of movement arouses the senses as a kaleidoscope of insects dance in nature’s playground. It uplifts the soul and fills the heart with pleasure.

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