The bluebells have been really fantastic this year. I've been seeking them out- on a sunny late afternoon (or morning, if you are up with the larks) the light filters through the forest just right and the forest floor becomes awash with the stunning purple blooms.
After a rather intelligent google search (bluebells near london) I settled on a trip out to Osterley Park, a National Trust site out by Heathrow.
It did not disappoint.
It was a lovely garden walk though. The spring blooms are such a relief and still a novelty after a drab winter.
I didn't get too much info about the history of the estate. Queen Elizabeth was a onetime visitor. Thomas Jefferson was as well. I guess he wasn't on the no-fly list like I would expect an American patriot to be. There were several posh outbuildings on the grounds. I mean, this. This was where they kept the cold-intolerant plants:
And this elegant little outbuilding was described as a place where people could come in if they got caught in the rain while walking in the gardens:
The real stars were the flowers.
While I didn't get the beams of sunlight throwing streaks across the forest floor that I kept dreaming about. Going through a quiet forest carpeted with bluebells is pretty much magic at any hour. Well, except for midnight. Then it's just inky.
I didn't even "touch up" this picture, but it looks super fake:
It wouldn't surprise me at all if tiny sprites appeared.