Micheldever Woods, Hampshire – Spring Bluebells

Micheldever Woods in Hampshire are located a short distance from the small city of Winchester. While the woods are lovely for walks all through the year, it is in the spring that they show their true beauty and colours. Bluebells coats the floor in a deep blue that changes to lilac as the setting sun moves through the sky, all with the heady scent of the flowers hanging in the air.

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Bluebells at Micheldever Wood

The woods at Micheldever are small in comparison to other woodlands in the UK but they provide the perfect environment for a range of wildlife species. Roe and fallow deer can be found in the woods as well as many species of flowers and butterflies. It is predominantly a beech wood although conifer trees appear to break up the delicate branches of the beech trees. Paths twist through the woods making it perfect for a circular walk. It is managed by the Forestry Commission who maintain the paths and scrub.

READ MORE: OTHER PLACES TO FIND BLUEBELL WOODS

In April and May the woodland floor is blanketed in a covering of bluebells. The shade from the dense beech trees means that undergrowth does not suffocate the bluebells that grow before the canopy blocks out the light.

Archaeology at Micheldever Woods

A trail from Northington Lane takes walkers past an ancient Bronze Age burial mound and Iron Age earthworks. These are not easily identified so information boards will help you figure out what you are looking at.

Micheldever Village

Across the motorway from the woodland is Micheldever Village. This has ancient half timber framed buildings with their distinctive whitewash walls and thatched roofs. The village is focussed around the unusual 16th century church which had an octagonal tower added in the early 1800’s. It is really strange to see a normal tower with an octagonal structure bolted onto the back!

Photographing Bluebells at Micheldever

The bluebells are out in numbers during April and May, but will vary from year to year. The woodland floor will be dense with the bluebells and many of the paths will become narrow and hidden. The bluebells are best photographed at sunrise and sunset when the sun is low and will enhance the colours of the flowers.

READ MORE: HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH BLUEBELLS

It is worth wandering the woods for a while to find a location with a clear foreground. In some places the undergrowth can be quite dense and distracting. There are however some nice large logs dotted around along with large ferns that can provide an interesting foreground.

Sunstars can be achieved using a wide aperture and allowing the sun to peek out from behind the trees. This works especially well just before sunset and just after sunrise when the sun is dropping down behind the trees. At this time the trees will also allow beautiful shadows to be cast across the bluebells which are worth capturing as well.

As well as the usual landscape photographs, think about intentional camera movement to give a different appearance to the woodland. This is perfect if the weather is overcast and grey when you arrive. Using a longer exposure time (1 second or more) and moving the camera in line with the trees will blur out the details giving an impression of the bluebell woodland.

Finally, look at the details. Pick out individual plants and flowers. There are some white and pink bluebells amongst the sea of blue so finding those and making them your focus can give a different side to the woodland.

Details Of Micheldever Wood Walk

Distance: 4km depending on the paths you take
Minimum time: 1 hour
Ascent: 48m
Suggested Map: OS Explorer OE185 Winchester and Basingstoke
Start and Finish: Micheldever Woods Car Park
Road: Northington Lane off the A33
Parking: 51.12340°N, -1.24364°W,
Nearest Town: Winchester

How to Get to Micheldever Woods

Micheldever Woods is located just off the A33, 5 miles north of Winchester. The M3 motorway cuts across the edge of the woods, but you cannot access the area from the motorway. There is a free car park at Northington Lane and from here the trails lead through the woods although they are unmarked. There are no toilets or other facilities.

Purchase the OS Map for Micheldever Woods HERE

Places Close to Micheldever

  • Winchester – An ancient city, perfect for exploring with a stunning medieval cathedral and castle
  • Avington Hall – With links to Charles II and George IV this stately home and surrounding gardens is open for tours in the summer months
  • Watercress Steam Train – A restored railway line that goes through 10 miles of the Hampshire countryside. Originally built to transport the watercress grown in the villages it has a unique history
  • Jane Austen’s House – Located in Chawton, this is where Jane Austen lived and wrote. She moved here in 1809 and stayed for the last 8 years of her life. The house and cottage gardens can be explored as well as the museum in the grounds.

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