Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yoxall Lodge Bluebell Woods

Yesterday was our twenty eighth wedding anniversary. Funny to think that I spent the first twenty eight years of my life unmarried and the second twenty eight married. Now you know how old I am, oh well. Doesn't time fly? Taking my cue from a lovely photo on Robert's blog when asked where I would like to go I said that I wanted to see some bluebell fields. So off we went to the woods at Yoxall Lodge. We'd never been before and weren't sure of what to expect so as the place didn't open until 10.30a.m. we went first to the Byrkley Garden Centre near Barton under Needwood for morning coffee and luscious home made cake. We then made our way over to Yoxall Lodge and the start of the walks around the woods. There were various walks of differing lengths to suit all abilities, the longest being about 2 miles. The colours were just stunning.

There is something mystical about the delicate colour of the flowers and the way they seem to stretch into infinity under the trees; a wonderful magic blue carpet. The walk reminded me of the woods near where we used to live in Derbyshire. As children, we would be taken from school by one of the teachers on what were called 'nature walks' and we would bring back the things we found to be displayed on the 'nature table,' these treasures were then suitably labelled; paintings we'd done would be displayed on the wall above the table. Also, in the evenings or at weekends, groups of us children would set off on our own around the woods and we would always come back with a bedraggled bunch of bluebells for our mothers - I don't think today's children would be allowed to do that. The flowers would be put in a jam jar or milk bottle on the kitchen windowsill. My mum used to love them. Today would have been her 91st birthday - so the bluebell visit was for her too.


  1. What can I say? Only that I want to go to Yoxall Wood next year! Being reminded of what a carpet of bluebells looks like, the lonely clumps in our back garden and the park suddenly seem akin to a canary in a cage — they shouldn't be there.

    Like you, I have childhood memories of picking bluebells and taking them home to my nanna and never really understanding why they didn't last even a day when daffodils in a jar seemed to go on forever. As you say, they are so delicate and I could not imagine picking even one bluebell now.

    And the picture? It's wonderful. I didn't just look at it — I stepped into the wood and was overwhelmed by beauty and its fragility. They really do symbolise the essence of our own lives and, despite appearances, humanity itself.

  2. robert, I think you have captured why we love bluebells so much in your last sentence.

    Although in one sense there were many rules, regulations and social restrictions when we were children, we also seemed to have more freedom to run and play in safety than today's children.

    Yoxall Lodge is open until 13th May this year - perhaps you may still be able to visit?