The beautiful bluebells of Chalet Wood.

Friday 29 April 2016 – Wanstead Park, London.

It is spring here in the UK, not that you can tell that by the weather. Two days ago there was a flurry of snow in London – admittedly if you had blinked slowly you would have missed it, but it was a snow fall nonetheless. I am blaming a cutting arctic wind that slices through to the bone if you are not adequately dressed. When I was walking home after taking these photos today there was a brief wind driven hail and rain shower that felt like mid-winter had returned. It was awful.

Only working a four day week means I have Fridays off, so I took the opportunity to nip out to Chalet Wood in Wanstead Park to check out the bluebell fields, hoping that it would be less crowded than I knew the weekend would be. El and I have been planning on visiting for the past couple of weekends but just have not had a chance to make it. With the season about to end I decided to go solo.

Having been to look at the bluebells last year it took me no time at all to find my way there from Wanstead Park Station, which obtusely is near Wanstead Flats, not Wanstead Park. The walk through the flats was quite nice though, the sun keeping the cold away.

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Once I got to Chalet Wood and the bluebell grove I took lots of photos, there is no point in me saying any more really!

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I liked the interplay between shadow and light between the trees and the way the small paths wound their way through the patch, allowing visitors to get in amongst the flowers without trampling them down.

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I think this crow was guarding it’s small patch !

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Fabulous – and not too many people there either. I had planned on getting there early to catch some early morning sun coming through the trees, but I didn’t make it, there was still some sun though it was sporadic, eventually leading to rain and hail on the walk back home.

Bluebells in Wanstead Park

Monday 05 May 2015 – Wanstead Park, London(ish).

Monday was a public holiday, YAY, a much needed day off of work. Though I did work Saturday, so really it was like a normal weekend, with the added promise of a short week ahead.

The forecast had been a bit dubious leading up to the weekend and it was still pretty unclear most mornings what the day was actually going to hold. Sunday was spent doing not much, a bit of work here and there, the reorganising of my stuff, putting away winter clothes – and finding a bunch of old band t-shirts that had been squirreled away.

We didn’t really have a plan for today, we started off with seeing what the weather would actually do, and as it did not look to bad out there I decided I wanted to see bluebells in Epping Forest rather than head into London and visit the Tate, which was the rainy day plan A. A quick internet search suggested the best blue bells were in Wanstead Park, an edge extension of Epping. As I have not been there before we decided it was worth a visit.

We caught the overground to Wanstead Park station which naturally is next to Wanstead Flats, not Wanstead Park – the flats are a park, but not THE park. Confused ? We walked across the flats, up a side street and were soon into the park proper. I like the fact that Fishing is in capital letters and swimming and bathing are not. Does that mean that Fishing is a more serious offence ?

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I had read that the bluebells would be found in Chapel Wood, however none of the signs were giving away the location of Chapel Wood, so we decided to do the decent thing and head to the tea hut for a cup of tea/coffee first, and do the umanly/unBritish thing of asking directions.

On the way to the hut we passed by the tree lined walk to the “Temple”. I had no idea what this was until I looked it up when I got home. The temple was built around 1760, in a section of a much larger estate. The estate was run down by its financially lax owner in the 1800’s and part of it was sold off to the Corporation of London to form what is now Wanstead Park.

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The tea hut is the old grotto left that was also part of the original estate and they made a pretty good flat white too…

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We were given directions to the blue bells, which ended up being pretty much back the way we came, though closer to the Temple.

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This seasonal spring blue bell patch is supposed to the best in all of Epping Forest, which must make it one of the best in London. It was truly lovely – and this comes from someone who does not go all goo over a flower bed. I guess I liked it because it was wild. I took a lot of photos, as did many other people !

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I liked that there were paths running through the patch so people could get closer without trampling them. I also liked it that most people stayed on the edges so every one got to take photos without having the frame filled with strangers.

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I even asked someone to take a photo of El and I together as well.

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Before we left home in the morning we had sort of planned on walking back, so after a brief start in the wrong direction before consulting a map, we headed homeward. Most of the way was under the trees and off the road, which was very nice and I loved the oak trees that lined the way.

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Sir Alfred Hitchcock was born in nearby Leytonstone, and had no previous relationship with this hotel, which is named after him. It did not stop us going in for a half though…

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It was a lovely afternoon walk, we probably did 6 or 7 miles as well, so good exercise in the sun !