|Start of the walk, Lea Bridge|
I've been out and about looking at bluebells for the past few weeks, but putting off a visit to Bow Wood, near Cromford, Derbyshire, because of the uphill hike necessary to reach the higher sections Last weekend I decided it was time to go for it, or else the flowers would be past their best. As it turned out, I wasn't late at all, and the bluebells were probably more stunning than if I'd visited earlier.
The farm road behind the John Smedley factory is soon a pretty woodland walk
Then a path heads off up the hillside among the bluebells...
If you're younger or fitter than I am it's probably not too strenuous a climb, but I take my time, with plenty of stops for photographs and looking back down the path.
This is the view I'm heading for though, where bluebells flow down the hillside between Bow Wood and Coumbs Wood.
Just a little further upwards and the view opens out looking over Lea and Holloway, and that sweeping mass of bluebells. I probably take this same photo every year but it never fails to amaze me.
Then onward and upwards again - through a small patch of woodland to another open hillside of flowers with the path winding between them
As the path heads (upwards still!) through Coumbs Wood patches of wild garlic appear alongside the bluebells
...and eventually, as my legs really begin to complain, we reach the steps that mark the last uphill section.
It's not downhill yet though - doubling back we followed the path along a ridge with views through the trees to Cromford on the right, and Lea on the left, and which leads back to the lower levels of Bow Wood.
Felley I'd find this walk a little less wonderful this year but it was as amazing as always. Felley's flowers are tighter packed, like the nap on velvet, but such a large area is covered by them at Lea. The walk is maybe two miles long and for most of that distance there are bluebells flanking the path. Still my favourites!