It may be the end of snowdrop season, but this means it is almost time for the Bluebell to reign supreme in Scottish woodlands
This delicate flower creates a colourful blanket from April, with the season reaching its peak in May.
Around half of all the world’s bluebell’s are found in the UK, and our native species is protected. This means that walkers are urged to take care when passing through a crop of the flowers, especially within woodland as these blooms will have been there for a long time.
Last year, The Woodland Trust launched a campaign to record the UK’s bluebells in the Big Bluebell Watch.
This encouraged people to record where they have spotted bluebells via an interactive map. Last year 48,200 were recorded with 80% of these being native bluebells.
As the season is about to kick off, where are the best woodlands in Scotland to see this natural phenomenon?
Kinclaven Bluebell Wood, Perthshire
As the name suggests, this woodland is an ideal place to spot some bluebells this spring. It is also one of the largest oak woodlands in Scotland, and was previously known as Ballathie Bluebell Wood.
Glen Finglas (Brig ‘o’ Turk) Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park
Glen Finglas is the Woodland Trust’s largest site and an ideal location for a family day out thanks to its range of wildlife, including red deer and golden eagles.
There’s also stunning scenery thanks to the rolling hills, lochs, heaths, hidden glens and, of course, bluebell meadows.
Fairy Glen, Rosemarkie, Highlands
Legend has it that this Highland glen -which is also home to two beautiful waterfalls - was once the scene of a well-dressing ceremony, where children from the village decorated the village decorated a pool, next to a spring, with flowers to ensure that the fairies kept the water supply clean.
Nowadays the glen is a perfect destination for young fairie hunters as well as bluebell enthusiasts.
Urquhart Bay, Loch Ness, Highlands
On the banks of Loch Ness, Urquhart Bay is one of the best examples of surviving ancient wet woodland in Europe. Visitors can see bluebells and the different tree species, which include alder, ash, bird cherry and white willow from the footpaths that form a rough figure of eight through the centre of the wood.
Balmacaan Wood, Inverness, Highlands
This ancient woodland, situated along Loch Ness is home to some of the largest specimens of Wellingtonia, Lawson’s cypress and Douglas fir in Britain.
There’s also a series of marked walks, making this a great place for bluebell spotting this spring,
Glasdrum Wood, Oban, Argyll & Bute
Located by the beautiful Loch Creran, visitors to this Celtic woodland can not only enjoy wild flowers, including bluebells but also watch wildlife such as otters, herons and butterflies.
Read more: 9 ancient traditions of Spring in Scotland
Carron Glen, Denny, Falkirk
This broadleaved woodland lines the steep north bank of the River Carron which boasts dippers, otters and kingfishers, and is alive with wild flowers in spring and summer.
Binn Wood, Perth & Kinross
This ancient woodland, which was shown on a map drawn by General Roy after the Jacobite uprising of 1750, is home to a mix of broad-leafs, conifers, bluebells and buzzards.
With two marked routes that have rough paths, good walking footwear is essential when visiting.
Loch of the Lowes, Perth & Kinross
This visitor centre and wildlife reserve consists of 98 hectares near the popular town of Dunkeld.
Since April 2015 the star attraction at the reserve is a pair of breeding Ospreys, making this a great day out for keen wildlife enthusiasts.
Keil’s Den, Leven, Fife
Keil’s Den is one of the best places to spot bluebells in Fife as this ancient gorge woodland is blanketed with the delicate flowers, which bloom alongside dog’s mercury and wild garlic.
There’s a good network for paths for exploring the woodland, as well as a small parking area with benches by the Keil Burn.
Carstramon Wood, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway
This ancient oak wood, which is one of the largest semi-natural broadleaved woodlands in Galloway, is renowned for its spectacular springtime bluebell display.
There’s a a number of marked routes that offer roe deer and red squirrel sightings.
Aldouran Glen, Dumfries & Galloway
Kids will love this ancient woodland as it has a magical feel to it thanks to features such as bubbling streams and the remains of an Iron Age hill fort.
From April there are carpets of bluebells and ramson in May. There is also a rich variety of other woodland plants and abundant wildlife, including chaffinch, treecreeper and wren.
Read more: In pictures: 10 reasons to visit Scotland in spring