It’s bluebell season. Take advantage of it at the best bluebell woods in Oxfordshire

Every year, bluebells adorn the English woodlands and in Oxfordshire we’re lucky to have some seriously beautiful woods where you can walk among and enjoy them.

Most bluebells will start to show their heads from around mid-April so while we’re all anticipating some spring weather, I’ve pulled together some of my favourite dog-friendly bluebell woods in Oxfordshire for you to enjoy with your beloved pup and the whole family.

…and if you’re anything like me, they’re also great for getting your camera out and having a fun photography session with your dog. There’s something about bluebells that bring out the playful side in dogs, regardless of their age! Bluebell walks really do make for some wonderful memories.

See my top tips for taking pictures of your dog among the bluebells at the end of this blog.


Dog-friendly bluebell woods around Oxfordshire

Warburg Nature Reserve, Henley on Thames

High up in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Warburg Nature Reserve is a remote and beautiful wildlife reserve. From mid-April, the valley floor is awash with bluebells and you’ll also find a wide variety of orchids.

Entrance to the reserve is free and there’s a good car park, toilets, picnic area, baby changing facilities and bird hides. Lots of Deer call the reserve home and so dogs are to be kept on a lead.

For children, there’s also a ‘Nature Detectives Trail’. Families can pick up a backpack that includes games, trail notes and spotter sheets for wildlife from the Interpretation Centre.


Bluebell Walk at Greys Court, Henley on Thames

Greys Court is a well-preserved Tudor home managed by the National Trust and the gardens are lovely during bluebell season. Dogs are welcome on the estate walks but as a working farm with livestock in the fields, they must remain on a lead.

While dogs can’t go inside the house or tearoom, they are allowed inside the shop and outside the tearoom, which, on a sunny spring day is the perfect place to enjoy a post-walk cuppa!

Entry to the grounds is free for National Trust members with a charge for non-members.

Stoke Wood, Bicester

Stoke Wood is a lovely wood where dogs are allowed off lead. Spring sees carpets of bluebells and there are several open glades and a small meadow. Parking is free although the car park is small so best to get there early on days where the walk might be busy.

Badbury Clumps, Faringdon

Badburg Clumps is an area much-loved by local dog walkers and the carpet of bluebells that fills the floor in April and May is truly breathtaking. There are wide marked paths to walk on and a good car park. Taken over by the National Trust a few years ago, entrance to Badbury is free but if you want to use the car park there is a parking fee unless you’re a member.

Top tips to take the best photos of your dog in the bluebells

  1. Don’t trample the bluebells! Bluebells take 5-7 years to get established from seeds to flowers and it is actually illegal in the UK to intentionally pick or damage them. But don’t worry, you can still make it look like your dogs is surrounded by them by using the paths.
  2. Get low. This is how you’ll be able to make it look like your pup is surrounded by beautiful bluebells. Position your dog on a path and on another path nearby you can position yourself to face them. Get down to their level and it’ll look like they’re surrounded!
  3. Play with focus. If you’re camera allows, play around with the focus to add some depth to your pictures. Bluebells close to your camera will blur and the ones around your dog will be in focus, adding interest and texture to the picture.
  4. Use the light. In woods, sunlight can look beautiful streaking through the trees onto the woodland floor. While bright patches of light on your dog can distort the photo, dappled sunlight in the background can look wonderful. Just make sure to check your photos after you take them in case your camera doesn’t handle the changes in light very well.
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Book your pet portrait session today

If your walk amongst the bluebells has inspired you to take more pictures of your dog, book a dog portrait session with me. I offer studio sessions all year round where your pup will be the star of the show. Soon, I’ll also be offering location sessions and if you’re interested in this, please drop us an email.

Contact us to make a booking or for more information.

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