Visiting The Bluebells In Wanstead Park, East London

I love the spring, not only do we get the occasional warm sunny day, but the country seems to come to life with flowers everywhere: snowdrops, daffodils, blossom and then, from around Mid-April, beautiful bluebells. I have been going to Wanstead Park to see the bluebells since I was a little girl and while patches can be found across the park, the real showstoppers are in Chalet Wood. 

2024 Update: The bluebells are out early this year on 7th April there was a nice blue backdrop. They aren't quite at full bloom yet, but definitely plan to go see them earlier than normal this year,
2023 Update:
18th April: The bluebells are out, but not at full bloom yet.
2022 Update: 
24th April: Looking beautiful, visit now
6th April: there are a few signs of blue peaking through, but the cooler weather has slowed them down and it's still going to be about 3 weeks until full bloom I think.
2021 update
April 30th: There is a beautiful carpet of bluebells in Chalet Wood and small patches across the park. I think the need to be seen in the next week or they will be a bit tired.
April 12th: The bluebells are currently out, but not quite at full bloom. They are looking good, but I think they will be better towards the end of this week or next.

A macro shot of bluebells at Wanstead Park, East London

How To Find The Bluebells In Wanstead Park

There are lots of entrances to Wanstead Park, but I normally enter from Warren Road (E11 2LU) and I think that’s also the easiest route to describe to get to Chalet Wood to see the bluebells.

At the end of Warren Road go through the white gate which crosses the road. On the right there is an entrance to the golf club, but keep walking another 10 metres or so and take the wide path on your left which heads off slightly to the left and forward (the path also continues straight on, but ignore that). 

If you continue to follow the path after a few minutes walking there will be a footpath leading on your right into the bluebell wood, you should be able to see the bluebells from the main path. If you miss this path don’t worry as the one you are on basically runs along the edge of the bluebell wood so at some point you will notice the carpet of blue to your right and you can take the next path in. If you totally manage to miss it the path will end up in more open grassland and you will see a few buildings ahead of you including the Temple (a building with 4 white columns outside). The Temple is a visitors centre so if it’s open there will be someone in there who can turn you around and point where you need to go. Otherwise I’m sure you will find a friendly dog walker who can help.

I love the bluebells at Wanstead Park because not only is there a large area of them, but there are well defined footpaths through them discouraging people from trampling all over the beautiful flowers.

A view of a blanket of blue flowers with a few trees

What Else Is There At Wanstead Park?

In The Temple Visitors Centre mentioned above there is normally a display talking about the fascinating history of the park starting from the Roman times (the most interesting part for me is the unfortunate and very rich Regency woman who inherited it, but married an idiot who lost it all, in those days the property passed to men on marriage). It is normally open weekends and bank holidays.

There are toilets on the right of the Temple (if you are looking at the front). The are open 7 days a week.

A refreshment kiosk is open at peak times between the Herony Pond and Perch Pond. If you are standing near The Temple with your back to the bluebells you should be able to see a small building which looks like a miniature version of the Temple: that’s the cafe. It is literally a kiosk so there is no inside seating, but you can get hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes, snacks and ice creams.

If you fancy a longer walk you can stroll around the Ornamental Waters which are the opposite direction from The Temple as the Kiosk. There are maps at intervals around the Ornamental Waters which should stop you getting lost. It’s a nice walk where you will see lots of ducks and swans as well as the Grotto (the remains of an 18th century folly).

A view of a lake with lily pads and trees leaning over the water including some with white blossom

How To Get To Wanstead Park To See The Bluebells

Wanstead Park is easy to get to from both London and Essex. If you are driving there is free street parking available near the entrances to the park, but on week days there is limited space and parking is now 3 hours maximum. Most of the street parking on weekdays need Warren Road is permit parking. Alternatively it’s about 15 minutes walk from Wanstead Station (Central Line).  The postcodes of the other entrances to the park are here and you can use them to look at alternate routes on TFL Journey Planner 

I visited the bluebells this week and they were beautiful, but if you aren't sure if they are out yet, or if they have all past, I find the best way to check is a quick search for Wanstead Park on Instagram. If they are there, they will be photographed.

My Toddler sitting in front of bluebells

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