At this time of year, bluebells are starting to carpet woodlands and meadows across the UK - and this is no different in County Durham. 

There are not many more beautiful sights than seeing the distinctive blue flowers clumped together - seeming like a carpet of blue on the floor. 

As part of seeing bluebells, we have pieced together the five best spots to see bluebells in County Durham at this time of year.

According to Durham Wildlife Trust, "the bluebell spends most of the year as bulb underground in ancient woodland, only emerging to flower and leaf from April onwards.

"This early flowering allows it to make the most of the sunlight that is still able to make it to the forest floor habitat before the canopy becomes too dense.

"Millions of bulbs may exist in one bluebell wood, causing the blue carpets we so keenly associate with spring, and new plants are sometimes able to split off from these bulbs and grow as clones."

How to identify a bluebell?

The bluebell is, perhaps, one of our most famous and unmistakeable woodland flowers: look for long, narrow, drooping leaf fronds, and bending flower stems that are heavy with nodding, blue bell-shaped flowers

The five best places to see bluebells in County Durham:

Ragpath Wood (Esh Winning)

A large mixed woodland increasingly popular since the old railway line between the wood and the village of Esh Winning became part of the Deerness Valley Walk. 

In this woodland, people can enjoy seeing lots of bluebells, and with parking nearby, it's the perfect spot for bluebells spotted.

Houghall Woods

Houghall Woods is well-known to Durham locals for the incredible display of flowering bluebells each spring.

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This place is the perfect spot for a spring walk, with several walking routes nearby - and what a perfect way to take in your walk than to see bluebells during it.

Great High Wood

A beautiful wood with semi-entient oak and beech woodland. A must for bluebells and a wide variety of birds.

As the name suggests, this place also boasts high-up views of the scenic scapes in County Durham.

Low Burnhall

According to the Woodland Trust, Low Burnhall is: "a patchwork of habitats. Gnarled, veteran, sweet chestnut trees in a block of ancient woodland contrast with areas of recent planting; wet woodland houses native amphibians; and the wildflower meadows attract clouds of butterflies in the summer."

Here you can see bluebells - and is located near Great High Wood and Houghall Woods - so you can even go bluebell spotting at multiple locations if you have the time.

Hamsterley Forest (Riverside Trail)

Another perfect location for Bluebells, Forestry England says: "What could be better than a family bluebell walk along a gentle riverside path?  At 1.5 miles, the Riverside Trail, which goes along the banks of Bedburn Beck is perfect for little legs and a slower pace. Younger walkers can also keep an eye out for Gruffalo sculptures along this pram and wheelchair-friendly trail."