Bluebells are blooming in Bagley woods in Kennington!
This place is owned by St John’s College, Oxford since 1557 (according to Wikipedia) or 1618 (in other posts!) for 600£! One used to need a permit to visit but access is now allowed via gated entrances, of which there are many! There is no dedicated parking, so please park considerately wherever you do.
We initially parked on Bagley Road just next to a gated entrance (close to the bridge over A34- post code~OX1 5NA). The walk from here was quite nice but if you want JUST the bluebells, then it is better you do not park here. As you are coming from Oxford road, move past the Chandlings (do not turn), keep going straight on this road and you will see the gates about 100-200 yards before the Hinksey Hill (post code ~OX1 5NE). There is a small lay-by (ish) on the road where 4-5 cars can park and you can just walk into the bluebells directly. The Bluebells are visible from the main road on both sides (we went today 22/4/2022) PLEASE STICK TO THE PATHS AND DO NOT TRAMPLE ON THEM. This is where I took our pictures of the bluebells but we had already done our walk from the other end.
You may also use the Kennington car park next to Forest Side playing fields (postcode: OX1 5LQ) which has a play area and BMX track as well, though it will be a really long walk as it is on the OTHER side of A34, so better stick to the first two post codes unless you are in for a long adventure.
Anyways, back to our initial walk. There are no fairy doors or play equipment; Just a mosaic of beautiful natural oak and coppiced woodland, plantations, experimental plots and specimen trees. We collected plenty of pine cones and played hide n seek in the almost symmetrically placed trees. You just have to let your imagination run wild! Ay also tried climbing some of the huge trees which had fallen off with roots/ parts of soils still attached.
We also came across this Latin inscription in the middle of nowhere! I googled and found its translation on this blog (lol yes- I am crazy but was just curious as to what it was doing in the middle of the woods!)
In Memory of William Schlich (1840 – 1925), the Founder of the School of Silviculture (Forestry) at Oxford and in commemoration of his journey that led to its establishment; he was initially selected from German forest wardens to enter British service. [Erected] 4th April 1950
VERDICT: If you are looking for something fancy, then this is not your place; If you are looking for a pure natural woodland walk (and can ignore the sound of traffic on A34 in some areas), then you will love it! It was heart warming to see families around though, not just near the bluebells but in the actual woods!