Visiting Belgium is not only worth for the famous tourist attractions or their yummy chocolate but also for the magical forest covered with bluebells. The purple blue of the bluebells combined with the transparent bright green of the young beech leaves give a magical effect to the forest.
The fields are located just outside of Brussels, Hallerbos, also known as Bois de Hal in French, the 552-hectare forest that is consumed by a thick layer of bluebell flowers every year sometime during April or May.
In the spring it is worthwhile to regularly walk in the Hallerbos. This is when the spring flowers bring different phases of bloom and colour in the forest. The bluebells do not bloom at the same time every year, because variations in the weather influence the flowering.
The second half of April is the best time for flowering bluebells
Unsurprisingly, the forest attracts throngs of tourists at this particular time of year, which makes the weekdays one of the best time to explore. While it might be tempting to take a souvenir, picking any of the flowers is strictly forbidden in order to preserve this natural spectacle for years to come.
May 1st used to be the top weekend for the bluebells, but this hasn’t been the case for a number of years (although it was in 2013 again). Nowadays, the beeches are already fully in leaf on 1 May so the sun can’t reach the flowers, the forest is darker and the hyacinths’ colour has changed from purple blue to grey blue. And it is exactly the deep purple blue carpet that gives the Hallerbos, “the blue forest”, its irresistible attraction.
Apart from Belgium, fields of bluebells can also be found in the UK, France, and Ireland
In the UK, they are considered a protected species, and it’s a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells. Those who ignore this rule and try to sell the bulbs or seeds can attract a hefty fine of up to £5,000 (approx. $8,400) per bulb.
If you plan on visiting this magical place, check out this website for all the necessary information about 2016 flowering season.