Dear mummy, We’ve been meaning to find the elusive Micheldever Wood for some time now and it wasn’t until NorthHantsMum posted a link to address details that we finally found it. It’s in fact no where near Micheldever!
Coming from the M3 and Basingstoke turning, you head toward Winchester and Dummer on the A30. You past the Wheatsheaf pub and carry on down the road past the Micheldever turnings on the right and continue on the A30 until you past CLAAS tractors on the right, a short jaunt on the dual carriageway and it’s the first left signposted Northington and The Candovers. You are about 4 miles outside Winchester.Just before you get to the tunnel that goes under the M3 on the right hand side is a beautiful collection of bluebells. We passed this wood and headed towards the Forestry Commission carpark on the left hand side. It’s not very clearly signposted so drive slowly as it comes up quite quick! We parked up and the sunshine was just breaking through the clouds, it’s a bit windy so the leaves and the blossom were falling like rain off the trees and sticking in my mummy’s hair. We packed our picnic blanket and found a spot off the beaten track. The visitors were very far and few between, just some walkers and a couple of very flashy photographers with big tripods and massive cameras. Mummy took her smartphone and used the camera on that! Secretly was thinking about taking her DSLR down next time! 😉
We trundled into the woods and my mummy encouraged me through the brambles and thick mud puddles. Good thing my mummy has her Jane pushchair as it’s perfect for this terrain. Our walk takes us to the far point of the wood in a little secluded spot which is filled with a carpet of purple and blue. Mummy takes out the picnic blanket and we go and explore. I have seen bluebells before but not as good as this! It’s a truly stunning display of flowers.
I try to pick one, using my little fingers to wrap around the stem and play with the petals. Mummy allows me to take one which stem has already been broken from footfall. I explore it intensely, concentration spreading over my face as I rub the petals between my fingers. Next thing I know… Mummy is picking it from my mouth, apologies mummy I thought this was for me too eat! Mummy informs me that not everything is food. “But mummy this is how I explore things” I sit for a good while playing and waving my arms over the stems of bluebells. I get fixated on the moss on a tree stump and a twig from a fallen tree nearby.
On our walk back my mummy introduces me to some fungi….no, not a fun guy….these are mushrooms. Mummy informs me that some of these are ok to eat but the vast majority of ones that grow wild in the woods are not safe for my little tummy. We give these ones a wide berth, just incase. As we reach the main footpath we see some children’s structures, like a wooden fort and some den building, but no children are around today and they stand silent and eerie. Some of them are waterlogged from the heavy rain we’ve had for the last couple of days. I’m yawning and sucking my thumb now so mummy bundles me into my car seat and we head back to the M3.
But not before we pull over by another wood the other side of the tunnel, the one we saw before we got to the car park. Mummy wants to explore this wood further and I am carried over a shallow ditch only to be rewarded with the best display of bluebells I have ever seen, even my mummy and her friend were amazed! As this wood was less trodden and the sun only flicked through the heavy tree cover, the carpet of bluebells was spectacular and vibrant. The photos don’t do it justice, so apologies for the camera phone action. This place was still, all we could hear was the distant sound of motorway traffic, no people around it was magical. A hidden little gem.So if you ever get a chance to visit Micheldever Woods (in between Winchester and Basingstoke off the A30) in late April early May, I would highly recommend it for a free day out and spectacular views. As an amateur photographer it was exciting and great fun, I know that mummy had a whale of a time playing with the light, shades and camera angles.
love Bella x