Skipton Woods in Spring

Bluebells and Wild Garlic Flowers

It’s that time of year again when landscape photographers can be found lurking in woodlands armed with tripods and in search of that perfect carpet of spring flowers.  Here are a few shots from last year’s trips along with a few tips!

Path through Bluebells at Middleton Woods near Ilkley
Path through bluebells at Middleton Woods near Ilkley

Usually the bluebells are hitting their best around early May here in Yorkshire and the lovely white wild garlic (ransom) flowers start to reach their peak a little later in the month.

Spring Woodland in the Nidd Gorge
Path flanked by bluebells and wild garlic flowers in the Nidd Gorge near Knaresborough

If you’re visiting a woodland near you then it’s best to pick a still overcast day if you can – light cloud is best, so you’ve got bright but diffused light.  A light breeze can add a bit of movement to the trees which can be interesting in your images, but it’s best to avoid very windy days if possible as photographing the flowers can be very tricky!

Spring Woodland in the Nidd Gorge
Wild garlic flowers by a path through Spring woodland in the Nidd Gorge

Make sure you take a nice sturdy tripod with you and a cable release if you have one.  Working under the trees on an overcast day can result in some very long exposures, especially if you’re stopping the lens down to increase depth of field.  If you don’t have a cable release then a short two second timer is useful to avoid any vibration when taking your photographs – and if there’s not much wind things won’t change much in two seconds!

Wild Garlic Flowers in Skipton Castle Woods
Wild garlic flowers in Skipton Castle Woods

I’m lucky to have the Woodland Trust woodland along Nidd Gorge within walking distance, but there are plenty of locations to choose from in Yorkshire.  Middleton Woods near Ilkley is always a great choice for bluebells and Skipton Castle Woods is fantastic for wild garlic flowers.

Wild Garlic Flowers in Strid Wood
Wild garlic flowers by a footpath through Strid Wood at Bolton Abbey

Our workshop locations at Strid Wood (Bolton Abbey workshop) and the woods around Janet’s Foss (Malham Workshop) are also fabulous for wild garlic later in May, so we’re looking forward to getting back there soon.  The image above was taken on last year’s May workshop at Bolton Abbey when we had an overcast and rainy day, but the light was lovely for the flowers!

Wild garlic flowers in the woods below Janet's Foss near Malham
Wild garlic flowers in the woods below Janet’s Foss near Malham

For our full workshop schedule and availability, visit

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