Hole Park bluebells – a chilly visit!

Well, I said I’d do another post soon after the last one, about our visit to the Hole Park bluebells, so here it is.  Would you believe it as soon as we got there the sun went in and I exaggerate not, it was perishingly cold!  Philosopher and I had only come out with thin clothes thinking it was going to be warm.  Our friends Jenny and Peter were slightly better dressed. We also encountered a BBC filming team….

We last went to Hole Park back in 2016, and were bowled over by the beauty of the gardens and the incredible bluebell wood. We knew that this time nature would not be so far advanced – had been looking at the Bluebell Barometer Hole Park publish on their website, and seen it gradually creep up, but it was not at the peak. Here is the post about that earlier visit – look at the difference in the bluebells.  Silly us, we should have left it later this time… a few days later, the bluebells would have been perfect.

The garden is very beautiful, with a lovely mix of formal planting – amazing topiary yew hedges, and informal woodland. Trouble was, it was so chilly we could barely enjoy it. In the bluebell wood we encountered the owner of Hole Park, Edward Barham, being interviewed by Sara Smith from BBC South-East. Spoke to him briefly and he said they had experieced ten frosty nights in a row! When we last visited we also enjoyed a great display of wild garlic – not nearly out this time. We saw the film of the bluebells and the interview on BBC South East after the 6pm News… no signs of us lot!

A swing hangs from an old tree in the garden – here is Battleaxe in 2016 and today. Look at my lockdown hair… and look, back then in a tee-shirt!


One strange thing – that 2016 photo appeared in the media as part of the notorious 2018 Hastings Battleaxe/WI firestorm. I am not putting the link in here, too inflammatory, but if you Google images  ‘Stephanie Gaunt Women’s Institute’, up it still comes, along with all the rest of the media trash… ugh.

We saw this horrible stuff growing at the edge of a pond.  It was very smelly – turned out to Western Skunk Cabbage.  I think it would fall into the category of Plants I am Afraid Of..

Anyway, after rattling round some of the garden – some lovely tulips – we had a very good lunch in the Courtyard Cafe. They had a marquee area which did provide shelter. Excellent home-made quiche and salad, hot chocolate and a bit of coffee and walnut cake. Battleaxe recommends!


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