Where to spot spring wildlife in England

Children look at tree stump in search of wildlife

Longer evenings and brighter days make this a perfect time for exploring

children climb a tree

Have fun spotting insects and other wildlife

Girl holds a daisy chain next to a boy

There's absolutely loads of beautiful wildflowers to be found at this time of year

Springtime is the perfect time of year for spotting woodland plants and searching for frogs, birds and insects! So get your wellies on, get out onto the National Cycle Network, and use our handy spotter guide to help you find wildlife you can’t see at any other time of year.

We've chosen these spring-time walks and rides as inspiration but you can also search our online mapping for other routes near you.

See a carpet of bluebells in Wiltshire

The Chiseldon Timberland Trail route takes you through the popular Coate Water Park a 56-acre reservoir and Wiltshire’s first Local Nature Reserve with wonderful wildflower meadows. You then follow the old Swindon to Marlborough railway line through a glorious oak wood, famous for its bluebells in late spring.

Enjoy a picnic in the park in Bristol

The Festival Way travels between Nailsea and Bristol through Ashton Court, a stunning country park with 850 acres of woodland and grassland. There is a mansion house, mountain bike trails and two enclosed deer parks with red and fallow deer herds. You could also take a small detour to Leigh Woods, where you are likely to spot bluebells.

Spot wildflowers in East Sussex

The Cuckoo Trail in Polegate, East Sussex, runs through a mixture of broadleaf woodland, open grassland, arable farmland, and pasture with verges often thick with seasonal wildflowers like vetch and willowherb.

Find mini-beasts and pond life in the North East

The Consett & Sunderland Railway path travels past the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre at Washington. The pond explorer station is open for pond dipping sessions on weekends and school holidays from April through to October.

Feed the ducks in Leeds

The Aire Valley Towpath between Leeds and Saltaire travels out to the Five Rise Locks at Bingley. In spring you are likely to see ducklings, cygnets and maybe families of goose or moorhen chicks along the way.

Watch butterflies flutter by in Warwickshire

On the beautiful Lias Line in Rugby, Warwickshire, you’ll find two rare species of butterfly, the Small Blue and Grizzled Skipper butterfly.

Search out nest-building birds in Bedfordshire

The University Way route takes you to Sandy, Bedfordshire, which has a great RSPB nature reserve where you can spot woodpeckers, songbirds setting up breeding territories and be wowed by the show of bluebells on the woodland floor. 

Go rock pooling in Margate

The Cycle the North Thanet Coast is a wonderful coastal route which begins on the sea wall opposite Margate station. It winds westwards past spectacular chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, rock pools and bays on the way to Reculver.

Go seal spotting in Kings Lynn

The 10 mile circular Wells and Holkham Circuit ride near Kings Lynn takes you to Holkham National Nature Reserve and the fantastic Holkham Beach - one of the most unspoilt and beautiful stretches of sand in the country. You can take a boat trip to nearby Blakeney Point which is home to a colony of common and grey seal.

Check out our list of top five coastal routes for kids

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