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Brede High Woods, East Sussex

Brede High Woods, a broad swathe of  ancient woodland, sits on the southern slopes of  a river valley in East Sussex, England. Oak, alder, sweet chestnut, and hornbeam create a towering canopy overhead. A stream bubbles in the distance and the soft buzz of woodcock and lark song greet the ear. In late spring, an annual blue haze appears as if a mirage, with bluebells sending wafts of  delicate notes into the still-cold air. Keats called this native plant the ‘Sapphire queen of  the mid-May’, and walking these flowers is somewhat of  a national ritual. Although found in Northern Europe, the pale blue strain is overwhelmingly British. And Brede High Woods is a perfect place to see them.