Best of British: 60 things that make Britain great

Imagine you're cut off in a far-off land. What longings would be uppermost in your mind? Here we celebrate those aspects of life that make our islands distinct and beguiling.

 9. Bluebells

Bluebell wood in Hertfordshire, UK

Nearly half of all common bluebells are found in the British Isles, the distinct purple haze carpeting ancient woodland floors evoking the richness and subtlety of our wild flora. The Botanical Society of the British Isles has the bluebell as its symbol, but other wildflowers evince equal adoration, such as the lily of the valley with its scented flowers, cow parsley foaming along road verges and the wild daffodils that so enchanted Wordsworth.

‘Like the blue sky, breaking up through the earth’
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

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