UK: Where to go to see orchids this year


Few can resist the alluring sight of an orchid so to celebrate this the Wildlife Trusts have put together an online guide to 40 of the best sites in the UK to see these remarkable flowers.  

There are over 20,000 species in the Orchidaceae, making it the second largest family of flowering plants after the Asteraceae (daisy family). With more than 50 of these found in the UK there are plenty of places to discover these botanical wonders in the wild.  

Here's a few of the spectacular orchids you might find in the British countryside this season and some of places you'll find them...

close up of fly orchid

The flowers of the fly orchid (Ophrys insectifera), which mimics the sex pheromones of female flies, is pollinated by male flies and bees. © Philip Precey

close up of green-winged orchid

Green-winged orchids (Anacamptis morio) thrive in nutrient poor grasslands so have been in marked decline for the past 60 years or so because of agricultural improvement. Find them in hay meadows, pasture and, occasionally, in sand dunes. © Paul Lane

close up of marsh helleborine flower

The beautiful marsh helleborine (Epipactis palustris) is a scarce orchid found on alkaline soils in fens, and dune slacks. Look out for it later in the season between June and September.

© Philip Precey

view over fields with orchids emerging through the long grass

Thorswood is one of the best places in the country to see early purple orchids (Orchis mascula). The landscape is littered with bronze age and more recent industrial remains. © Colin Hayes


Download the Wildlife Trusts guide to orchid sites in the UK (pdf)

Related links:

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