Snowdrops are a sure sign that spring is on its way. The delicate dropping heads of these small white flowers are a charming sight on a winter’s day and in February, gardens up and down the country open to celebrate their arrival with snowdrop- themed events.Pull on your hat, grab your gloves and feast your eyes on some of mother nature’s finest. Here we’ve put together a list of some of the best places to see stunning snowdrop displays.
Where to see snowdrop displays
If it’s variety you want, this is the perfect place to visit. There are around 240 cultivars, some of which are specific to Anglesey Abbey. Join a garden guide for a proper tour around the 114 acres to make sure you don’t miss out on any treasures.
Cambridgeshire CB25 9EJ. Tel 01223 810090; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/angleseyabbey
Aside from the huge drifts of snowdrops that cover the grassy moat and the gardens around the castle and house, these Hertfordshire gardens boast a walled kitchen garden with a labelled collection of snowdrops that visitors can view by appointment. Expect rare and unusual varieties.
Check the website for specific opening times as Benington Lordship is a private home. Hertfordshire SG2 7BS. 08701 261709; www.beningtonlordship.co.uk
Visitors enjoy the woodland walk at Cambo Estate where over 300 varieties of snowdrops can be seen.
The gardens at Cambo are home to Scotland’s largest collection of specialist snowdrop. The Victorian walled garden and an informal woodland garden boast 300 varieties and that number is slowly increasing. A limited number of these are for sale.
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 8QD. 01333 450054; www.camboestate.com
Chelsea Physic Garden
If you’re London-based and keen not to miss out on the snowdrops, make a trip to capital’s oldest botanic garden to see 75 types of snowdrop. Enjoy a free guided tour to peruse other winter-flowering highlights.
London SW3 4HS. Tel 020 7349 6458, www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk
Chippenham Park is home to one of the finest displays of naturalised snowdrops in East Anglia and the park opens for a few weekends for visitors to view the vast carpets of flowers. Take time to also enjoy the fiery dogwoods, aconites and winter blossoms.
Opening dates vary. Check the website for the most up-to-date information. Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 5PT. Tel 01638 720221, www.chippenhamparkgardens.info
Offering exclusive tours guided by Sir Henry Elwes or Lady Elwes and Dr John Grimshaw, Colesbourne might be well worth the visit with your gardening club or allotment friends. After admiring the snowdrop collection on a guided tour around the grounds, visitors can listen to a short presentation that includes the history of Colesbourne Park and a brief introduction to the diversity of snowdrops. Booking is advised.
Snowdrop Weekends are usually regular from February. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9NP. Tel 01242 870264; www.colesbournegardens.org.uk
The entire nursery usually opens for visitors to admire winter and spring flowers including erythroniums, primulas, hepaticas and tulips in February. Alongside these, Coton Manor Garden proudly offers hellebores and snowdrops from Chelsea gold medal winners. Check the website for 2020 dates.
Northampton, NN6 8RQ. Tel 01604 740219; www.cotonmanor.co.uk
A wide variety of snowdrops will be on view here including head gardener Andrew Jones’ favourites, the ‘Blewbury Tart’ and the ‘Pusey Green Tip’. Snowdrop Sundays are a regular in late winter, but check the website for 2020 visiting times and make sure you make the most of the lakeside and garden walks too.
Deene Park, Northamptonshire NN17 3EW. Tel 01780 450278; www.deenepark.com
The first sign spring is on its way. Snowdrops appear through frost covered ground. Photo: Jason Ingram.
The gardens do not re-open to the public until March so seize the opportunity to take in the snowdrops and early flowering trees and shrubs.
East Bergholt Place, Suffolk CO7 6UP. Tel 01206 299224; www.placeforplants.co.uk
Easton Walled Gardens
Easton Walled Gardens features naturalised snowdrops that run along the river banks while inside there is an indoor display of unusual varieties and plants for sale.
Snowdrop week usually runs in February. Lincolnshire NG33 5AP. Tel 01476 530063, www.eastonwalledgardens.co.uk
Forde Abbey and Gardens
Throughout February the 30 acres of award-winning gardens are carpeted in a spectacular display of snowdrops. Weather depending, the camellias will be in full bloom along with an abundance of hellebores and early spring bulbs.
Gardens open daily from 10am-4pm. Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU. Tel 01460 220231, fordeabbey.co.uk
Galanthus ‘Mighty Atom Clan’. Photo: Jason Ingram
Popular snowdrop open days are held at this garden where the aconites and snowdrops combine to fill the air with fragrance and set off the winter structure of this riverside garden. Check the website for dates as these are only released as the season progresses.
Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 6NT. Tel 01722 782504, www.healegarden.co.uk
The castle’s winter gardens are possibly the most romantic in the East of England, with at least 13 varieties of snowdrops covering the steep slopes of the motte and bailey and setting off the trees and lakes in front of the Georgian Mansion House.
Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex CO9 3DJ. Tel 01787 460261. hedinghamcastle.co.uk
Hodsock usually hosts a snowdrop extravaganza starting at the beginning of February. This is the only place in Nottinghamshire with a public snowdrop garden so make time to wander along the woodland path before thawing out those fingers by the bonfire with a cup of tea.
Blyth, Nottinghamshire S81 0TY. Tel 01909 591204, www.snowdrops.co.uk
Painswick Rococo Gardens
Snowdrops at Rococo Gardens in January. Photo: Paul Nicholls / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
If you want to get a full and thorough snowdrop experience, Painswick offers one of the best. Not only are their gardens open for visitor viewing, they have produced a free booklet to accompany your short tour.
Gloucestershire GL6 6TH. Tel 01452 813204; www.rococogarden.org.uk
Rode Hall and Gardens
Experience one of the UK’s finest snowdrop walks at Rode Hall and Gardens, which has over 70 types of snowdrop. Homemade light lunches and cream teas available.
Snowdrop walks usually run from early February. £5. Church Lane, Scholar Green, Cheshire ST7 3QP. Tel 01270 873237, rodehall.co.uk
A vast snowdrop collection of 150 varieties is spread across this 8-acre Cotswold garden. Also on display are other winter flowers including hellebores, cyclamen and aconites.
Cirencester GL7 6PF. Tel 01285 841253; www.rodmarton-manor.co.uk
If you’re within easy access of Oxfordshire, take a look at the 30 varieties of snowdrop on show at Waterperry Gardens. Stroll around the old orchard and down alongside the river to marvel at the beauties in their natural environment.
Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ. Tel 01844 339254, www.waterperrygardens.co.uk
Venture down to the heart of the Lambourn Valley to cast your eye over a spectacular seven-acre drift of snowdrops. The views are particularly stunning in the early morning when the sun is low in the sky and the glow from the bloom and the frost mingle. A gentle wander around the Beech Woods takes up to an hour.
Wednesday to Sunday 11-4pm. £8. Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8HU. Tel 01488 608691, www.welfordpark.co.uk
Visit the NGS website for up-to-date information on open gardens, participating in snowdrop-themed events. As displays of snowdrops and other spring flowers are weather dependent, please double check all opening days and times before travelling.