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 events. Pull on your hat, grab your gloves and feast your eyes on some of mother nature’s finest snowdrops. Here we’ve put together a list of some of the best places to see displays of stunning snowdrops.
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Where to see snowdrop displays
If it’s variety of snowdrops you want, this is the perfect place to visit. There are around 240 snowdrop cultivars, some of which are specific to Anglesey Abbey. Join a garden guide for a proper snowdrop tour around the 114 acres to make sure you don’t miss out on any snowdrop treasures.
Cambridgeshire CB25 9EJ. Tel 01223 810090; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/angleseyabbey
Snowdrop Weekends at The Bishop’s Palace
Observe a spectacular display of snowdrops in a historic setting. The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2PD. Running over three consecutive weekends; 8 – 9, 15 -16 and 22 – 23 February, 10am – 4pm. £9. bishopspalace.org.uk
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 of snowdrops. Check the website for specific opening times as Benington Lordship is a private home. But 2020 openings are listed as 5 February to 1 March daily from 11am to 4pm. Hertfordshire SG2 7BS. 08701 261709; www.beningtonlordship.co.uk
The gardens at Cambo are home to Scotland’s largest collection of specialist snowdrops. The Victorian walled garden and an informal woodland garden boast 300 varieties of snowdrop and that number is slowly increasing. A limited number of these are for sale.
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 8QD. 01333 450054; www.camboestate.com
Great Comp Garden Snowdrop Plant Fair
Browse a wide selection of rare snowdrops plus a special talk by snowdrop expert Andy Byfield. Comp Lane, Platt, Sevenoaks, TN15 8QS. 16 February, 10am – 12pm. Tickets for the snowdrop talk are £8. greatcompgarden.co.uk
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. Snowdrop opening times for 2020 are from 8 February for the whole month. 10am to 4pm. Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 5PT. Tel 01638 720221, www.chippenhamparkgardens.info
Offering exclusive snowdrop 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 snowdrops 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. This year’s snowdrop open days start from 25 January and continue until 1 March. Check the website for the most up-to-date information. 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. Snowdrops and hellebores opening times from Saturday 15 February to Sunday 1 March daily from 11am to 4pm. Open Tuesday to Saturday. See the website for the most up-to-date information.
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, with 16 and 23 February being flagged up as ones for 2020, but check the website for 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 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 on the snowdrop and garden walk on Tuesday 18 February at 10.30am. Check the website for the most up-to-date information.
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. Each year the garden is open for one full week of snowdrops in February. This year the gardens are open from 15 to 23 February from 11am to 4pm. Head to the website for the most up-to-date information.
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
Snowdrop Festival at The Garden House
The Garden House’s first ever Snowdrop Festival will include a stunning display of the Matt Bishop Snowdrop collection. Fridays to Sundays, 11am-3pm from January to March. The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, PL20 7LQ. thegardenhouse.org.uk
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. Snowdrop week in 2020 is from 10 to 16 February from 10am-4pm.
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. The garden’s Snowdrop Week takes place from Sunday 9 February to Sunday 1 March, from 11am to 4pm. Head to the website for more information. Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex CO9 3DJ. Tel 01787 460261. hedinghamcastle.co.uk
Hever Castle & Gardens
Over 80,000 snowdrops will mark the beginning of spring at the childhood home and gardens of Anne Boleyn. A snowdrop talk will also be led by garden writer Val Bourne at 1pm. Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge, TN8 7NG. 8 February, 10:30am – 3pm. Garden admission from £14.75. hevercastle.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. Snowdrop season opens for 9 days from 8 to 16 February.
Blyth, Nottinghamshire S81 0TY. Tel 01909 591204, www.snowdrops.co.uk
Painswick Rococo Gardens
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. There are 15 varieties in the garden, the most famous being Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’. Keep up-to-date with the website, as, of course, the time when the snowdrops emerge varies.
Gloucestershire GL6 6TH. Tel 01452 813204; www.rococogarden.org.uk
Perennnial Special Events: The Laskett Gardens Snowdrop Event
Sir Roy Strong welcomes guests to a rare viewing of his garden, while Lady Emma Monson will give a short talk about Galanthus Mrs Macnamara syn ‘Under Milk Wood’. Expect a ‘snowdrop theatre display’ and a heaty three course feast too. Laskett Lane, Much Birch, Hereford, HR2 8HZ. 27 February, 10am – 3pm. £150. perenenial.org.uk
A guided snowdrop walk around Raveningam Hall, conducted by Sir Nicholas Bacon, RHS President and owner of the hall. Lasting an hour, the tour takes place on Tuesday 18 February and runs as part of the National Garden Scheme. 18 February, £20, 2pm, a ticket event. ngs.co.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 run from 1 February – 1 March 2020, Tuesday to Sunday. 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
The Scottish Snowdrop Festival
This year, as snowdrop season begins, a whole host of venues and gardens throughout Scotland are taking place int the Scottish Snowdrop Festival, which runs from 25 January to 11 March. Cost of entry to the gardens vary – some are free – but there are over 70 events to choose from, including walks in Cambo Estate in Fife, Dunvegan Castle and Gardens on the Isle of Skye, Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Head to www.visitscotland.com for more.
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. The snowdrop season and tour runs from 1-29 February 10am-5pm.
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. The snowdrop display will open soon, from 29 January – 1 March 2020, Wednesday to Sunday.
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.