Snowdrops: The best places to see snowdrops in 2023
For snowdrop lovers, or galanthophiles, February is the month to venture out to admire spectacular displays of snowdrops. Here are some of our recommended gardens to visit.
Snowdrops are a sure sign that spring is on its way. The delicate drooping 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.
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. Wander around or join a Specialist Collection tour around the 114 acres to make sure you don’t miss out on any snowdrop treasures (places sell out fast).
30 Jan to 24 February
Quy Road, Lode, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB25 9EJ. Tel 01223 810080; nationaltrust.org.uk/angleseyabbey
The Bishop’s Palace
Observe a spectacular display of snowdrops in a historic setting. Visitors can collect a printed Snowdrop Walk to guide them around the moat banks carpeted with snowdrops, and across the Willow Bridge to the Arboretum.
Weekends in February
The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2PD. Tel 01749 988111; bishopspalace.org.uk
The snowdrop walk, which runs along the wall at the top of the moat, was planted in the early twentieth century by the present owner’s family. Opening the gardens at snowdrop time became an annual tradition which has continued to the present day. Aside from the huge drifts of naturalised snowdrops that cover the grassy moat and the gardens around the castle and house you can also enjoy hellebores, aconites and winter flowering shrubs in bloom.
Open daily in February (dates TBC)
Benington Lordship, Nr Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG2 7BS Tel 08701 261709; 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.
25 January to 11 March
Cambo Gardens, Kingsbarns, Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 8QD. Tel 01333 451040; cambogardens.org.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 the 'Heralding Spring' trail featuring snowdrops and other winter-flowering highlights. On the 22 January there will be a talk on snowdrops and a snowdrop kokedama workshop.
Join a snowdrop tour on 26 January
66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS. Tel 020 7352 5646; 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 weeks for visitors to view the vast carpets of snowdrops, followed by daffodils. Take time to also enjoy the fiery dogwoods, aconites and winter blossoms.
21 January to 2 April (snowdrops followed by daffodils)
Chippenham Hall, Chippenham Park, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire CB7 5PT. Tel 01638 721416; chippenhamparkgardens.info
Colesbourne is renowned as one of the best places to see snowdrops in the UK. The great plantsman, Henry John Elwes planted snowdrops widely, and the the garden today contains around 350 cultivars of snowdrops, many of them hybrids, descended from those original plantings. Thousands of new snowdrops are planted every year, ensuring that the collection remains vibrant and up-to-date.
28 January to 26 February
Colesbourne, nr. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9NP. Tel 01242 870567; colesbournegardens.org.uk
The 10-acre garden at Coton Manor occupies a hillside position extending down from the 17th-century manor house. The garden will open over three weekends in February and March so that visitors can enjoy the masses of snowdrops and hellebores, as well as carpets of crocus and other early bulbs and winter-flowering shrubs.
Open weekends from 18 February to 5 March
Coton, near Guilsborough, Northamptonshire NN6 8RQ. Tel 01604 740219; cotonmanor.co.uk
A wide variety of snowdrops will be on view here including favourites such as the ‘Blewbury Tart’ and the ‘Pusey Green Tip’. Enjoy a 'snowdrop walk' and sure you make the most of the lakeside and garden walks too.
19 & 26 February
Deene Park, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 3EW. Tel 01780 450278; deenepark.com
East Lambrook Manor
Margery Fish, the legendary plantswoman who created the garden at East Lambrook Manor was a galanthophile; she especially loved double snowdrops. Not surprisingly, the garden is filled with masses of snowdrops as well as other winter beauties. Read our feature on Margery Fish's snowdrops. The fourth Snowdrop Festival begins in February; the owners reckon the snowdrops will be at their best towards the end of the month. Around 80 varieties of snowdrop will be for sale.
February (exact dates TBC), Tuesday to Sunday
East Lambrook, South Petherton, Somerset TA13 5HH. Tel 01460 240 328; eastlambrook.com
Easton Walled Gardens
From late January to March, Easton Walled Gardens are covered in drifts of delicate snowdrops and the garden opens especially to coincide with their appearance. Snowdrops are also available to buy.
Garden opens from 15 February (open Weds to Sun)
Easton, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG33 5AP. Tel 01476 530063; visiteaston.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. Open for snowdrop weekends throughout the month.
Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU. Tel 01460 220231; fordeabbey.co.uk
The Garden House
The Garden House is home to the Matt Bishop snowdrop collection, with over 350 different cultivars on display throughout the gardens.
13 January to 12 March (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, PL20 7LQ. Tel 01822 854769; thegardenhouse.org.uk
Great Comp Garden
Great Comp is usually closed in winter, but opens for just one day for its Snowdrop Sensation day. Browse a wide selection of rare snowdrops on sale from specialist nurseries and enjoy the snowdrops in the garden. Pre-booking essential.
Great Comp, Comp Lane, Platt, Sevenoaks, TN15 8QS. Tel 01732 885094; greatcompgarden.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. Open for snowdrop walks on selected dates in February and March.
Selected dates 4-26 February
Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ. Tel 01787 460261; hedinghamcastle.co.uk
Hever Castle & Gardens
Around 100,000 snowdrop bulbs have been planted in the gardens of Anne Boleyn's childhood home over the past few years, including some unusual varieties such as the yellow tipped ‘Wendy’s Gold’, the giant ‘Colossus’ (one of the tallest snowdrops you can find) and Galanthus ‘Green Brush’, with unusual green-tipped flowers. You can also enjoy camellia, quince, daphnes, hellebores and early daffodils in bloom.
Garden open daily from 8 February
Hever Road, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG. Tel 01732 865224; hevercastle.co.uk
National Gardens Scheme
100 local gardens are opening their gates for charity in 2022 for the National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival, so there's sure to be one open near you. Many notable gardens are opening, including Higher Cherubeer in Devon, Knowle Hill Farm in Kent and specialist snowdrop nursery, Elworthy Cottage. Key your postcode into the website to find your nearest open garden.
1-28 February; check website for individual opening times
Painswick Rococo Gardens
Painswick Rococo Garden is famed for one of the largest naturalistic plantings of snowdrops in the country. There are 15 varieties in the garden, the most famous being Galanthus 'Atkinsii'. Pre-booking is essential; the garden recommends bagging an early spot when the gardens are more quiet. Check when the snowdrops are at their peak via the website and social media.
January to February
Painswick, Gloucestershire GL6 6TH. Tel 01452 813204; rococogarden.org.uk
Enjoy around 150 named snowdrop cultivars throughout the delightful garden, as well as many un-named ones throughout the garden. Every Sunday in February will raise funds for the Priscilla Bacon Hospice.
Daily excluding Saturdays
Raveningham, Norwich, NR14 6NS. Tel 01508 548152; raveningham.com
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 in the Old Wood, by the Pool and through Sir Richard's Walk. Homemade light lunches and cream teas available; local artists will be exhibiting in the barns.
4 February - 4 March
Church Lane, Scholar Green, Cheshire ST7 3QP. Tel 01270 873237; rodehall.co.uk
A vast snowdrop collection of 150 varieties is spread across this eight-acre Cotswold garden. Also on display are other winter flowers including hellebores, cyclamen and aconites.
1, 4, 8, 11, 15 & 18 February (afternoons)
Rodmarton, Cirencester GL7 6PF. Tel 01285 841442; rodmarton-manor.co.uk
Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival
Shepton Mallet was once home to the famous 18th-century horticulturist James Allen, known as the 'Snowdrop King' and the first hybridiser of snowdrops. Nowadays the town proudly celebrates its famous son with an annual Snowdrop Festival. This year there will be a three-day programme of events, ranging from kokedama, winter foraging and floristry workshops, specialist sales of snowdrops and spring plants, poetry and photography competitions and much more. Garden designer Dan Pearson is the event's new patron.
Shepton Mallet, Somerset. sheptonsnowdrops.org.uk
Scottish Snowdrop Festival
This year, as snowdrop season begins, a whole host of venues and gardens throughout Scotland are taking place in 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 at Dawyck Botanic Garden and guided tours at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Many gardens are open under the Scotland's Gardens Scheme, too.
Head to discoverscottishgardens.org and scotlandsgardens.org for full details.
This renowned Oxfordshire garden is home to more than 60 different snowdrop varieties in the ornamental gardens and along the walk by the River Thame. A selection of varieties will be available to buy and staff will be on hand to offer advice on snowdrop planting.
Daily from 1 to 28 February
Nr Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ. Tel 01844 339254; 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. There are always pots of Galanthus cultivars and "thinings" to buy and on Thursdays there are specialist Plant Markets, featuring specialist snowdrop nurseries.
1 February to 5 March, Wednesday to Sunday
Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8HU. Tel 01488 608691; welfordpark.co.uk
Wye Valley Sculpture Gardens
A three-acre south facing garden nestled in the picturesque lower Wye Valley. The family have been passionately collecting snowdrops since the 1970s, and in February there'll be 70 varieties on display and 28 of those will be for sale. Wooden sculptures by resident artist Gemma Kate Wood are sensitively placed throughout the garden.
2 - 19 February, with some days for pre-booking only
Tintern NP16 7NX, wyevalleysculpturegarden.co.uk
As displays of snowdrops and other spring flowers are weather dependent, please double check all opening days and times before travelling.