Taking in the wonderful snowdrop

Taking in the wonderful snowdrop

Posted 5th Dec 2017

If you love the sight of a snowdrop, why not take in a wonderful view at some of these lovely National Trust locations?

South West

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Kingston Lacy welcomes a dazzling blanket of snowdrops each year. The garden wakes up in January and February when millions of flowers burst through the soil, transforming areas of the garden into a sea of white. Special snowdrop openings have long been a tradition at here, so visitors can wander through the displays and salute this first welcome sign of spring. Keep an eye out for the estate’s fine herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle and explore the Japanese Garden which is sure to look even better with a dusting of frost.

Image courtesy of National Trust Images

Price: normal admission charges apply 

Newark Park, Gloucestershire

Spectacular Snowdrop Weekend, 4 – 5 February, 11am – 4pm

Image courtesy of James Dobson

At Newark Park there are snowdrop drifts throughout the garden and they mingle with aconites and cyclamen to give an impressive show. Blow away the winter cobwebs and enjoy the fresh air and stunning views of the Gloucestershire countryside on a walk around the estate. Afterwards, warm up with a hot drink and well-deserved slice of cake in front of the fire in the Tudor sitting room.

Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall

Glendurgan re-opens in February just as the first signs of spring begin to show, including carpets of snowdrops. The National Trust gardeners planted an extra 12,000 snowdrops last year, so the display will be more spectacular than ever. Pick from three valleys to lose yourself in and wander down to the unspoilt hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River: a place to watch birds and boats, skim stones and build sand-castles.

Price: normal admission charges apply

Trelissick, Cornwall

Children’s Snowdrop trail, 10 February – 18 February, 10.30am – 5pm

Get some fresh air and look out for one of the earliest signs of spring with Trelissick’s special snowdrop trail. Explore the meandering paths through the garden to discover swathes snowdrops, and learn all about this little white flower.

Price: normal admission charges apply

Buckland Abbey, Devon

Gardens and Abbey open daily from 12 February, 10am – 5pm

At Buckland Abbey you’ll discover meadows, orchards and woodlands where you can enjoy far-reaching views of the Tavy Valley. The way-marked trails are a riot of colour through the seasons, with an unmissable carpet of snowdrops in spring. After you’ve walked around the gardens visit the Abbey – part museum, part house, and filled with treasures such as the legendary Drake’s Drum.

Price: normal admission charges apply

London and South East

Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Snowdrops are so cherished at Stowe that they have their own season. Spread in swathes throughout the gardens, they can start blooming as early as New Year’s Day and last until the end of February. Take a walk to the Elysian Fields, Sleeping Wood and Lamport Garden to see the white drifts amid a magical landscape of lakes and temples.

Image courtesy of Hugh Mothersole

Price: Normal admission applies

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

Snowdrops are one of the earliest signs of spring, and you can find them in the woodland at Cliveden, or on the steep west-facing escarpment that runs down to the edge of the River Thames. You'll find spots of bright colour here too, thanks to bright red berries and fiery dogwoods. Follow in the footsteps of dukes, earls and royalty as you explore the landscape, from formal gardens to woodland walks. There’s plenty for little ones to enjoy too: the Storybook Play Den encourages imaginations to run wild amongst wooden carvings of favourite storybook characters, whilst the 500 metres of winding paths in the Cliveden Maze make it a challenge for all ages to find the centre.

Price: normal admission charges apply

Mottisfont, Hampshire

This spring there will be around 16,000 newly-planted snowdrops to admire at Mottisfont. The National Trust team have been hard at work adding to the display, and the new swathes of flowers can be seen along a new winding woodchip path that starts at the beginning of the river walk. Friendly outdoor guides will be offering free walks and talks around the gardens, village and wider estate, giving you the opportunity to learn more about the estate’s history.

Price: normal admission charges apply

Polesden Lacey, Surrey

Visit Polesden Lacey this spring and discover an array of snowdrops. There will be white drifts lining Lime Walk from the Visitor Reception down to the formal gardens, but perhaps the best place to see them is in the Winter Garden. Planted by noted botanist Graham Stuart Thomas, this garden is a hidden masterpiece that really comes to life with colour and fragrance in the depths of the winter frost.

Image courtesy of Mark Wigmore

Price: normal admission charges apply

East of England

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Snowdrop season, 27 Jan – 11 March, 11am – 4pm

Thousands of snowdrops carpet the gardens and woodlands at Oxburgh Hall, dominating their surroundings. Naturally seeded rather than designed, wander through the wilderness and take in the stunning display, as aconites and other spring flowers begin to emerge at this time of year too. The tea room will be open for warming comfort food, as well as hot drinks.

Ickworth, Suffolk

Take a crisp winter walk through Ickworth to discover carpets of snowdrops along Lady Geraldine's walk, as well as The Albana Walk and Trim Trail. The delicate white flowers are perfectly complemented by the golden glow of aconites scattered throughout. After a chilly stroll, grab a coffee and snack at the West Wing café.

Image courtesy of Jo Sweetman

Price: garden admission charges apply 

Peckover House and Garden, Cambridgeshire

The garden gates open early in the year at Peckover, so you can enjoy what’s in season. Wrap up warm and head out to spot the snowdrops around this two acre town garden, then head into the Orangery where the orange trees are at their best at this time of year. Round off your visit with a warming soup or a hot drink in the Reed Barn tea-room, where every penny you spend helps the National Trust care for places like Peckover for years to come. 

Price: Normal admission charges apply


Attingham Park, Shropshire

Watch the woodland floor transform into a stunning carpet of snowdrops during Attingham’s snowdrop season. The park holds an annual snowdrop watch to find the first flower, which can come as early as December. Take a stroll around this grand estate and discover over 200 years of history, acres of parkland and a beautiful walled garden. To find the best spots, you can pick up a snowdrop leaflet from Visitor Reception or follow the blue tipped markers along the Mile Walk.

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Croome, Worcestershire

Even during the colder months, there’s lots of colour and structure to be enjoyed in Croome’s parkland. A wonderful show of snowdrops can be seen in the Church Shrubbery, including the varieties Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus flora, both of which were noted in an 1824 guidebook of the estate: the Hortus Croomensis.

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Belton House, Lincolnshire

With delightful gardens and lakeside walks Belton is a pleasure to explore – especially early signs of spring creep in. Don’t miss the delicate displays of over 20,000 snowdrops throughout the Pleasure Gardens and around the Gothic ruin. Afterwards, warm up with a browse around Belton’s second-hand bookshop or enjoy a hot drink and a slice of cake.

Image courtesy of Rika Gordon

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

February is the perfect time to see snowdrops as they spring up around the park at Calke. There are lots to be found in the Pleasure Grounds, particularly in the ferny dell and displayed on the auricula theatre in the Flower Garden. You can also take a circular stroll from Calke to the neighbouring Nature Reserve at Dimminsdale – another fantastic opportunity to see displays of snowdrops.

Price: Normal admission charges apply


Wallington, Northumberland

Over the past three years visiting families have planted more than 300,000 snowdrops at Wallington, and a further 100,000 will be planted this February half-term. As well as the common variety, Wallington’s snowdrop display includes a few special ones, including the Northumbrian ‘Sandersii’ group which has sulphur-yellow markings instead of green, and the pretty ‘Flore Pleno’ with double the number of petals. Don’t forget to visit the winter garden where purple Iris will brighten up any grey winter’s day.

Image courtesy of Carole Drake

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire

This World Heritage Site cared for by the National Trust is a paradise for nature lovers. The picturesque abbey ruins look beautiful at the beginning of the year, set alongside carpets of snowdrops. This stunning sight dates back to the 19th century, when Earl de Grey planted snowdrops to spell out his name along the banks of the river Skell. The snowdrops tend to appear in the last week of January but are generally in full bloom by the second week of February.

Image courtesy of Jonathan Pow

Price: Normal admission charges apply. 

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

The seven-acre winter garden at Dunham Massey is the largest of its kind in the UK.  Since it opened in 2009 over 200,000 double and single snowdrops have been planted, which now create a shimmering white carpet from late December to early February. Keep an eye out for other early spring flowers while you’re there, including striking blue winter irises and bright daffodils. The garden contains almost 700 different plant species, including 20,000 narcissi that will also be in bloom in early spring.

Price: Garden admission charges apply.

Image courtesy of Carole Drake

Acorn Bank, Cumbria

Take a wander through the swathes of snowdrops that carpet the woodland walks beside Crowdundle Beck. This tranquil spot is the ideal place for an invigorating walk on a crisp spring day. Relax afterwards with a treat in the tea-room, where all proceeds go towards caring for Acorn Bank and other special National Trust places for future generations to enjoy.

Price: Normal admission charges apply


Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Snowdrop Planting, 12th – 15th and 19th – 22nd February, 11am to 1pm.

Take a trip to Bodnant Garden’s beautiful Far End area in February to join us in planting swathes of snowdrops, and help to create a Snowdrop Walk leading up to the newly-opened Furnace Wood. For several years National Trust gardeners, volunteers and visitors have been helping plant thousands of extra bulbs every year and they don’t plan to stop there. Join the team again and help to plant an extra 10,000.

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd

Snowdrop Planting, 12, 15, 19, 22 Feb, see website for times

Watch Penrhyn’s parkland light up with alabaster snowdrops this spring. One of the best displays is on the far banks of the Water Garden – best viewed from the bottom of the Walled Garden. This spring you can make Penrhyn's Snowdrop display even better by helping the National Trust team plant these dainty little bulbs around the garden.

Price: Normal admission charges apply 

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Snowdrop community planting, in February – see website for dates and times

Make your mark on the gardens at Dyffryn this spring by helping the National Trust team to plant 10,000 snowdrops. Over two weeks in February the gardens will be a hive of activity as plans get under way to create a beautiful new snowdrop walk. Afterwards you can explore 55 acres of gardens, the grand mansion and plenty of hidden spaces.

Price: Normal admission

Chirk Castle, Wrexham

Chase away the winter blues with a bracing walk through the grounds at Chirk Castle. Glimpses of snowdrops can be found throughout the garden, scattered between clipped yews, shrub and rock gardens, as well as drifting along the woodland floor. Take a moment in the Pleasure Ground Wood to enjoy more stunning snowdrop displays, then warm up around the fire in the Woodsman’s Hut.

Price: normal admission charges apply.

Northern Ireland

Rowallane Garden, County Down

Snowdrops are often seen as a symbol of hope as they herald the beginning of warmer, sunnier weather. Celebrate the imminent arrival of spring with a walk amongst these pretty white flowers as they peek up through the frost and snow throughout January and February. Warm up afterwards with a visit to the café ,where every penny you spend helps the conservation charity care for landscapes like Rowallane for future years.

Price: Normal admission charges apply

Springhill, County Londonderry

Snowdrop walks, 3 – 4, 10 – 11, 17 – 18, 23 - 24 February, 12pm – 5pm

Explore the grounds of this 17th-century family home where blooms of snowdrops herald the beginning of spring. Over the past 15 years Springhill’s Head Gardener, John Boyle, and countless volunteers have worked hard to distribute these dainty white flowers around the grounds from a hidden corner of the woodland. Take a leisurely stroll to admire their work, and keep the kids entertained on the Natural Play Trail. Afterwards, enjoy hot soup or tasty scone in the Servants' Hall tea-room and take home your very own snowdrop plant, lovingly cultivated at Springhill.

Image courtesy of Bernie Brown

Price: Normal admission applies 

The Argory, County Armagh

Snowdrop walks, 3–4, 10–11, 17–18, 24–25 February, 12pm – 5pm 

Head to the Argory this spring to see wonderful displays of snowdrops, planted over the years by National Trust staff and volunteers. Take a leisurely stroll around the garden to enjoy the spectacle, then relax in the Barn café for a warm drink or a tasty bite. Snowdrop plants will also be available to buy.

Price: normal admission applies

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