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Snowdrop walks and gardens to visit across the UK

( 13 February 2018 )

Find the best gardens, walks and National Trust properties that are open to the public for snowdrop walks this year.

Snowdrops at Fountains Abbey
Snowdrops at Fountains Abbey. Yorkshire. Photograph by Jonathan Pow

It is a seasonal show that grows more spectacular by the year, witnessed by an ever-growing fan club of Galanthophiles - after the flower’s scientific name Galanthus - won over by wonderful displays in gardens and woodlands across the UK.

Wherever you live, there’s certain to be an open garden or place to visit nearby, which has its own snowdrop spectacular to offer - and you’ll be dazzled by the displays.

Please check websites for opening dates, times and admission prices. Snowdrops usually start to appear at the end of January and throughout February, depending on local weather conditions.

Where to see snowdrops in…

Snowdrops in Scotland
Snowdrops in Wales
Snowdrops in Northern Ireland
Snowdrops in Northern England
Snowdrops in the Midlands
Snowdrops in South East England
Snowdrops in South West England
Find more snowdrops near you

Find out how to grow your own snowdrops

Where to see snowdrops in Scotland

Scotland’s Cambo Estate, near St Andrews on the east coast, boasts over 200 varieties of snowdrops in its 70 acres of woodland garden, and they are added to yearly in a burgeoning mail order business, as gardeners clamour to bring the snowdrop magic to their own special plots. Orders are received from all over the world.

Bruckhills Gardens, Aberdeenshire, is a beautiful cottage garden with a wildflower meadow and pond. It has hundreds of named varieties of snowdrops, but do be sure to call ahead to make sure they are opening on the day you would like to visit as February and March opening times are by appointment only.

Castle Kennedy Gardens, in Dumfries and Galloway, opens every weekend throughout February and March for the Scottish Snowdrop Festival.

Where to see snowdrops in Wales

Visit Chirk Castle, Wrexham, to chase away those winter blues with a bracing walk around the award winning gardens and woods carpeted with delicate snowdrops. Glimpses of the spring bulbs can be found throughout the garden. The snowdrops scatter between clipped yews, herbaceous borders, shrub and rock gardens, as well as a terrace with stunning views over the Cheshire and Salop plains.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire, is open all year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Visit in February for a beautiful display of snowdrops on a mile long walk, and look out for the heart-shaped patch of snowdrops in the copse along the Boardwalk. An entry fee applies, although entry is free on St David’s Day (March 1) and a special St David’s Celebration Day (February 25 2018).

Bodnant Garden, Conwy, is fabulous for year-round colour but should not be overlooked in winter, when visitors are encouraged to help plant new snowdrops - otherwise known as eirlys or lili wen in Welsh.

In Gwynedd, North Wales, the grounds of Penrhyn Castle are surrounded by beautiful drifts of snowdrops. Wander through its beautiful grounds, with views of Snowdonia and the Penrhyn Quarry.

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Where to see snowdrops in Northern Ireland

The Argory in County Armagh is a spectacular riverside estate that shows a stunning display of snowdrops and other superb spring bulbs throughout February.

Scenic snowdrop walks show off the garden as the frost thaws, and the show keeps getting better and better each year with the stunning backdrop of sweeping vistas. With snowdrop plants available to buy, fun for children in the adventure playground, a trip to The Argory this February is well worth it.

Springhill, County Londonderry, is a beautiful 17th century home with short walks around the estate, and what's more you can even buy your own snowdrop plant from their collection to take home with you.

Snowdrops at Dunham Massey

Snowdrops at Dunham Massey

Where to see snowdrops in Northern England

Dunham Massey, Cheshire, is one of the North’s greatest gardens and Britain’s largest winter garden, where the white carpet will be rolled out for visitors.

Also in Cheshire is Rode Hall, where snowdrops have been cared for over six generations of the Wilbraham family. Walk a mile-long route dotted with wicker animals to entertain children, enjoy a cream tea in Rode Hall's tea room and visit the shop for jams, pickles and cordials made with produce from the kitchen garden. 

Dunham Massey contains almost 700 different plant species and a further 1,600 shrubs specifically bred for the 7 acre wonder. January heralds the first early signs of spring with the delicate charms of snowdrops, where clusters of over 100,000 double and single snowdrops and 20,000 narcissi bloom amongst the trees.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire, is a World Heritage Site set in 323 hectares of beautiful countryside which offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the range of England's heritage and natural beauty.

Walk on a white carpet of snowdrops in early spring as you explore the magnificent 12th-century abbey ruins and amble through the beautiful landscaped Georgian water garden of Studley Royal, complete with Neo-classical statues, follies and breathtaking views.

The former vicarage of Summerdale, Cumbria, features a series of themed gardens walled off by hedges and linked by cobbled paths. Visit in Februaryto see snowdrops and hellebores and enjoy a warming soup, but be sure to check opening times and dates.

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Where to see snowdrops in the Midlands

Hodsock Priory, in Nottinghamshire boasts a myriad of snowdrops in its five-acre gardens, plus a half-mile walk in the woods with carpets of blooms to delight you.

In Shropshire, at Attingham Park you can wander along the River Tern and watch the woodland floor transform into a beautiful carpet of snowdrops.

Berrington Hall, Herefordshire, is surrounded by beautiful a beautiful landscape for a charming springtime walk, and look out for the art installations dotted throughout the parkland. A natural play area will keep children amused.

The beautiful garden and lakeside walks of Belton House, Lincolnshire, is open all year round but it is particularly worth making the visit to see the early signs of spring.

Also in Lincolnshire is Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire's 'lost' gardens. The estate now hosts guided snowdrop tours for those wanting to know the history of the snowdrop and its many varieties. Also on display are cyclamen, winter aconites and hellebores.

In Warwickshire, the gardens and and area around the church of Baddesley Clinton provide a wonderful display of snowdrops. Plus, find out about the medieval and Tudor history of the estate.

In Worcestershire, Croome's beautiful parkland (Capability Brown's first commission) sees a beautiful display of snowdrops, along with stately evergreens such as yew, box and Holm oak, plus gorgeously scented winter daphnes and witch hazel.

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Snowdrops at Nymans Garden

Snowdrops at Nymans Garden

Where to see snowdrops in South East England

You could visit Ickworth, Suffolk, and wander around Ickworth’s park and along Geraldine’s Walk, Oak Walk and the Trim Trail, where snowdrops are complemented by the golden glow of aconites. Discover amazing views of the estate, or warm up in the West Wing restaurant with delicious food and drink.

Nymans in West Sussex is a 20th-century garden is famed for its amazing collection of rare and important plants. At the start of spring, spot wonderful displays of snowdrops as well as camellias and magnolias underplanted with a host of daffodils and grape hyacinths. The bulb meadow in the Wall Garden is full of snowdrops and early narcissus and there are rare hellebores all around the garden.

Anglesey Abbey Garden, in Cambridgeshire, has more than 240 varieties of snowdrop scattered throughout the 100-acre garden in January and February, including Galanthus lagodechianus. This variety, uncommon in Britain and thought to be a relic from the Crimean War, was one of 17 discovered by Head Gardener Richard Ayres on the site of the garden's Victorian rubbish heap.

Visit Mere House, Kent, with its 20 acres of garden and parkland, when they open for their snowdrop weekend or for National Gardens Scheme. 

Near Hythe, Kent, visit Brockhill Country Park for a walk around a Victorian lake surrounded by bamboo, ferns and a carpet of snowdrops. An on-site play area, cafe and toilets, and surfaced walkways surrounding the lake make this a day out for all the family.

At Mottisfont in Hampshire snowdrops thrive along the banks of the Font stream, where the warmer water creates its own microclimate, teasing them into bloom a week or two before their companions in colder corners of the garden. Elsewhere, the open acres of the river garden are magically transformed by drifts of purest white.

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Where to see snowdrops in South West England

There are snowdrop extravaganzas on offer at splendid Heale House, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. There are eight acres of beautiful gardens beside the River Avon with fabulous shows of snowdrops guaranteed.

East Lambrook Manor, in Somerset, was been the site of a new snowdrop discovery, galanthus ‘Sir Henry B-C’ in 2006. The gardens were created by the British garden icon Margery Fish in the 1950s, who popularised snowdrops and made the general public aware of their immense beauty and variety. Since then, East Lambrook Manor has become a site of pilgrimage for snowdrop enthusiasts from all over the world.

This new variety was discovered by gardeners at East Lambrook Manor and was confirmed by galanthus expert, Matt Bishop, as an exciting addition to the already rare and extensive snowdrop collection in these famous Somerset gardens.

The snowdrop was named ‘Sir Henry B-C’ after Sir Henry Boyd-Carpenter who was Margery Fish’s nephew and who spent much of his childhood growing up at East Lambrook Manor.

Also in Somerset, a park-and-ride scheme will be in operation again during snowdrop season, to bus thousands of visitors to the hidden Snowdrop Valley, near Exmoor's Wheddon Cross. This helps reduce traffic pollution to a minimum, and ensures visitors a safe and comfortable trip to the secret valley of the River Avill. A really special place to see.

Kingston Lacy, Dorset, hosts a dazzling blanket of snowdrops each winter. The garden wakes up in spectacular fashion in January and February when thousands of this favourite flower burst through the soil transforming the garden into a sea of white.

At Newark Park in Gloucestershire you can discover the beauty of pure-white snowdrops that mingle among the other early-spring flowers throughout the estate's garden.

Find more snowdrop gardens near you

And if that's not enough, find more snowdrop gardens near you on Great British Gardens, and find a list of private gardens opening specially for snowdrop season through the National Garden Scheme.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.