The best places to see snowdrops this spring - but be quick - the warm weather brought them out earlier than usual and they will be at their peak very soon
Every year some of Britain’s finest gardens have marvellous displays of snowdrops, while some of the smaller private gardens also open their gates to visitors to see carpets of these delicate blooms. This year it is worth telephoning ahead, as the dates may change. The season begun earlier than ever and the peak in places like Kent and Gloucestershire is bound to be over unless you can get there soon.
Supported by Visit England, the National Gardens Scheme’s first ever Snowdrop Festival will kick-start Visit England’s ‘Year of the English Garden 2016’ campaign.
Scottish Snowdrop Festival – See dates and time for all gardens
30 January – 13 March
Craigengillian Estate – stargazing at the Dark Sky Observatory 21 February
Abriachan Garden Nursery – views over Loch Ness
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – Friday – Sunday 12 February – 6 March
Duntreath Castle – woodland paths and waterfall garden
National Trust Snowdrop gardens
Many locations have moved up their dates because of the warm weather including Anglesey Abbey, which started on January 18.
Snowdrops by country in England – we have selected some of the best gardens in England in which to see snowdrops this spring
Friday 12 February – Sunday 28 February 11am – 4pm, £4.50
Over the past 10 years they have planted over 100,000 snowdrops and 40,000 crocus to create a ¼ mile walk which leads from the hillside garden, past a large pond and on through a maturing woodland area.
A warming fire in The Hay Barn where delicious soup, sandwiches and home-made cakes are served rounds off the visit.
Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire 01476530063
13 – 21 February, daily 11 – 4
Hodsock Priory 01909 591204
Saturday 6 February – Sunday 6 March 10am – 4pm daily
Admission prices are still frozen from 2012: £5 adults, £1 children, under 5s and wheelchair users go free, 4.50 groups (10 or more). Snowdrop Day Passes are available online at £15 which includes entry plus tea and cake for two people.
Welford Park 01488 591204
Wednesday 3 February – Sunday 6 March Wednesday-Sunday 11am -4pm, £6
Goldsborough Hall 01423867321
Saturday 13 February – Sunday 21 February 10am – 4pm £5
A Species Snowdrop Walk was created in 2012 with expert help from Mike Heagney of Tudor Croft, and Della Kerr, both committed galanthophiles. It features over 40 rare varieties of snowdrops in a newly cleared area of the woods – some so rare they haven’t even been named yet!
Burton Agnes 01262 490324
6 February – 6 March, 11am – 4pm daily, £7
Snowdrop Valley, Exmoor 01398 323841
30 January – 28 February
Enjoy beautiful snowdrop walks, with paths along the River Stiffkey, and through 18 acres of woodland.
30 January – 6 March, 10am – 4pm daily, £5
Lexham Hall 01328701288
Sunday 7 February, Sunday 14 February 11am – 4pm, £5
Homemade refreshments, plants for sale; proceeds to local charities
Great Comp Garden, near Sevenoaks, Kent
Snowdrop Sensation with “Mr. Snowdrop” Joe Sharman
21 February Plant Fair 10am – 12 noon, gardens – 4pm, £8
Goodnestone Park Gardens 01304 840107
Snowdrop Day Sunday 28 February, £7
Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival 01747 854321
12 – 21 February
Colesbourne Park, Gloucestershire 012420870264
“England’s Greatest Snowdrop Garden”
Snowdrop Weekends, Saturday – Sunday
30 January – 28 February 1pm – 4:30pm, £7.50
Weekday group tours available at 11am and 2pm, £12.50
Painswick Rococo Garden, 01452 813204
The Painswick gardens have said their snowdrops are actually at their peak now – in the first week of February, so please do go as soon as you can, or you’ll miss the displays until next year.
Colesbourne Park 01242 870567
‘England’s Greatest Snowdrop Garden’ Saturdays and Sundays 1pm – 4:30pm, 30 January – 28 February, £7.50
Rode Hall, Cheshire 01270873237
Snowdrop Walks 30 January – 6 March 11am – 4pm £5 (closed Mondays)
Chippenham Park, Cambridgeshire
Crated at the end of the 17th century as an ‘Angle Dutch’ landscape comprising canals, park, woodland and formal gardens
13 – 28 February 10am – 4pm £5
Gatton Park, Surrey 01737649068
These marvellous gardens were designed by Capability Brown. Snowdrop days include 7-28 February; Snowdrop week is 15- 19 February.
Chelsea Physic Garden 02073525646
The Garden, cafe and shop will be open on 6 – 7 February. £10.50