They are often the first optimistic signs to emerge from the winter gloom – spring is finally on its way (hurrah!) – and snowdrops are being celebrated nationwide. So if you’re looking for where to see snowdrops near you, read on.
Where to see snowdrop drifts in the UK
Although Covid restrictions are in place, here are a few gardens around the UK that are open – only to local visitors in line with government advice – where you can admire dazzling drifts of these pint-sized beauties from now until the end of March. In all cases, you will need to book your visit in advance.
Join in the Scottish Snowdrop Festival from the end of January through to March, where many of the public gardens and woodlands of Scotland are awash with swathes of snowdrops. Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden has a fabulous collection of specialist snowdrops. All visits require a time slot ticket, booked online in advance.
2. 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.
3. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire
This World Heritage Site is a paradise for nature lovers. The picturesque abbey ruins look beautiful at the beginning of the year, set alongside carpets of snowdrops. It 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.
4. Burton Agnes Hall, East Yorkshire
This Elizabethan stately home and award-winning garden is holding a Snowdrops in the Woodland from 30 January to 28 February 2021. Every February, millions of hardy snowdrops push through the cold winter ground to create a magnificent ‘white carpet’ across the woodland floor. Galanthophiles may also like to buy some Burton Agnes-propagated snowdrops ‘in the green’, which is the best way of building a collection.
5. Dunham Massey, Cheshire
The seven-acre winter garden at Dunham Massey is the largest of its kind in the UK. Since opening back in 2009, more than 200,000 double and single snowdrops have been planted, which now create a shimmering white carpet from late December to 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.
6. Rococo Garden, Painswick, Gloucestershire
The country’s sole surviving complete Rococo garden was designed in the 1740s, as a fanciful pleasure garden for Benjamin Hyett and his guests.
More than five million snowdrops will emerge and, although no one knows how they arrived at the garden, they are among Gloucestershire’s must-see events. There are 15 varieties at Painswick, the most famous being Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’, a particularly tall type, discovered at the garden in the 1800s.
The main collection of snowdrops is in the Snowdrop Grove, with more modern varieties above the maze.
7. Springhill, County Londonderry
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.
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