Best gardens in England and Scotland

The sight of these tiny white flowers peeking through January or February always lifts our spirits – here are our picks for where to see snowdrops.

Few flowers are as uplifting on arrival as the snowdrop, “beautiful gems” that light up the “naked and chilling darkness” of winter, as Mary Darby Robinson put it in her sonnet. Snowdrop.

Hill Close Gardens in Warwick has over 130 varieties of snowdrops, including the entire border planted with older varieties dating back to 1900.
The annual snowdrop weekend in the garden will take place on February 4/5.

Hever Castle in Kent has a splendid walk that houses 100,000 of them, including unusual varieties such as ‘Green Brush’, ‘Colossus’ and ‘Wendy’s Gold’.

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, promises an enchanting display of 120,000 Galanthus bulbs. In Lincolnshire, the exquisitely restored Easton Wall is covered in snowdrops until early March, and you can take a delightful stroll through the woods. The gardens are open for snowdrops and the 2023 season on Wednesday, February 15, from Wednesday to Sunday, from 11:00 to 16:00. Meanwhile in London, the Chelsea Physical Garden has a Heralding Spring trail.

The National Garden Scheme offers plenty of opportunity with the Snowdrop Festival, which takes place in February and has over 100 participating gardens. Highlights include Copton Ash, Spring Platt and Knowle Hill Farm in Kent; High Cheruvir, Devon; Pembury House, East Sussex; and mallow in Oxfordshire. They are all owned by snowdrop experts – visit to learn more.

From 13 to 19 February, the Shepton Snowdrop Festival in Somerset honors the work of Victorian horticulturist James Allen, “King of the Snowdrops”, with a memorial lecture, a heritage and snowdrop trail, art and horticulture workshops, poetry and photography contests, and a factory. sale including rare varieties.

Further west in the county, the famous snowdrop valley at Weddon Cross on Exmoor is open from Jan. 28 to Feb. 26 this year, with parking and snacks at the market car park.

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) growing in a beech forest in Welford Park, Berkshire.

No white magic tour is complete without a trip to Colesbourne Gardens in Gloucestershire, where botanist and gallantophile Henry John Elwes once lived. Open every weekend in February, the garden has 10 acres of official snowdrop trails with over 350 varieties, including fragrant Galanthus ‘WITH. Arnott’, first sent to Elvis by Scottish gardener Samuel Arnott, and yellowish G. elwesii ‘Carolyn Elwes’, so popular that in 1997 thieves uprooted and stole the bush. Colesbourne also sells potted bulbs in full bloom, not least. G. elwesii ‘elwesii’, a descendant of the giant snowdrop originally collected by Elwes.

Snowdrop buyers should also head to Kent for the Plant Fairs Roadshow at Hole Park and the Snowdrop Sensation Plant Fair at the Great Comp Garden on Sunday, February 19th. To learn more, George J. Brownlee’s new book, Passion for snowdropsis a fascinating guide (£15.99, Whittles Publishing).

Below we list some of the best places in England to see these beautiful little flowers.

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Berkshire–Welford Park

It is said that the monks planted it to decorate their church, the snowdrop show in Welford Park is truly magnificent.

Borders – Abbotsford

Impressive exhibits are already on display along the banks of the River Tweed in Abbotsford, with snowdrops growing on 120 acres that are open all year round.

Cambridgeshire – Chippenham Park

Created at the end of the 17th century as a “Dutch Corner” landscape, including canals, parkland, woodland and regular gardens.

Cheshire – Rod Hall

Snowdrops have been growing in the Repton landscape at Road Hall for nearly 200 years and are considered one of the natural treasures of the Northwest. Some days there are snowdrop walks and a farmer’s market.

Cumbria – Ford Abbey

Founded by Cistercian monks 900 years ago, with a garden created in the 1700s, it is open every day with snowdrop weekends throughout February.

Dorset – Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival

The whole city goes crazy for the Snowdrop all February.

Exmoor – Weddon Cross

Mysterious Snowdrop Valley is a remote private location near Weddon Cross. Gorgeous flower carpets with parking system.

Fife Cambo

Kambo Manor has 70 beautiful acres of woodland that are crammed with rare varieties – every weekday there are guided tours, expert talks with experts and children’s activities.

Gloucestershire – Colesbourne Park

One of the first gardens to open for snowdrops two decades ago, Colesbourne Park offers some of the best exposure in the UK with 300 species. Weekends only until the beginning of March.

Kent – ​​Goodneston Park

Jane Austen’s brother’s house, open every day from 11 to 4.

Kent – Hever Castle

Anne Boleyn’s childhood home with 70,000 snowdrops, including unusual varieties such as the 9-inch Colossus.

Lincolnshire – Easton Walled Gardens

The 400-year-old Easton Wall Gardens, called “Nirvana’s dream” by President Roosevelt, are open daily between semesters for snowdrop walks.

Norfolk – Walsingham Abbey

The impressive monastery has attracted pilgrims for centuries, and now snowdrops draw crowds too.

Northumberland – Howick Hall

The collection here was mostly planted between the world wars by Lady Grey. Open to visitors in February and March.

Peeblesshire – Keilzee

There is also a two-mile stretch of the River Tweed for fly fishing. February and March.

Surrey – Gatton Park

These wonderful gardens were designed by Capability Brown.

Warwickshire – Hill Close Gardens

Hill Close Gardens in Warwick has over 130 varieties of snowdrops, including the entire border planted with older varieties dating back to 1900.

West Sussex – West Dean Gardens

More than 500,000 spring bulbs planted, not just snowdrops – open every day since the beginning of February.

Yorkshire – Goldsborough Hall

The former royal residence Goldsborough Hall, built in 1620 and remodeled in the 1750s, opens its snowdrop walk on select days in February with over 50 rare species.

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