We love a bracing winter walk at Sykes Cottages but after a few cold months of icy breath and numb toes it’s a welcome relief when, out of the corner of your eye, a bunch of soft white snowdrops catch your attention. Flowering at the end of winter, these petite plants signal the start of spring and the warmer weather that follows. If like me you can’t wait to see your first snowdrop of the year, keep reading as we suggest five of the best locations to spot snowdrops in the UK.
Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
Visit the Anglesey Abbey gardens during the Snowdrop Festival (January 26th – March 1st) and you’ll be able to explore 144 acres of grounds and view 270 different varieties of snowdrop. It’s a lot to take in on your own so why not join the Snowdrop collection tour lead by a member of the garden team every weekday at 2pm? If you’d rather head out on a solo mission then you’re in luck as the gardens are opening an hour earlier during the festival so you’ll be able to make the most of the winter light.
Kingston Lacy, Dorset
If you fancy a leisurely afternoon stroll where the snowdrops are in abundance then we would suggest a visit to Kingston Lacy. This stunning National Trust property was built to resemble an Italian palace and is only made more beautiful when the snowdrops start to appear. Well known for their white carpets of snowdrops, the gardeners at Kingston Lacy have predicted the flowers will be at their best around the third week of February.
Dunham Massey, Cheshire
It’s common to see one or two patches of snowdrops at this time of year but if you’re after something bigger then head to Dunham Massey where their gardeners promise a sea of white, made up of a quarter of a million snowdrops! Their seven acre winter garden is sure to leave you feeling inspired with 700 plant species, 1,600 winter shrubs and plenty of planting ideas which will help keep your garden bright during the move into spring.
Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire
At Fountains Abbey families can experience fascinating history, wonderful walks and stunning Georgian water gardens all in one afternoon. The Abbey ruins are picture perfect when surrounded by early morning fog and delicate white snowdrops, but make sure to wrap up as the best images are captured when there is a clear blue sky overhead. To help warm you up after your chilly walk around the grounds stop off at the Abbey restaurant and sample the seasonal specials.
Scottish Snowdrop Festival
Scotland loves snowdrops so much that they’ve dedicated a whole festival to the pretty flower! The festival started on Saturday and has over 60 venues taking part; even those that are normally closed for the winter have opened their doors in celebration. The festival will end on March 15th giving you plenty of time to visit one or two of the venues. Our suggestions for this year are Logan Botanic Gardens, Black Spout Wood and Dryburgh Abbey.