Sarah Jagger

22 of the best snowdrop walks

Sarah Jagger
22 of the best snowdrop walks

For that first glimpse of spring, there’s nothing better than seeing drifts of snowdrops. The dainty white flowers transform woodland and garden floors in February and are one of the first signs of life after the long winter months. We've rounded up the top National Trust spots to see them!

South West
 
1. Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Open daily, 10am – 4pm
Kingston Lacy welcomes a dazzling blanket of snowdrops each year. Millions of flowers burst through the soil, transforming areas of the garden into a sea of white. Special snowdrop openings have long been a tradition at Kingston Lacy so visitors can wander through the displays and salute this first welcome sign of spring. Keep an eye out for the estate’s fine herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle and explore the Japanese Garden which is sure to look even better with a dusting of frost.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

2. Newark Park, Gloucestershire                   

Spectacular Snowdrop Weekend, 4 – 5 February, 11am – 4pm
At Newark Park there are snowdrop drifts throughout the garden and they mingle with aconites and cyclamen to give an impressive show. Blow away the winter cobwebs and enjoy the fresh air and stunning views of the Gloucestershire countryside on a walk around the estate. Explore the incredible landscape of Newark Park, located deep within Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

3. Saltram, Devon

A winter walk amongst the snowdrops until 28 February, 10am – 4pm
Standing high above the River Plym with magnificent views across the estuary, Saltram’s 500 acres of rolling parkland and woodland provide the perfect setting for a stunning snowdrop display. As the snowdrops frame the pathways take a stroll and explore the tranquil garden, 18th-century orangery and magnificent lime avenue. Bring the family in February to plant your own snowdrops with the garden team.
Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

Snowdrops at Fountains Abbey

Snowdrops at Fountains Abbey

 

London and South East

4. Ham House and Garden, Surrey

Open daily 10am – 4pm
Take a stroll around the formal gardens at Ham House where snowdrops can be found under the old Acacia trees. Afterwards, explore the maze-like wilderness with 16 garden compartments to discover, then head over to the kitchen garden to see which herbs are around at this time of year.  
Price: Normal admission charges apply

5. Nymans, West Sussex

Open daily, 10am – 4pm
This 20th-century garden is famed for its collection of rare and important plants. At the start of spring, spot wonderful displays of snowdrops followed by camellias and magnolias underplanted with grape hyacinths. The bulb meadow in the walled garden is full of snowdrops and early narcissus and there are rare hellebores all around the garden. By Valentine’s Day, over 150 different types of plant are flowering at Nymans and the snowdrop drifts offer cool contrasts to fiery witch hazel oranges and the rich red stems of dogwoods.
Price: Garden admission charges apply

6. Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Stowedrop season, 1 January – 28 February, 10am – 4pm
Snowdrops are so cherished at Stowe that they even have their own season. The beginning of the year is ‘Stowedrop’ time as the delicate peeping blooms develop into white drifts in the Elysian Fields, Sleeping Wood and Lamport Garden. Take a walk amongst the snowdrops in this magical landscape of lakes and temples.
Price: Garden admission charges apply

East of England

7. Ickworth, Suffolk

Open daily, 9am – 5.30pm
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 pretty white flowers are perfectly complemented by the golden glow of aconites scattered throughout. After a chilly stroll, warm up in the West Wing restaurant with delicious food and drink (Friday to Tuesday).
Price: Garden admission charges apply

8. Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Snowdrop Walks until 5 March, 11.30am and 2pm
Feast your eyes on Oxburgh, a huge moated hall surrounded by 70 acres of gardens and woodlands. Join the team for a guided walk, or wander independently around the woodlands and take in the stunning carpets of snowdrops, aconites and other spring flowers.
Price: Garden admission charges apply

9. Peckover House & Garden, Cambridgeshire

Open weekends until 19 February, 12pm – 4pm
The garden gates open early in the year at Peckover so you can enjoy what’s in season. Wrap up warm and head out to spot the snowdrops around this two acre town garden then head into the Orangery where the orange trees are at their best at this time of year.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

10. Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Open daily, dawn to dusk
Sheringham Park looks especially beautiful in February when displays of snowdrops brighten up dark days. The Upcher family left the Sheringham estate to the National Trust, so it’s fitting that their namesake (Galanthus plicatus ‘Upcher’) still blooms around the park, among other varieties. Take a stroll to see if you can find an Upcher snowdrop and enjoy woodland walks, a bit of bird spotting and stunning coastal views.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

Midlands

11. Attingham Park, Shropshire

Open daily, 8am – 5pm
Watch the woodland floor transform into a stunning carpet of snowdrops during Attingham’s snowdrop season. The park holds an annual snowdrop watch to find the first flower, which can come as early as December. Take a stroll around this grand estate and discover over 200 years of history, acres of parkland and a beautiful walled garden.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

12. Belton House, Lincolnshire

Open daily, 9.30am – 4pm
With delightful gardens and lakeside walks, Belton is a pleasure to explore year round and never more so as the early signs of spring creep in. Don’t miss the delicate displays of snowdrops that melt away all your thoughts of winter.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

13. Dudmaston Estate, Shropshire

Snowdrop weekends, 18 – 19, 25 – 26 February, 12pm – 4pm
This February walk through the Dingle where the snowdrops are out in full bloom. Thanks to the support of visitors, the National Trust gardeners who care for Dudmaston have been busy planting more snowdrops over the past few years, so the display just keeps getting better.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

North

14. Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Open daily, 11am – 4pm
The seven-acre winter garden at Dunham Massey is the largest of its kind in the UK. Since it opened in 2009 over 200,000 double and single snowdrops have been planted, which now create a shimmering white carpet until early February. Keep an eye out for other early spring flowers while you’re there, including striking blue winter irises and bright daffodils.
Price: Garden admission charges apply
 

Earl de Grey planted snowdrops to spell out his name


15. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire

Open daily 10am – 5pm
This World Heritage Site is a paradise for nature lovers. The picturesque abbey ruins look beautiful in February set alongside carpets of snowdrops. This is a stunning sight that dates back to the 19th century, when Earl de Grey planted snowdrops to spell out his name along the banks of the river Skell.
Price: Normal admission charges apply.

16, Wallington, Northumbria

Open daily 10am – 4pm from 13 February 10am – 6pm
Over the past two years visiting families have planted more than 200,000 snowdrops at Wallington, and a further 100,000 will be planted this February half-term. As well as the common variety, Wallington’s snowdrop display includes a few specials. The less common varieties include the Northumbrian ‘Sandersii’ group which has sulphur-yellow markings instead of green, and the pretty ‘Flore Pleno’ with double the number of petals.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

17. Acorn Bank, Cumbria

Open on weekends from 18 February, 11am – 4pm
Take a wander through the swathes of snowdrops that carpet the woodland walks beside Crowdundle Beck. This tranquil spot is the ideal place for an invigorating walk on a crisp spring day.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

Wales


18. Chirk Castle, Wrexham

Open 10am – 4pm
Chase away the winter blues with a bracing walk through the grounds at Chirk Castle. Glimpses of snowdrops can be found throughout the garden, scattered between clipped yews, shrub and rock gardens, as well as drifting along the woodland floor. Take a moment in the Pleasure Ground Wood to enjoy more stunning snowdrop displays, warm up around the fire in the Woodsman’s Hut and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate on weekends.
Price: Off-peak admission charges apply.

19. Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Snowdrop Planting, 19 – 26 February, 1pm – 2pm
Take a trip to Bodnant Garden’s Old Park Meadow in February to see swathes of snowdrops out in full bloom. For several years National Trust gardeners, volunteers and visitors have been helping plant thousands of extra bulbs every year and they don’t plan to stop there. Join the team again and help to plant an extra 20,000.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

Northern Ireland

20. Rowallane Garden, County Down

Garden open daily 10am - 4pm
Snowdrops are often seen as a symbol of hope as they herald the beginning of warmer, sunnier weather. Celebrate the imminent arrival of spring with a walk amongst these pretty white flowers at Rowallane. Drifts of the flowers peek up through the frost and snow throughout February.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

21. Castle Coole, County Fermanagh

Grounds open throughout February, 10am - 4pm
During the late winter months the Beech Walk at Castle Coole finds itself covered with a carpet of snowdrops. Delight in the signs of the not-too-distant spring with a walk amongst the flowers and admire views of the 18th-century mansion.
Price: Normal admission charges apply

22. Springhill, County Londonderry

Snowdrop walks, 11 – 12, 18 – 19, 25 - 26 February, 12pm – 5pm
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. Take a leisurely stroll to admire their work, and keep the kids entertained on the Natural Play Trail. Take home your very own snowdrop plant, lovingly cultivated at Springhill.
Price: £5.50