10 Snowdrop spectaculars (and a blue lagoon)
Shorts and sandals at the ready, spring is here. Er, okay maybe not, but the snowdrops are incoming. Instead fling on the woolies and wellies and venture outside to see them, here are the best snowdrop hotspots in our ‘hood.
Imagine tip-toeing through carpets of dewy snowdrops, stretching as far as the eye can see. There’s nothing like a snowdrop stroll for a mood-enhancing lift.
And nothing says Spring is galloping in more than the first snowdrops. Glos and Worcs are teeming with great places to see these botanical beauties, so head out to one these riotous shows.
Colesbourne Park, Colesbourne, Cheltenham – you’ll find the incredible BLUE LAGOON here!
Colesbourne Park in Glos is a sensational snowdrop paradise. Brace yourself for 250 varieties of the pretty white flowers set over 10 acres. It’s a lovely place to wander through, with a church, waterfall and lake. The Gardens include an arboretum of rare trees collected over 120 years, many of which are ‘Champion trees’ listed in the Tree Register of the British Isles. Buy your own snowdrops here too (grow your own crop at home). Open until 27 February, tickets cost £9 and under 16s go free. Plus, find the incredible natural blue lagoon of the Cotswolds here!
The vibrant, topaz blue colour of the water is created by a special clay that travels down the valleys to the lagoon, creating an azure oasis. Little known, and so very instagrammable!
Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick, Stroud
Painswick Rococo Garden has one of the largest plantings of snowdrops in the UK, with more than 5 million popping up each year – making it one of the county’s must-see floral pop-ups. The 2022 full bloom is predicted from the end of Jan and ends on the 27 February. See 15 varieties with the most famous being Galanthus “Atkinsii”, a tall and handsome snowdrop, discovered here in the 1800s. See the main collection in Snowdrop Grove, with more modern varieties near the maze.
Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-the-Marsh
Batsford Arboretum is a lovely place to wander around swathes of pretty snowdrops. It’s not just snowdrops here either, keep your eyes peeled for stunning yellow aconites, daffodils, pastel mauve crocuses and rainbow-hued hellebores. It’s an explosion of pre-Spring colour, selfie buttons at the ready people. Predicted to be in peak bloom from 1 February to 28 February.
Dyrham Park, Dyrham, near Bath
Wander through acres of breathtaking snowdrops at Dyrham Park. This stunning 17th century mansion (you’ll feel like an extra out of Bridgerton) is home to more than half a dozen types that often crop up as early as New Year so by the end of Jan onwards they should be perfect for viewing. They all occur naturally here, and with any luck you might get the ultimate photo-bomb if you catch one of the famous Dyrham deer trotting past.
Newark Park, Wooton-Under-Edge
This place boasts a veritable magic carpet of snowdrops, with the backdrop of a stunning 18th century manor house. The National Trust-owned Newark Park in Wotton-under-Edge is closed over the winter but reopens in February (check the site for latest dates). There’s also a children’s trail when they get bored of the walking. Muddy tip – look out for the peacocks, they live here full time.
Cerney House Gardens, North Cerney, Glos
The super romantic Cerney House Gardens are a gorgeous spot to see snowdrops. Grab a hand-warming hot choc as you wander around from the cafe. There are more than 40 acres to explore and bunches of the white beauts frame the Victorian Walled Garden – described by Country Living as ‘what most people aspire to in their gardens – and few achieve’. That’s us sold. Dog-friendly and you can even buy some of your own plants to take home.
Cotswold Farm Garden, Duntisbourne Abbots
Snowdrops bring a touch of sparkle to the Arts and Crafts garden at Cotswold Farm. It has over 60 types of the White Ladies, the Garden opens in February, but keep checking to see if there are any updates. You’ll also get gorgeous views over to the Marlborough Downs on a good day. Entry is £7.50 and you can buy your own snowdrop bulbs here to plant at home too.
Rodmarton Manor, near Cirencester
You’ll find more than 150 species of snowdrop at at Rodmarton Manor and there are swathes of the blooms every year. Boasting eight acres and a rainbow of winter colours including some quite rare species. The stunning Arts and Crafts Grade I-listed building, located between Cirencester and Tetbury, is a gorgeous setting. It’s just £7.50 to wander around the garden and grounds, but furry friends are not allowed we’re afraid.
Cotswold Wildlife Park, near Cheltenham
The animal-wonderland that is Cotswold Wildlife Park isn’t where you’d maybe expect to go for blooms, but the Winter Gardens have a whole swathe of them. Head here if you have kids especially. The large island beds (directions alert – between the Owls and the Emus!) have been packed with gorgeous winter blooms. You’ll find snowdrops, honeysuckle, magnolias and more.
Croome, Worcester, Worcs
There’s a wonderful crop of snowdrops at Croome, as well as hundreds of acres to burn off the cabin fever. Set against an 18th century backdrop designed by Capability Brown. More than 10,000 snowdrops were planted here 10 years ago, head for the Church Shubbery to see the best.
Try planting your own snowdrops at home …
Type of spot: Best planted in semi-shade, in a moist, but well-drained soil with leaf mould or garden compost incorporated. It is important that the soil does not dry out in Summer.
Aftercare: Snowdrops will spread and naturalise themselves. They can be lifted and divided when clumps have become very dense.