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10 Best Snowdrop Walks

Let me out! ... (locally of course). How better to get some fresh air and exercise than with a mood-boosting meander through thousands of pretty snowdrops.

Imagine tip-toeing through carpets of dewy snowdrops, stretching as far as the eye can see … sweet lord, take us there now! There’s nothing like a snowdrop stroll, especially this year after months of being cooped up going slightly stir crazy.

And nothing says Spring (and better times) are galloping in more than the first snowdrops. The good news is that lots of places are open this year (with distancing measures or bookable in advance), and we’ve got the lowdown on where to go.

Glos and Worcs are teeming with great places to see these botanical beauties, so sling on the wellies and head out, but remember to stay local and follow government guidelines folks.

Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick, Stroud

ANSWER:! Painswick Rococo Garden (for anyone taking a guess from our newsletter this week!)

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 2021 full bloom is predicted for the end of Jan and first two weeks of Feb. 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. The Garden is open, but make sure to book online.

Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-the-Marsh

Batsford Arboretum is open for local exercise (hurrar) and you can see swathes of pretty snowdrops here as they burst into bloom. If you’re a member you don’t need to book, otherwise make sure you’ve reserved your timed slot. 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.

Colesbourne Park, Colesbourne, Cheltenham

Colesbourne Park in Glos is 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. The Park is open for local exercise, and the timed entry booking page is now live, taking bookings from 6 February 2021. There’ll be a one way system in place and you need to bring a mask for the entrance. Buy your own snowdrops here too (grow your own crop at home!). Open until Sunday 21 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. The house and cafe are closed but the parkland is open, timed tickets are released every Friday online so book before you go (free to members).

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. The gardens are open during lockdown between 10am and 5pm and there’s no need to book. Even better, the tearoom has a takeaway service available for hand-warming hot chocs as you wander around. 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 is due to open 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 in normal times you can buy your own Snowdrop bulbs here to plant at home (check ahead).

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

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. The Park may be temporarily closed but we’ve included it in this guide as things are changing on a weekly basis, so if it does reopen, head here of 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 show 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, the gardens are currently fully open (not the house), book your ticket ahead of time (they are time-released every week) here. More than 10,000 snowdrops were planted here 10 years ago, head for the Church Shubbery to see the best.

Have we missed off your favourite walk? Tell us in the comments below.

*featured image by the RHS

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.

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