12 sensational snowdrop walks

Snowdrops are an early sign that winter is on the wane. Maybe that’s why we love them – especially collectors, who will pay a fortune for one bulb. James Alexander-Sinclair chooses the finest 12 places to walk among them

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1. Snowdrop Valley, Exmoor, Somerset

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Photo credit: Geograph/ © Copyright Lewis Clarke

Take a stroll in this picture-perfect valley carpeted in snowdrops. No cars allowed – you need to get a bus from the pub car park. Open 1-23 February.

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Visit: wheddoncross.org.uk/snowdropvalley

2. Easton Walled Gardens, Lincolnshire

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Photo credit: Geograph/© Copyright Brian Green

A fascinating new garden among the bones of an old garden whose house was demolished in the 1950s. Snowdrop week 15-23 February.

Visit: eastonwalledgardens.co.uk

3. Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire

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Photo credit: Geograph/Vernon Dunhill

A long walk studded with stems of every colour, gloriously barked trees and, of course, lots of snowdrops. Gardens and abbey open daily.

Visit: nationaltrust.org.uk/anglesey-abbey

4. Cambo Estate, Fife

Cambo holds the National Collection of Galanthus – you can see 350 different kinds. The woodland will be illuminated for Snowdrops by Starlight, 12-16 February.

 Visit: camboestate.com

5. Burton Agnes Hall, Yorkshire

Another lovely woodland setting for a great sweep of snowdrops set in the grounds of the inestimably fine Elizabethan house. Gardens open daily, 8 February-2 March.

Visit: www.burtonagnes.com

6. Hopton Hall, Derbyshire

A relatively recent snowdrop garden, which emerged from the overgrowth in the last decade or so – after a lot of chopping and clearing. Open daily, 1 February-2 March.

Visit: hoptonhall.co.uk

7. Hodsock Priory, Nottinghamshire

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Photo credit: Geograph/Graham Hogg

In snowdrop season there will be talks every day about Hodsock’s rich and varied history. Open daily, 1 February-2 March. 

Visit: hodsockpriory.com

8. Walsingham Abbey, Norfolk

What this collection lacks in exotic varieties it makes up for in romantic abundance. Snowdrop walks daily, 1-28 February.

 Visit: walsinghamabbey.com

9. Chirk Castle, Wrexham

This great castle was built during the reign of Edward I. Here, snowdrops flow out from the formal borders into the surrounding woodlands.

Visit: nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle

10. Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucestershire

In the 1870s, John Atkins propagated a bulb here that was later named Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’ and is one of the best. Open daily; snowdrop talks on Wednesdays and Fridays this month.

Visit: rococogarden.org.uk

11. Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

As well as snowdrops there is a great museum that traces the history of photography. Grounds open daily.

Visit: nationaltrust.org.uk/lacock

12. Pencarrow House, Cornwall

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Photo credit: Geograph/Paul Leonard

A pioneer among gardens as it is not only home to the first Victorian rock garden but also the first monkey puzzle tree in England. Gardens open on 9 and 16 February.

Visit: pencarrow.co.uk

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Main image: Getty