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Dropping into a garden near you

Press Release   •   Jan 27, 2017 11:31 GMT


A number of the country’s celebrated visitor attractions will take part in one of Scotland’s most popular outdoor festivals for the first time this year. 

Blossoming across the country from 28 January to 12 March, the Scottish Snowdrop Festival features more than 50 properties, including 13 newly added for 2017, showing off spectacular swathes of snowdrops carpeting their grounds.

There are 300 varieties of Galanthus – to give the snowdrop its botanical name – and the versatility and hardiness of the classic winter flowering plant means it grows in a great range of locations.

New attractions set to join some of Scotland’s finest gardens, woodlands and estates for the festival this year include Fyvie Castle in Turriff, House of the Binns in Linlithgow and Castle Kennedy in Stranraer.

The annual event, now in its 11th year, aims to encourage locals and tourists alike to enjoy the wonders of Scotland’s gardens during the snowdrop flowering period and highlight the diversity of the country’s array of snowdrop collections.

Supported annually by VisitScotland, the festival is being organised for the first time this year by garden tourism organisation Discover Scottish Gardens.

Research shows that one in three visitors to Scotland make a trip to a forest or woodland park during their stay while 42% visit a country park or garden.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Over the past decade the Scottish Snowdrop Festival has grown to become an annual calendar highlight with the first snowdrops of the year a sign that spring is just around the corner.

“The festival provides a welcome boost for attractions during a traditionally quieter period of the year and we hope many people will be able to get out and about to enjoy this great seasonal sight around Scotland’s most stunning gardens and estates.

“Many of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival locations are within the grounds of some of Scotland’s most historic buildings.

“Such buildings are a perfect fit for Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. From World Heritage sites to ancient monuments, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, the year-long programme will shine the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems.”

Catherine Erskine, from Cambo Estate, Chair of Discover Scottish Gardens and founder of the Snowdrop Festival in Scotland, said: “We are very lucky in Scotland to have a fantastic climate for snowdrops, with many species thriving here and creating stunning displays. And this year, due to a mild winter, snowdrops are certainly popping their heads out earlier than they have for many years.” 

New participants taking part in the Scottish Snowdrop Festival for the first time are:

  • Brodie Castle, Forres, Morayshire
    • RSPB Loch Garten, Nethy Bridge, Inverness-shire
    • Fyvie Castle, Fyvie, Turriff, Aberdeenshire
    • Braco Castle, Braco, Perthshire
    • Fingask Castle, Rait, Perthshire
    • Kilbryde Castle, Dunblane, Perthshire
    • Langley Park, Montrose, Angus
    • Maolachy's Garden, Lochavich, by Taynuilt, Argyll
    • New Hopetouns Gardens, by Newton Village, Broxburn, West Lothian
    • House of the Binns, Linlithgow, West Lothian
    • Newhailes Estate, Musselburgh, East Lothian
    • Castle Kennedy, Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway
    • Brooklands, Crocketford, Dumfries & Galloway
  • Nearly half the participants are opening their gardens to raise money for national charity organisation Scotland’s Gardens.

    Many of the gardens are also offering new activities for the 2017 festival such as the Cambo Estate in Fife where the opening of a new nature playground area, ‘the lost elf village’, will launch their Snowdrop activity. Other participants with new elements to their snowdrop activity this year include Cringletie House and Gardens in Peebles and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as well as its regional Gardens Dawyck and Logan.

    For details of all the gardens and grounds taking part in the Scottish Snowdrop Festival 2017, visit

    Notes to Editors

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      2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
    • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
    • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
    • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017