The popular Scottish Snowdrop Festival returns to gardens throughout Scotland from 30 January to 13 March 2016, as thousands of beautiful snowdrops appear across the nation to create stunning displays which hint at the approach of spring.
A range of almost 60 gardens across Scotland will showcase their snowdrops in walled gardens, historic castles, nature reserves and even a school. Some of the venues open exclusively for the festival and many offer delicious local food in their restaurants and cafés, which visitors can enjoy after wandering through the idyllic displays.
As part of the festival a variety of unique experiences will be on offer, including a night sky observatory experience and an option of afternoon tea to accompany the snowdrops at Craigengillian Estate, Aryshire which feature as part of a celebrated designed landscape of 3000 acres. An atmospheric night-time display of snowdrops is offered at Cringletie House, Peebles, alongside a taste of specially created snowdrop scones as part of afternoon tea and, at Cambo Gardens, Fife, a daily guided walk to view the snowdrops also features a chance to feed piglets.
NEW gardens taking part this year include:
Craigengillan is peacefully set in a rugged landscape, about 14 miles from the sea. Visitors will also have the opportunity to enter the house through the stunning hallway built in 1905 to a design by celebrated French architect Jan Sen, and enjoy tea and scones in the enchanting drawing room and dining room. The estate has a fascinating history and its 3,000 acres are recognised by Historic Scotland in their Inventory of Designed Landscapes. The gardens are beautiful and include a sweeping lawn set among time honoured trees. After exploring the snowdrops, visitors will be able to visit the Observatory as it gets dark (approx. 5:30pm). The Resident Astronomer will give a presentation and, if the sky is clear, visitors will be able to star watch through the powerful telescope to find the Milky Way, shooting stars, planets, comets and maybe even the Northern Lights.
Dates: 21 Feb 2016
Open: 15:00 – 19:00, on a pre-book basis only.
Cost: Adult, snowdrops only £3. Adult, observatory only £12
Child, snowdrops only, free. Child, observatory only £4
Seniors , observatory only £8 (aged 65 and over)
Tea, coffee and scone only £3 per person
Craufurdland Castle, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Enjoy a ramble through the woods and grounds of the historical and beautiful Craufurdland Castle to explore the Snowdrops Woods (wellies advisable).
Dates: 23 Jan - 14 Feb 2016
Open: Please phone for times: 01560 600760
Cost: Adult £3, concessions £1.50, children free
Barjarg Tower, Dumfries & Galloway
Barjarg Tower lies on a gentle slope enjoying the lovely views of the surrounding Lowther hills. The original Tower House dates back to the late 16th century but has had various cleverly designed additions over the years. The gardens have undergone considerable development since they were last opened to the public, though the carpets of snowdrops in the surrounding woods and the swathes of daffodils that line the driveway remain a tribute to the care of earlier generations.
Dates: 24 Feb – 27 Feb 2016
Open: 10am – 4pm
Cost: There will be an honesty box for donations, with a recommended donation of £3
Cringletie House, Peebles, Scottish Borders
Cringletie enjoys millions of the Genus Galanthus Snowdrops, believed to have been planted and grown wildly since the days of the Crimean War, when soldiers brought them back from their time serving in the army. Today the snowdrops continue to create a blanket of beauty throughout the woods and valley beside its waterfall. Following on from the success of the event in 2015, beautiful lighting in the grounds will showcase the magical glittering of flowers after dark. Visitors can also enjoy specially created Snowdrop Scones which will be served with afternoon tea (prices from £18.50 per person) throughout the festival.
Open: Daily from dawn to dusk
Abriachan Garden Nursery, Killianan, Inverness
Abriachan Garden Nursery boasts over four acres of exciting plantings with winding paths through native woodlands and views over Loch Ness.
Dates: 1 Feb – 13 March 2016
Open: 9am – 7pm
Cost: £3 per ticket.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has a fascinating collection of specialist snowdrops. Join a Garden Guide on a walk to discover the collection.
Dates: 12 Feb – 6March
Open: 11am – 12:30pm
Cost: Adult £5, ages 14+ only
Tours: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 Feb – 6 March
House of Dun, Dundee and Angus
Stroll through Lady Augusta’s walk to view the carpet of snowdrops throughout the wooded den. Along the way you will find information relating to their history and differing species.
Dates: 30 Jan - 13March
Open: 9am – dusk
Cost: Adult £2, child free
Blair House, Ayrshire
Blair is a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ of a garden which is being lovingly restored. For one special night in February enjoy beautiful displays of snowdrops in this garden which has an atmosphere of a grand 19th century park with masses of changes in mood: sweeping vistas, magnificent trees, shady promenades, and secret groves - everything that is typical of the period. Please wear stout footwear. The proceeds will go the Scottish Garden Scheme and St Margaret’s Parish Church, Dalry, Ayrshire.
Dates: 14 Feb
Open: 11am – 4pm
Cost: Adult £4, child free
Cluny House, Aberfeldy
Experience this exceptional wild woodland garden overlooking the scenic Strathtay Valley. Enjoy the beautiful display of snowdrops and look out for the red squirrels, which are usually very easily seen. Cluny is a treat not to be missed.
Dates: 30 Jan -13 March
Open: 10am – 4pm
Cost: Adult £4, child £1
Kilgraston School, Bridge of Earn
Set within the grounds of Kilgraston School, this is a wonderful opportunity to see the snowdrops whilst exploring the woodlands and surroundings of this very unique garden. Impressive art sculptures (including work by Hew Lorimer) intermingle with ancient trees, snowdrops and even the resident red squirrels. Spend an afternoon wandering along wild woodland pathways and through the extensive grounds whilst taking in the surrounding winter landscape. There is also an opportunity to explore the chapel, main hall and artistic works within the school itself.
Dates: 21 Feb
Open: 1:30pm – 4pm
Cost: Adult £4, child £1
Cambo Gardens, Fife
Discover a snowdrop wonderland with woodland walks to the sea. In addition to this national collection of snowdrops Cambo Gardens also offers daily guided walks featuring piglets to feed. Weekend drop -in family workshops are available, as well as a tearoom and well stocked gift shop.
Dates: 30 Jan – 13 March
Open: 10am – 5pm
Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve, Renfrewshire
Stroll through the snowdrop woods alongside one of the few wetlands left in west Scotland. Look out for the whooper swans, wigeons and elusive otters along the way.
Dates: 30 Jan – 13 March
Open: 10am – 5pm
Cost: Adult £3, concession £2, child £1.50
Hopetoun House, Edinburgh
The stunning Hopetoun House enjoys 150 acres of rolling parkland which includes several walks and 2 nature trails with superb views over the Deer park and the River Forth. Tea, coffee and bakery goods available in Stables tearoom.
Dates: 21 Feb
Opening: 10.30am - 4pm
Cost: Adult £4.25, concession £3.75, child £2.50, family ticket £11.50
Tour: Guided Walk 2 - 3.30pm Limited spaces – please book in advance.
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