Each year the Scottish Snowdrop Festival gathers together some of the best gardens and woodlands where you can see swathes of snowdrops, so that you won’t miss out on the arrival of these dainty little flowers – one of the most delightful signs that spring is on its way.
Organised by Discover Scottish Gardens, many of the gardens are open especially for the festival, which runs from 25 January – 11 March, and can be entered for a small ticket price, a donation or for free. There are around 60 events this year that are included in the festival.
Perfect for crisp winter walks, here are just a few of the festival gardens which are waiting to light up your day with their dazzling displays of snowdrops:
Abbotsford, Scottish Borders
Head to Abbotsford to see beautiful white snowdrops in full bloom. Although the house is closed until March, you can take a walk in the footsteps of Sir Walter Scott and discover a variety of plant life across the estate. Swathes of snowdrops claim the landscape at this time of year, covering the woodland slopes along the walks and paths by the River Tweed, creating a welcome sight in the still wintry surroundings.
Cringletie House, Scottish Borders
Enjoy a walk around the enchanting grounds of Cringletie House and see if you can spot the fairies hiding amongst the snowdrops. The restaurant offers tempting meals and mouth-watering snowdrop scones for afterwards too. What’s more if you find all the fairies in the garden you’ll win a free lunch or tea!
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Dawyck Botanic Garden & Logan Botanic Garden
Explore the wonderful collections of specialist snowdrops at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Dawyck Botanic Garden near Peebles and Logan Botanic Garden near Stranraer.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh boasts plenty of delicate snowdrops to enjoy. Visit and explore the stunning gardens for yourself, or join one of the guided tours on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. In February, take advantage of the ‘kids eat free’ offer in the Gateway Restaurant.
Dawyck Botanic Garden is a stunning garden in the Scottish Borders, where you’ll see gleaming snowdrops set against the enchanting backdrop of the shimmering Scrape Burn. You can also enjoy a guided tour with an expert every Sunday in February and March.
Logan Botanic Garden is situated in the mild surroundings of the Rhins of Galloway in southern Scotland and is renowned as Scotland’s most exotic garden, with early flowering rhododendrons and camellias to enjoy, as well as snowdrops.
Cambo Estate, Fife
Cambo Estate is a snowdrop wonderland, bursting with swathes of these delicate flowers, including rare blooms. Head to the estate to enjoy a walk out to the sea through the snowdrop woodland, plus guided tours and family activity sessions. There’s likely to be special snowdrop events taking place too, so keep checking the Cambo Estate website. Don’t miss the snowdrop themed tearoom and plant shop where you can buy a snowdrop plant to take home.
Dunrobin Castle, Golspie
Dunrobin Castle has a little-known place in the history of snowdrops in the UK. In 1879 the Duke of Sutherland’s head gardener, David Melville, raised a new snowdrop variety, the Galanthus nivalis ‘Melvillei’. Melville distributed bulbs to many gardens and enthusiasts but unfortunately the variety has now died out. The widely grown modern snowdrop variety Galanthus ‘Magnet’ has Melville’s snowdrop as one of its parents. The castle is not open during the festival; visitors are welcome to the garden and policies. There are no facilities, but access is free.