The emergence of dainty white flowers, as they doggedly push through February’s snow is a delightful sign for many that spring is on the way. To celebrate their arrival, many of Scotland’s best gardens and woodlands have come together, to offer a range of self-led, in-person experiences that collectively make up the Scottish Snowdrop Festival.
Organised by Discover Scottish Gardens, and taking place between 25 January – 11 March 2022, there are around 50 events included in the festival programme this year, including a number of open days for some of the gardens in Scotland’s Gardens Scheme. So why not visit a garden for a crisp winter walk and enjoy the first glimmers of spring?
Below are just a few of the festival highlights in a packed programme of events.
Scottish Snowdrop Festival at Cambo Gardens, Fife
25 January – 11 March, various times. Gardens are open between 10am and 5pm
Cambo Gardens, in the Kingdom of Fife, is a snowdrop wonderland and is offering well-being woodland walks to the sea through carpets of naturalised snowdrops throughout the Scottish Snowdrop Festival. You can also join Callum and Fay, Cambo’s in-house galanthophiles, on one of their fascinating Snowdrop Insight Tours each Wednesday between 2pm and 3.30pm in February and on the 2nd and 9th March, where you’ll learn about creating and managing your own snowdrop collection. The tours will take place along an accessible route through the walled garden, winter garden and woodland, so dress for the outdoors. There are 12 places available per walk and refreshments and opportunities to ask questions will follow the tour.
Snowdrops at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
25 January – 11 March, 10am – 5pm
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a 72-acre oasis of tranquillity in the very heart of Scotland’s capital city and a place for all the family to enjoy all year round.
This is one of the finest botanic gardens in the world and here you’ll find a fascinating collection of specialist snowdrops and other early spring flowering plants, which, when they emerge, herald the first signs of spring.
Look out for them throughout the Garden or ask the visitor welcome team for specific locations. All visits require a time slot ticket, booked online in advance. Tickets are free.
Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, various gardens across Scotland
25 January – 11 March, various times
A number of gardens in Scotland’s Gardens Scheme are planning to hold open days throughout the Scottish Snowdrop Festival during February and March so please check what’s on, at which gardens and when they are open, on the Scotland’s Gardens Scheme website.
Scottish Snowdrop Walks at Attadale Gardens, Highlands
Open each Thursday in February, 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Located opposite the pretty Highland village of Lochcarron, Attadale is a long-established, privately-owned garden that stretches to over 20 acres, set amidst stunning Wester Ross scenery offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and over Loch Carron itself.
Opening especially for the Scottish Snowdrop Festival each Thursday during February, meet at the Garden Gatehouse to enjoy a peaceful walk around the gardens led by the gardeners who will take you to the beautiful displays of snowdrops here.
Scottish Snowdrop Festival at Scone Palace, Perthshire
4 February – 11 March, 10am – 3.30pm
Once the crowning place of Scottish kings and a seat of parliaments, Scone Palace, near the historic city of Perth, is one of Scotland’s most important stately homes. Take a stroll through the lovely Palace gardens and grounds enjoying the magnificent seasonal snowdrop display. A guided walk will take you through highlights at the Friars Den, Victorian Pinetum and back to the Palace via the Old Drive – an avenue of lime trees underplanted with these dainty white beauties.
Snowdrop Sundays at Logan Botanic Garden, Dumfries & Galloway
6 February – 27 February, 10am – 4pm
Gently warmed by the Gulf Stream in the south-west of Scotland, Logan Botanic Garden is Scotland’s most exotic garden, where you will find thriving palm trees and other incredible tropical plants, as well as lovely snowdrops.
Logan Botanic Garden will open between 10am and 4pm in February for Snowdrop Sundays, as part of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival. Entry is by donation and pre-booking is not required. Refreshments will be available at the Potting Shed Bistro between 11am and 3.30pm.
Sunday Snowdrop Walks at Dawyck Botanic Garden, Scottish Borders
Each Sunday from 6 February – 27 March, 2pm – 3pm
Dawyck Botanic Garden is a five-star garden renowned for its seasonal displays of snowdrops, bluebells, rhododendrons, azaleas, blue poppies and autumn colour. Delicate Galanthus (snowdrops) cover the banks of the Scrape Burn in February, so why not come and see this seasonal splendour, out with the main visitor period, on a tour led by their garden guides? Places are limited, so call 01721 760254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
The Garden will open daily from 1 March for the 2022 season, between 10am and 4pm, and offers woodland and burnside walks, themed tree trails and visitors can follow the adventures of plant explorers such as David Douglas, after whom the Douglas fir is named.
Candelight Snowdrop Walks at Teasses Estate, Fife
27 February, 4pm – 5.30pm and 6pm – 7.30pm
Teasses is an historic working estate, near Ceres in Fife that also includes some amazing and sensitively restored gardens, which have been renovated since the mid-1990s.
On the 19th February, learn the principles of garden design in this introductory session, where you’ll be given the opportunity to design a bed in the gardens at Teasses. Expand your knowledge by learning about soil structure and different soil types, aspect and plant choices. Take the principles of design home with you to start creating your own spectacular gardens. Tea and coffee provided.
Then on the 27th February, why not head for Teasses for an atmospheric and memorable Candlelight Snowdrop Walk? Follow the candlelit path into the woodland and admire the wonderful drifts of naturalised snowdrops in this self-guided seasonal walk, before returning to the Walled Garden for refreshments.
To find out more about these events and book, visit the Teasses Estate website.
Snowdrop Splendour at Floors Castle, Scottish Borders
25 – 27 February, 10.30am – 4pm
It’s the largest inhabited house in Scotland and arguably one of the most spectacular, with gardens to match, and during the Scottish Snowdrop Festival, the Grounds at Floors Castle, near Kelso, are opening specially for you to see this delicate spring flower.
Take a stroll through the trees and along the woodland footpaths to see a carpet of snowdrop splendour. Afterwards, enjoy something tasty from the Terrace Café or treat yourself to something nice from the Apple Shed Gift Shop & Deli. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or on the day of your visit. A map will be provided on entry.
Scottish Snowdrops Festival at Kirklands, Fife
26 – 27 February and 5 – 6 March, 2pm – 4.30pm
When the owners, Peter & Gill Hart, first arrived at Kirklands House and Garden near Dunfermline in 1977, there was one small clump of snowdrops. Each year for over 40 years they have divided and replanted the bulbs, which are now naturalised and continue to spread around the whole garden in a dazzling white carpet of galanthus nivalis snowdrops interspersed with hellebores of pink, white, almost black and purple and even the occasional yellow. Enjoy a walk around the two acres of woodland garden. Please let the team here know (on 01383 852737) if you would like a guided tour for groups or individuals. Entrance to the garden is by donation.
Are you planning to go along to a local garden to check out the snowdrops? If so, let us know what you thought on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and share images with us by using #ScotlandIsNow and #OnlyInScotland.
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