Beyond the gloomy weather, brighter things will come and Herefordshire’s verges, ancient woodlands and visitor gardens display their natural countryside flowers.
Remember, it is prohibited pick or dig up wild snowdrops, so here’s where the team at Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire recommend for easy walking to see and even to buy these pretty bells at their best from mid February, with often some tea and cake on hand too.
THE LASKETT GARDENS Much Birch & LYNDALLS Sollers Hope, Friday 23rd February
An enchanting opportunity to visit two unique gardens for a one-day snowdrop spectacular. Neighbouring eachother, The Laskett Gardens; owned by gardeners’ charity Perennial, and privately owned Lyndalls, team up to showcase over 600 varieties of snowdrops. Following arrival refreshments, enjoy a guided garden tour of both grounds, and lunch at The Laskett house. This is a chance to enjoy Lyndalls (not usually open to the public) and a rare glimpse inside Sir Roy Strong’s original Laskett home.
Booking is required, book here.
BROBURY HOUSE & GARDENS at Bredwardine
This privately owned riverside terraced garden is open 7 days and 12 months of the year. Easy pathways between water features and bold borders, not only treat you to blasts of snowdrops but vibrant crocuses too later in February. Try their delicious Walled Garden Cafe too.
More information here.
NATIONAL TRUST DELIGHTS
THE WEIR GARDENS at Swainshill
A rich and varied history, from Roman settlement to family garden and several committed owners, the 10-acre layout is awash with swaying snowdrops in its natural setting alongside the River Wye, with lovely wide wending pathways and elevated views.
CROFT CASTLE Mortimer Country
Steeped in British history and politics with a picturesque castle and medieval parkland re-fashioned during the 18th century, Croft Castle was fought over in the War of the Roses. Surrounded by 1,500 acres of woods, park and farmland, take a way marked walk to discover an abundance of nature, flora and fauna at this special place.
BERRINGTON HALL near Leominster
Georgian grandeur on a human scale, this neoclassical mansion by Henry Holland is set in ‘Capability’ Brown’s final landscape and gardens, with a beautiful boating lake, taking in the snowdrops as you go of course.
All open daily but check for details of Berrington Hall and Croft Castle buildings entry and tours.
NATIONAL GARDEN SCHEME GEMS
These two NGS Herefordshire gardens open super-early for you to enjoy their winter blooms.
IVY CROFT near Leominster
The wonderfully flat 4 acres of this former cider house, have both a country garden style and formal elements.Owner Roger Norman welcomes you for ‘Snowdrop Thursdays’ through February to see over 300 varieties of snowdrops throughout the grounds, with a great stock to purchase for your own garden.
CODDINGTON VINEYARD Ledbury
Alongside the vineyards, beautiful Coddington welcomes pre-booked groups of 10 or more to its vast lawns, terraces, woodland walk and large pond with stream, offering tea and cakes and light lunches by arrangement.
DORMINGTON SNOWDROP WEEKEND
See the lovely drifts of snowdrops in the churchyard at St Peter’s Church and the gardens of Dormington House in mid February.
The garden room at Dormington House hosts teas and homemake cakes (chargeable) and browse the lovely varieties of snowdrops to purchase, some of them rare, to plant at home.
This is a regular charity fundraiser for the Church. Exact date TBC so check the What’s On pages.
To discover more interesting places to go and things to do this winter in Herefordshire, look on eatsleepliveherefordshire.co.uk