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Spectacular snowdrops

The best places to see snowdrops in Somerset and Dorset – they're in bloom from now until the end of Feb

snowdrops

Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Here’s where to find in the pretty nodding white flower in Somerset and Dorset.

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National Trust Kingston Lacy, Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Six million snowdrops – and 40 different species – in bloom amongst the tree ferns in the Victorian Fernery, along Lime Avenue and Lady’s Walk and inbetween the Japanese garden’s bamboo in the grounds of this flamboyant historic house.  The gardens are open daily from 10am – 4pm, with a guided walk with the KL gardeners on Weds 26 Feb.

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Snowdrops Valley, nr Wheddon Cross, Exmoor, Somerset

Once only the locals knew about this remote and privately owned valley, the site of a former river-powered sawmill near Exmoor’s highest village, which is carpeted with snowdrops from late January to late February.  Now you can catch a bus, Range Rover services into the valley or park at the Cattle Market in Wheddon Cross and walk up. Until Sun 23 Feb, 10.30am – 4.30pm.

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Festival of Snowdrops, East Lambrook Manor Gardens, nr South Petherton, Somerset

Snowdrops spectacular at the Grade 1 listed garden created by Margery Fish. One of the first ‘galanthophiles’, she collected snowdrops to plant in her now famous garden from 1938 to 1969, and amassed a significant collection. Expect swathes of snowdrops, unusual cultivars, snowdrop sculptures, an exhibition of snowdrop photography by top garden photographer, Jason Ingram, snowdrops to buy. Until Sat 29 Feb.

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Shaftsbury Snowdrops, around Shaftesbury, Dorset

Snowdrop walks around the town planted with 200,000 snowdrops, a snowdrop lantern parade,  snowdrop lectures and activities, sale of unusual snow drops – even a ceilidh – all part of the Dorset town’s efforts to be the Snowdrop Town. Until mid-March.

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Snowdrop weekends at Forde Abbey, nr Chard, Somerset/Dorset

Thirty acres of award-winning gardens in a 12th century Cistercian Abbey, now a private home, resplendent with snowdrops plus camellias, hellebores, crocii and spring bulbs. Mostly the common snowdrop but more unusual varieties hidden here and there. Until Sat 29 Feb. Tearoom open from 10.30–3.30pm; gift shop 10am– 4pm.

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Snowdrop weekends, Bishop’s Palace & Gardens,  Wells, Somerset

Pick up the Snowdrop Walk leaflet to guide you around the snowdrops at the medieval Bishop’s Palace: around the banks of the moat, across the Willow Bridge and into the Arboretum for some special varieties. Daffodils will be taking over soon! Kids’ crafts in the Undercroft and a kids’ flower trail. Spring plants and crafts in the Stable Yard. Good little cafe, too.  Until Sun 23 Feb, 10am – 4pm.

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Snowdrop Sunday at Mapperton House & Gardens, nr Beaminster, Dorset

A wander around the snowdroppy woodland paths of the Mapperton Estate (home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich), plus the Italianate Gardens, Orangery, topiary, Coach House cafe and plant sale, if you get fed up with snowdrops. Sunday 16 Feb, from 11am – 4pm

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Snowdrop Spectacular, Yeo Valley Organic Garden, Blagdon, Somerset

Gaze at gazillions of snowdrops in their meadows and woodlands then bake for coffee and cake in their very nice Garden Cafe. Fri 14 – Sun 16 Feb, 10am–4pm.

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Other places to see super snowdrops: the wild gardens of Fyne Court in the Quantocks near Bridgwater; the 18th century Prior Park Landscape Garden in Bath; the villages of Affpuddle on the Isle of Purbeck and Compton Valance near Dorchester.

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Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Festival, around Shepton Mallet

All things galanthotropic (I think I made that word up), in honour of Shepton’s Snowdrop King, James Allen. Walks, talks, plant sales and more. Sat 15 & Sun 16 Feb.

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