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Scottish Snowdrop Festival gets underway

January 25th 2023

Discover Scottish Gardens offers opportunity to enjoy snowdrops across the country

Nothing lifts the spirits quite like a snowdrop and a big boost to the national mood is on its way as dozens of gardens across the country get set to welcome their first visitors of the year as part of the annual Scottish Snowdrop Festival, organised by Discover Scottish Gardens.

From Saturday, 28 January until Saturday, 11 March, the Festival will offer many opportunities to wrap up warm, get outside and enjoy the spectacle of thousands of winter’s most iconic blooms carpeting the ground.

This tiny white bloom, with its delicate honey-like scent, is a symbol of hope at the darkest time of the year and it is a favourite with small children, nature-loving adults and ‘Galanthophiles’ – those snowdrop aficionados who sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to collect bulbs of unusual snowdrop species.

From moonlight walks and candle light strolls to guided explorations and expert talks, some of the gardens will be offering visitors new ways to see and understand these little flowers, but there will also be the chance to just immerse yourself in the simple beauty of these early flowers.

Dougal Phillip, Director, Discover Scottish Gardens, says: “Scotland has the perfect climate for snowdrops and the season begins in the mild south west then ripples northwards as February and March progress until the whole country is covered in these beautiful blooms. Thanks to the Scottish Snowdrop Festival, more people than ever are now visiting gardens to enjoy the spectacle.

“It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in nature at a time of year when the days are just starting to lengthen.”

Money raised by ticket sales at many of the gardens will be distributed to charities through Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.

Gardens which are opening for the Festival include:

Hopetoun House, South Queensferry

Hopetoun House, on the edge of the River Forth, is one of Scotland’s grandest mansions and on Sunday, 12 February it will be open from 10am until 4pm to show off the thousands of snowdrops that carpet the estate.

Stuckenduff, Shandon

This three and a half acre garden overlooks the Gareloch and on Sunday, 19 February, from 1pm until 4pm, visitors will be able to enjoy the abundant snowdrops that carpet the ground.

Ecclesgreig Castle, St Cyrus

Snowdrops grow throughout the woodlands that surround this Victorian Gothic castle, which also has ponds, topiary and an Italian garden. It will open on Sunday, 5 March from 1pm until 4pm.

Floors Castle, Kelso

At this time of year the magnificent grounds of Floors Castle turn white as snowdrops flower beneath the trees. During a special Snowdrop Weekend, from Friday, 24 until Sunday, 26 February, the walled garden and childrens’ play area will also be open.

Cleghorn, Lanark

The grounds of this 18th century garden include a wooded valley where the undergrowth has recently been cleared to reveal an understory that in late winter is carpeted in snowdrops. The garden will be open on Sunday, 5 March from 2pm – 4pm.

Drumlanrig, Thornhill

Waymarked trails have been laid out around the grounds of this great estate to guide visitors through woodlands filled with snowdrops. The garden will be opening on Saturday, 4 and Sunday, 5 March from 11am until 3pm.