Where to find snowdrops in Surrey
PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 29 January 2018
Floral beauty may be scarce in the winter but it is the snowdrop that is the first herald of spring. Displays of these hardy little blooms can last from January through to March. We pick seven of the best places in Surrey to find snowdrops
1. Gatton Park, near Reigate
One of the best places to see vast carpets of snowdrops and experience the charms of the winter garden is the historic grounds of Gatton Park - once landscaped by the likes of Capability Brown. In the late winter months and early spring, the highlights of a visit to Gatton are the fantastic displays of snowdrops which flower profusely each February. The gardens will be open to the public on the first Sunday of each month from the beginning of February from 1pm to 5pm. Admission is £4 per adults, children free.
2. Timber Hill, Chobham
Comprising some 15 acres of woodland and parkland, one garden that is certainly well worth a visit at this time of year is Timber Hill in Chobham. This is not a formal style of garden; the emphasis is on a relaxed country feel to make the most of the natural landscape and succession of bulbs to delight visitors throughout spring. Although very much a private garden, Timber Hill is open to private viewings that include a detailed talk and a tour of the garden by the owners. Visit the website for more information.
3. Polesden Lacey, near Dorking
This Edwardian 1,400 acre estate is renowned for its beautiful Graham Stewart Thomas’ Winter Garden that can be found tucked away behind the gardener’s cottage. In January through to March, the garden is awash with Galanthus often found with rare colourful streaks of yellow and greens running through it. There is also an avenue of snowdrops along the Lime Walk. The garden is open from 10am until 4pm and admission is £13.60 for adults/£6.80 for children.
4. Painshill Park, Cobham
An 18th century landscape garden which was originally created by the Honourable Charles Hamilton between 1738 and 1773; Painshill Park is a spectacular location to catch a glimpse of these beautiful seasonal flowers. Don your walking boots and get your camera ready as the park boasts carpets of stunning snowdrops just waiting to be explored. Warm up afterwards with an afternoon tea at the park in Mr Hamilton’s Tea Room. Painshill is open throughout the year and admission is £8.00 for adults/£4.50 for children.
5. Winkworth Arboretum
For a truly magical experience, make sure to visit the woodlands in Winkworth Arboretum which is home to thousands of snowdrops, and other winter-flowing species including 15 different types of witch hazel, to cheer the spirits. Dogs are also welcome to enjoy the arboretum when kept on a lead. Winkworth is open throughout the year and admission is £8.10 for adults/£4.00 for children.
6. Runnymede and Ankerwycke
Did you know that from January to March each year, carpets of snowdrops romantically cluster round Ankerwycke and the ruins of St Mary’s priory? One of the most iconic spots in this area to find snowdrops is at the foot of the Ankerwycke yew; a 2,500 year old yew tree said to be the very place King Henry VIII proposed to Anne Boleyn. We recommend taking the circular walk beginning and ending at Ankerwycke to make the most of this seasonal flora.
7. Claremont Landscape Garden, near Esher
Dating back as far as the 18th century, Claremont Landscape Garden exhibits the work of some of England’s greatest landscape gardeners including: William Kent, Capability Brown, Sir John Vanbrugh and Charles Bridgeman. Late winter and early spring sees the emergence of an array of snowdrops in the small woodland area of the garden. Round off your trip with coffee and cake in the garden’s café. Entry to the garden is £9.00 for adults and £4.50 for children for children.
8. RHS Wisley
At RHS Wisley, head to the Alpine areas and the Wild Garden to see dainty snowdrops, stunning hellebores and crocuses grace the gardens and then pop into the Garden Centre for options to buy and add these tiny beauties to your own garden.