Where are the best places to see snowdrops in Surrey

Polesden Lacy snowdrops (c) Ben Askew, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Polesden Lacy snowdrops (c) Ben Askew, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

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 some 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 that flower profusely each February. Check the website for opening times.

2) 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.

3) 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 also open throughout the year.

4) Winkworth Arboretum

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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 different types of witch hazel, to cheer the spirits.

Dogs are also welcome to enjoy the arboretum when kept on a lead. Winkworth is also open throughout the year.

5) Runnymede and Ankerwycke

Did you know that from January to March each year, carpets of snowdrops romantically cluster around 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.

6) 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 see 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.

7) 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.

There is also a self-guided trail you can follow throughout snowdrop season which is supported by a handy leaflet that gives plenty of information about the plants that surround you.

8) Snowdrop Gardens

The National Garden Scheme works with independent gardens around the country every year to provide seasonal access to areas that you might not see at normal times.

Click here to find out which gardens are open in Surrey.


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