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Title and snowdrop picture ©vcsinden2016

For SNOWDROP EVENTS in  KENT 2017  please follow this link

 

Up-to-date information for your snowdrop planning and pleasure.
The facts are correct (at time of writing)  - the opinions mine alone.
If I haven't managed to fit in a visit, I will tell you - if I don't think a place is worth a visit, it will not appear here.

The Chelsea Physic Garden - a fine snowdrop barometer - has brought forward its entire snowdrop week by a fortnight this year - they see that the flowers are unseasonably early.  Don't leave your visits too late!

 

To discover the in depth folklore and magic of the snowdrop,
as well as beautiful art work from the 'golden age' of early 20th century fairy painters,
find my
"Snowdrop Magic" page here.

Don't miss this one,  especially if the weather is fair

 

Mere House,  Mereworth  ( 10 miles from Maidstone ME18 5NB)     Website
National Gardens Scheme - open for snowdrops

Sun Feb 21st
2.00pm - 5.00pm
£4.00

Mere Hose, Mereworth on Snowdrop Day ©vcsinden2013Mere House, Snowdrop Day - double snowdrop ©vcsinden2012

   The garden of Mere House opens in late February to take advantage of the enchanting winter flowers.

 Walk through the woodland and along the lake-river bank then back towards the house for good home-made refreshments. Last season was very wet, but in 2013 & 2015 we were able to sit out in the sun with tea (with real teapots!!) and cake - in February!

 

Gold Star Award for best snowdrop garden in Kent from Ecoenchantments ©vcsinden2015
In the green snowdrops from Mere Hose, Mereworth on Snowdrop Day ©vcsinden2015
Take home some Winter Magic!     Perfect for planting - 'in the green' and such good value.
I'll let you know how mine do!
Mere House, Mereworth in Kent - part of the woodland walk ©vcsinden2015
The woodland walk at Mere is carpeted by a mass of snowdrops.
  
   Snowdrops, winter aconites
and heathers brighten the winter days while hundreds more snowdrops grow on the house side of the river walk
Mere House, Mereworth, walking by the lake in February ©vcsinden2015
Mere House, Mereworth, snowdrops and aconites in February ©vcsinden2012

Mere House, Mereworth, kent - the expert sells his fresh snowdrops and aconites to the queue ©vcsinden2015
Help from the expert !

Pictures taken at Mere House - February 2013 & 2015

 

 

 

Possibly unusual for a 'Snowdrop' page to mention - but the most traditional of all events - a real (and increasingly rare) Service for Candlemas Night. A thing to be treasured.

St. Pancras Church, Coldred, Kent  (near Eyethorne and close to Dover CT15 5AQ)     website
A Traditional Service for the Night of Candlemas

Tuesday 2nd February
7.30pm
Church service - collection

 

 Coldred Church, Kent ©vcsinden2015

Candlemas Night – Coldred Church, Kent ©vcsinden2015Find your way to the tiny 12th century church on the outskirts of the delightful, historic village of Coldred and make your way carefully up the snowdrop lined path. As the door opens, the warm glow of candlelight spills through the porch to welcome you in.

The tiny space is entirely lit by candles, and all the flowers are white. If the snowdrops are plentiful for Candlemas Day, then there will be many in church - if they are late, and still not much more than buds, at least one or two specially tied, precious bunches with be there to welcome you.

Candlemas Night – Coldred Church, Kent ©vcsinden2015Make no mistake - you are witnessing a rare thing. There are few and getting fewer - should be on the 'endangered species list!  This is a dedicated Candlemas Service, in the evening, candlelit - and on the very night - Candlemas itself - February 2nd. - and nowhere could be as pretty as this.

Candlemas Night – Coldred Church, Kent ©vcsinden2015

Not too easy to find, the church is not in the centre. As you drive from the A2 through the village , past the ancient pub and folktale lden pond, turn right into Church Road. Continue approx. half a mile and you will find St.Pancras opposite the Coldred Sign and Britain In Bloom winners sign.  There is no actual carpark, but quite a lot of room in the lane itself.

 

Pictures taken at Coldred Church - February 2nd 2015

 

 

 

Many friends have told me that the snowdrops of 2015 weren't nearly as abundant and happy as is their normal habit. Let's hope they flourish for 2016!

 

Brockhill Park, Saltwood,    (Near Hythe  CT21 4HL)     Website
Lakeside, woodland and river walks

Daily
9.00am - dusk
Free but car-parking charge

Brockhill Park, Hythe, Kent at snowdrop time ©vcsinden2014

      

      This is still one of the very best places to see snowdrops in Kent. You can go there on any day you choose to take a walk in beautiful park land around the lake with banks carpeted in snowdrops in February - or one of the longer walks to meander through the alder trees along the river. perfect Winter beauty, and apart from a car-parking charge - free.

  There's a nice cafe at the car-park with delicious home-made meals, cakes and refreshments - a vegetarian delight!

Brockhill Park, Hythe, Kent, mallards prepare for Spring ©vcsinden2012
Brockhill Park, Hythe, Kent - snow at snowdrop time ©vcsinden2012
Ducks keeping their feet out of the icy lake water, and snowdrops in the snow at Brockhill Park on 12th February 2013
Brockhill Park, Hythe, Kent - snow at snowdrop time ©vcsinden2013

 Perfect for a winter stroll - admire the myriads of snowdrops, feed the ducks and moorhens on the lake - gaze at the pretty waterfalls - then indulge in a warming home-made, excellent value vegetarian lunch!  We did!

*   Please note - lunch prices on photo at left are from 2012!

Brockhill Park, Hythe, Kent - a snowdrop drift in February ©vcsinden2014

Pictures taken at Brockhill Park, Hythe - February 2012 and 2014

   

 

 

A very popular event in South-East Kent, and well worth turning out for.
Snowdrops, teas, amazing surroundings - go and see for yourselves. 
The Dates are not decided until almost the last minute, to ensure that the snowdrops are at their peak.

 

St Cosmas & St Damian,  Challock  (between Ashford & Faversham  TN25 4BP )  Website
Famous Snowdrop Teas

Sunday 14th & Sunday 21st February 2016

After Sunday Service
approx 12.00pm - 4.00pm
Donation
Challock Church, Kent - snowdrop time ©vcsinden2013 Snowdrops at Challock Church, Kent - snowdrop time ©vcsinden2013
Outside Challock Church in the snowdrops,

  You can walk amongst the snowdrops at any time in early - late February, but for a real treat go when the church is
specially opened.

 There you will see the wonderful murals, including the famous Millennium Mural by local artist, the late John Ward which covers two huge walls, as well as partaking of  delicious home-made refreshments.

                                                                                                     
Part of the John Ward Millenium Mural - photo source: www.challock.org

*Caution*:  this is a very popular event, be aware that human vehicles sometimes block the narrow,winding lane up and down the hill to the church. It may be quicker to fly!
Or failing that - leave plenty of time!

Challock Church, Kent - snowdrop time ©vcsinden2013

Pictures taken at Challock Church, Kent in February 2013

 

 

Lovely visit, with many drifts of snowdrop species, tea-rooms
and potted snowdrops for sale in garden centre

 

Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College 
( between Tonbridge 3.5miles and Maistone 11.0miles TN11 0AL )    Website
Winter Colour, Hellebores and Snowdrops

Gardens, Garden Centre,
Tea Rooms - All Open Daily

Mon - Sat  9.00 - 5.00
Sundays 10.00 - 4.00

Gardens Free
Hellebore Tours £3.00pp

 

Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Kent  ©vcsinden2015

   Broadview Gardens is home to the national collection of hellebores, but it also has well established, spectacular plantings of snowdrops and fine winter plants and shrubs. You can wander the gardens free during opening hours.

   Specialist 'Hellebore Tours' may be taken  (see more below) and questions about planting and growing asked of the experts.

   The exquisite hellebore blooms (below) are set out in big dishes by the entrance to the Garden Centre and Tea Rooms.

Hellebores at Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Kent  ©vcsinden2015

 

    Snowdrops and hellebores are shown in a formal setting, with many different varieties to enjoy, growing in huge swathes in the various garden borders and beds. The plants are clearly labelled so take a notebook!

  Some potted varieties are available to buy at the Garden Centre, situated right beside the garden walks - the first stock arriving on the shelves, I am told, in mid January for the 2016 snowdrop season.

Snowdrops at Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Kent  ©vcsinden2015

Snowdrops at Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Kent  ©vcsinden2015 Snowdrops at Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Kent  ©vcsinden2015

 

The Tea Rooms, also situated at the Garden Centre will be open for breakfasts, coffees, light lunches and cream teas .

Hellebore Tours:  You may be lucky 'on the day', but pre-booking is recommended. Tours last just over an hour. You may prefer to take an afternoon tour with a cream-tea, or a morning tour with lunch. These must be booked in advance.

Tour dates available 2016 
Sunday February 21st        Thursday February 25th       Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March
Contact on Broadview Gardens website or Phone 01732 853211

Snowdrops and Hellebores at Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Kent  ©vcsinden2015 Snowdrops at Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Kent  ©vcsinden2015

Pictures taken at Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College - February 2015

 

 

 

A snowdrop collector's delight - and whether or not you are tempted to buy,
the naturalized snowdrops drifts under beautiful trees are a site not to be missed - one of the best!


 Goodnestone Park Gardens  (near Wingham  CT3 1PL)   Website
Snowdrop and Hellebore Extravaganza Day

Sunday Feb 28th 2016
11.00am - 4.00pm
£6.00 conc. £5.50

   By now a traditional event and mecca for galanthophiles!  Stalls offering rare varieties of snowdrops and hellebores from both the Hardy Plant Society and specialist nurseries and growers are set up near the house.

Refreshments will be available - warm up with a light lunch or afternoon tea.

Goonestone Park Gardens - Muddypond walks among the snowdrops in the lime walk lks ©vcsinden2010 Goodnestone Park Gardens, Kent - snowdrops in the lime tree avenue lks ©vcsinden2010

   Walk down the fabulous Lime Avenue, carpeted with a million and more snowdrops and enjoy the rest of the extensive gardens and woodlands in winter.

Pictures taken at Goodnestone Park - February 2013

 

 

 


Definitely worth a visit - enjoyed this a lot

 

  Copton Ash,  Faversham ( ME13 8XW )    Website
National Gardens Scheme - open for snowdrops & hellebores

Sun Feb 14th 2016
12.00 - 4.00pm
£4.00

  Copton Ash spring garden, Faversham, Kent ©vcsinden2013

Copton Ash spring garden, Faversham, Kent ©vcsinden2013

 

  A Snowdrop collector's delight with species after species of snowdrop, all clearly labelled and hellebores of every hue.

The one and a half acre garden, is open early for just one day, so that we can enjoy the owners "special interest in woodland flowers, snowdrops and hellebores with flowering trees and shrubs of spring".

      Home-made teas will be available.

 

Copton Ash spring garden, Faversham, Kent ©vcsinden2013 Copton Ash snowdrop 'Gerard Parker', Faversham, Kent ©vcsinden2013
Copton Ash snowdrops, Faversham, Kent ©vcsinden2013

   Above, a magical white himalayan birch catches the sunlight. Right species snowdrops 'Gerard Parker' and 'Mrs Thompson'. Many unusual snowdrop varieties on sale at the plant stall.

  Photos taken at Copton Ash, Feb 17th 2013

 

 

 

 

My favourite summer garden - and I never knew its winter secret ! 
Snowdrops by the thousand underplanting the borders - who would have guessed - what a wonderful surprise!

Great Dixter Gardens  (Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6PH )  Website
Winter Open Weekends

Saturday & Sunday Feb 20th and 21st

Saturday & Sunday March 19th & 20th

10.00am - 4.00pm
£5.00

Winter at Great Dixter,  Northiam ©vcsinden2015

    Just a stone's throw from the Kentish border, many of you will be familiar with the gardens of Great Dixter - but perhaps you've never seen them in their winter splendour. I certainly hadn't. Now there are two weekends when you can see the structure and plantings as never before - much bare and skeletal but strikingly beautiful.

Snowdrops at Great Dixter,  Northiam ©vcsinden2015
Winter at Great Dixter,  Northiam ©vcsinden2015
Snowdrop drifts  at Great Dixter,  Northiam ©vcsinden2015

     These open weekends do not advertise themselves as 'Snowdrop' days, so I was amazed and delighted to find big clumps of variety after variety throughout the garden, and great drifts of white naturalised amongst grass and beneath the bare boughs in the summer beds.

Northiam station - Thomas the Tank Engine steam special  ©vcsinden2015

  Less than two miles from Great Dixter is Northiam Station, where you can catch an old steam train to Bodiam or Tenterden and combine the gardens with a nostalgic ride.

 We found the (special days only) 'Thomas the Tank Engine' train puffing at the crossing and stopped to take a picture.

Perfect snowdrops  at Great Dixter,  Northiam ©vcsinden2015

Photos taken at Great Dixter, February 2015

 

 

 

Hever Castle  (near Tunbridge Wells and Edenbridge TN8 7NG)    Website
Snowdrop Trail

Daily Sat 13th Feb - Sun 21st Feb 2016
Gardens 10.30am - 5.00pm
Gardens £13.10
Conc. available
Giant snowdrop signs mark the way along the Hever castle Snowdrop Trail

   The pretty grounds of Ann Boleyn's childhood home are a treat in themselves, even in the depths of a wet February.  There is a well signed 'Snowdrop Trail' with its own map for vistors, but you may need your wellies to reach the final display! 

    There are several well established drifts in the woodlands and along the bank of the moat, but the trail itself is rather newly established.  (Please note:  the new part of the trail has had two years now since Hever's Snowdrop Trail was first reviewed for this page).  Worth braving the wetter parts for the charming surprise ending!


    The castle itself is open daily from 12.00, but entrance is at extra cost. Two cafe/restaurants will be open during the February Snowdrop openings for lunches, snacks and teas.
See Hever Castle website (link above) for more details.


Pass well established drifts along the trail and meet the colony of wicker bunnies, grazing on snowdrops in the field.

Pictures taken at Hever Castle - 20th February 2014

                                                      A winter garden which I have not yet been able to visit  ...

 

The Old Rectory, Fawkham (near Longfield, Kent  DA3 8LX)     Website
Open for the NGS, by arrangement only in February

Snowdrops in February
By arrangement for Individuals
or Groups
£4.00

Described as a beautiful one and a half acre garden with 
"Iimpressive display of long established naturalised snowdrops and winter aconites; over 70 named snowdrops added recently. Garden developed around the snowdrops over 30yrs, incl hellebores, pulmonarias and other early bulbs and flowers, with foliage perennials, shrubs and trees, also natural woodland. "

Telephone or email for Booking Enquiries:
Karin & Christopher Proudfoot
01474 707513

keproudfoot@firenet.uk.net

Homemeade teas available by prior arrangement

 


Public Footpath walk through lovely Kentish woods drenched in places with naturalized snowdrops.

 

Sharsted Woods, Newnham, Kent  ( 'The Street', on your left between
Doddington Place & The George  ME9 0LL towards between Lenham and Faversham)
    
Woodland walk through snowdrops and chestnuts.

Snowdrops in February
any time
none
Snowdrops in Sharsted Wood ©vcsinden2013 Snowdrops in Sharsted Wood, Newhham, Kent ©vcsinden2013

A pretty country drive and great place to walk the dog - paths through a chestnut wood wend up hill and down dale, the lowest areas awash with naturalised snowdrops.
*Note: not much parking beside the woods themselves - but an easy walk out of the village of Newnham.

 

Photos taken in Sharsted Woods, February 2012

 

 

 

A well known garden in the Kentish NGS year, I have not yet managed a visit during snowdrop time

 

Knowle Hill Farm,  Ulcombe   ( 7 miles SE of Maidstone   ME17 1ES .)    
Snowdrop festival openings for the National Gardens Scheme 

Sunday 7th & Sunday 21st February 2016
11.00 - 3.00
Adults £5.00 for NGS

   

 

 

 

               Enough beautiful snowdrops surrounding the medieval church, some small, some huge,
to slake your snowdrop thirst for the whole of 2016

 

St. Mary's Church,   Hunton   ( 7 miles from Maidstone towards Tonbridge ME15 0RR.)    
Walk through the perfect snowdrop drifts surrounding the church  on 'Snowdrop Sunday' 

February
Church yard any time

   You can visit this wonderful display of snowdrops at any time. The pretty churchyard is planted with thousands and thousands of galanthus, and many kinds thrive in the shady grass and lush, deep leaf-mould.

    The Vicar believes that the snowdrops will be at their best during early - mid February. As St.Mary's is undergoing some restoration at present, there will be no official 'Snowdrop Day' this year.

St Mary's Church, Hunton, Kent  ©vcsinden2012

   A church has been standing on this site since the 11th century. The churchyard is planted extensively with the symbol of hope.

  Snowdrops in Hunton churchyard, Kent ©vcsinden2012
Snowdrops in Hunton churchyard, Kent ©vcsinden2012 Snowdrops in Hunton churchyard, Kent ©vcsinden2012

 

Photos taken in Hunton churchyard, February 2012 & 2015

 

 

 

I haven't managed to visit Hoath House yet, so cannot comment on the snowdrop days, but give it a try -
some nice dates which do not clash with others in your busy 'snowdrop diaries.

* 2nd year - more openings for 2016*

 

Hoath House, Chiddingstone Hoath,  (5 miles from Edenbridge,  Kent  TN8 7DB)    website
National Gardens Scheme - open for snowdrops

Mon 8th & Tues 9th Feb
Daily Monday 7 March to Thursday 10 March

11am - 4.00pm

Adults £5.00 for NGS

   Fine rural views over a Kentish landscape, a 'sea of single snowdrops' and a driveway planted with doubles will all encourage you to visit this garden, open for the National Gardens Scheme for this one winter viewing.

   Many other species of snowdrop have been planted throughout the garden. The medieval manor house is not open to the public, but homemade teas and refreshments will be available.

 

 

 

Pretty country churchyard for peaceful snowdrop contemplation -
a long time favourite of local folks for 'a nice drive out'. Sadly some areas are getting thinner now.

 

St Mary's Church, Hinxhill  ( near Ashford  TN25 6NU )    
Churchyard planted with vast drifts of naturalised snowdrops.

Late  January - February
any time
no charge

Hinxhill - St. Mary's at snowdrop time ©vcsinden2013

Hinxhill - St. Mary's at snowdrop time ©vcsinden2013

   It's been snowing a little in this part of Kent - but that doesn't deter the Flowers of Hope - in fact I think they like it!

  The picture below is a close up from the one on the left, as it is so difficult to see the snowdrops from the snow in the original photograph!

Hinxhill - St. Mary's at snowdrop time ©vcsinden2013

Photos taken in the churchyard of Hinxhill Church,  February 2012 & 2015

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________

 

A Little Further Afield:

 

Very special varieties of snowdrop, contained walks - great cafe.

 

Chelsea Physic Garden (66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS)     Website
Snowdrop Days - an extravaganza at the famous Physic Garden

Saturday 16th January to
Sunday 24th January 2016
10.00am - 4.00pm
Adults inc.seniors £9.90

Chelsea Physic Garden Winter display ©vcsinden2014

Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop days - carefully labelled snowdrop trail ©vcsinden2014 Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop days ©vcsinden2014

     The garden is open in Winter for these few very special days only. There is a Snowdrop Trail, walks and free guided tours. The trail takes you around paths with carefully labelled, unusual species as well as more common varieties becoming naturalised under the trees.

Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop Theatre ©vcsinden2014

The most beautiful stars of the week are displayed in big pots so that you can look at them closely at eye-height in the exhibition at the little 'Snowdrop Theatre'. Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop Alison Hilary  ©vcsinden2014


 

    Potted snowdrops, some very rare (and expensive!), others familiar and accessible, with more winter-flowering plants are on sale from specialist nurseries in the snowdrop marquee.   

    Mulled wine, teas, coffees and warming food available all day in the busy Tangerine Cafė. I really must recommend the 'Orange Polenta' cake if they have it this year!

 

     Talks , snowdrop painting and snowdrop photography courses will be held during eight snowdrop days - check with the Snowdrop Days Website for prices and bookings.

 

 

Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop days - sales marquee ©vcsinden2014 Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop days- Galanthus Seagull ©vcsinden2014
Many, many unusual snowdrop varieties for sale in the Marquee,
with my favourite, the dark green 'Seagull' on th right.

     

Photos taken at The Chelsea Physic Garden, February 13th 2014

 

 

If you are prepared to drive and make a lovely snowdrop day of it  -
Unbelievable!

*Warning:  This place will spoil you for anywhere else! *

Welford Park Snowdrops on Eco-enchantments ©vcsinden2015
Not SNOW ! Snowdrops !

 

Welford Park,  Newbury in Berkshire RG20 8HU     Website
Snowdrop Woods and Snowdrops in the grounds

Daily from
Wednesday 3rd February
to
Sunday 6th March 2016

11.00am - 4.00pm

Not open Mondays & Tuesdays

Adults £6.00    Conc.£5.00
for various charities

    Approximately 120miles away, via M20, M25 and M4
but if you have time and energy for a good day out or even a weekend away  - it is OH so worth it!

   The snowdrops at Welford park have been naturalised in the woods for centuries and are thought to have been some of the earliest introduced into Britain.  The website tells us that ... 
"We think the snowdrops here at Welford Park were planted by the Norman monks to decorate their Church for the feast of Candlemas, and also for medicinal use." 
What a wonderful thought.

Welford Park Snowdrops on Eco-enchantments ©vcsinden2015

     As you walk along the sweeping drives towards the house (above) you'll see more snowdrops than you can believe - I honestly thought that I had seen the best - until - past the river - I found "The Snowdrop Woods" !

Welford Park Snowdrops on Eco-enchantments ©vcsinden2015 Welford Park Snowdrops on Eco-enchantments ©vcsinden2015

Welford Park, Berkshire on Eco-enchantments ©vcsinden2015

Take the bridge across the river - then hold your breath! .....

Welford Park Snowdrops on Eco-enchantments ©vcsinden2015

Welford Park Snowdrops on Eco-enchantments ©vcsinden2015

The lovely 'Snowdrop Teashop' will be open for light lunches and teas.
It is adjacent to 'The Snowdrop Shop' which has a fine range of ceramics, textiles, stationary and hand-made jewellery.

 

Photos taken at  Welford Park, Berkshire, February 2015