Experience the magic of 4,000,000 Snowdrops at Hodsock Priory
Hodsock Priory’s famous winter gardens, nestled within the Buchanan family’s 800 acre north Nottinghamshire estate, will open to the public for the 25th annual Snowdrops season from Saturday 6th February to Sunday 6th March 2016. Hodsock’s opening date is aligned with the National Gardens Scheme’s inaugural Snowdrop Festival, helping to raise money for nursing and caring charities across the UK.
Four million snowdrops cover around five acres of the estate, including natural collections, established displays and planted lawns. Galanthophiles can identify 82 Galanthus species in the formal gardens and woodland including two named after Sir Andrew Buchanan’s Grandmother and Mother, Galanthus Lady Beatrix Stanley and Galanthus Barbara’s Double respectively. Other varieties include Galanthus Atkinsii, Sam Arnott, Worwonowii, Elwesii, Magnet, Plicatus, Viridipicis, Allenii, Augustus, Bill Bishop, Brenda Troyle, Hill Poe, Robin Hood, Nivalis double and Nivalis single.
Already the air is filled with the scent of vibrant winter blooms from hellebores, cyclamen and aconites to irises, acers, cornus, sarcococca and winter honeysuckle.
Since the very first Snowdrop Sunday in February 1991, visitor facilities have been improved year upon year and refreshments and light meals, plant sales, history talks and tours of the formal gardens and woodlands are offered today. George says: “We’ve come a long way since our first Snowdrop Sunday on a cold, wet February day in 1991. One visitor that day said to me, “Always keep the magic” and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.”
Hodsock’s well signed footpaths can be accessed by wheelchair or buggy, with short cuts for those who are less mobile, and walk extensions for those wanting to roam the woodland. Extended walks around the estate and local area are also signposted.
Snowdrops at Hodsock will open daily between Saturday 6th February and Sunday 6th March 2016, from 10am to 4pm. Prices: £5 for adults, £4.50 for groups of 10+, £1 for children over 6. Infants and wheelchair users go FREE. Advance tickets are available online at www.snowdrops.co.uk.
The marquee tea room, gift and plant sale area is located close to the iconic Tudor Gatehouse with direct access into the Snowdrop woods. The camp fire will be lit daily in the Glade where picnics can be eaten along with hot drinks and snack from the Woodland Cafe. A free history talk will take place by the camp fire at 2pm each day imparting the secrets of Hodsock’s colourful past and how Snowdrops at Hodsock came to be. Children are always welcome at Hodsock and enjoy a run round the parkland, trying out the home grown balancing posts in the woodland play area, or tackling the Explorer challenge.
For full details see www.hodsockpriory.com or www.snowdrops.co.uk or call 01909 591204.