Spotlight on . . . Snowdrops at Hodsock Priory
It was a crisp sunny day in February when we visited Hodsock Priory, a beautiful historic gem in Worksop, to see the launch of its perennially popular Snowsdrops at Hodsock event.
The historic house is set in 800-acres of gardens and woodland, and in 2015 celebrates a very special Quarter-Millennial anniversary under the ownership of the Buchanan family. I was fascinated to discover that on 25 March 1765 (250 years ago), Hodsock Priory was handed over to the Buchannan family at a cost of £34,000 – and the original receipt can be seen on display. To mark the special occasion, a Buchanan sestercentennial garden has been planted to commemorate the family’s 250 year residency.
Joined by a group of 20 people, we were given an exclusive guided tour by George Buchanan and his wife Katharine, through almost four million snowdrops. The dusting of snow added to the beautiful experience and really did set the scene.
My colleague Catherine Allen also accompanied me on the trip and described it as a ‘wonderful experience’.
She said: “I had, of course, heard about the famous Hodsock snowdrops but it wasn’t until last week that I was able to see them first-hand. After a warming cup of tea we made our way out into the woods where the delicate little snowdrops were in full bloom.
“The woodland walk is such a magical experience, especially on a sunny winter morning. A gently-meandering path took us across wooden bridges and past a beautiful lake, with snowdrops dotted everywhere. We even saw some fragile daffodils beginning to emerge from the icy ground – a sure sign that spring is on its way.
“After our walk we retreated indoors for a delicious cream tea before being shown around the historic house, which today is a popular wedding venue. With its oak-panelled walls and period features this is an incredibly romantic place to get married, especially during snowdrop season. I was fascinated by the family portraits which adorned the walls, not to mention the welcoming library brimming with books.”
Our colleague Elle Taylor also came along to experience the snowdrops for the first time.
“It’s lovely to be able to get out of the city and come somewhere as peaceful as this,” she said.
“The house is surrounded by landscaped grounds which I could have explored for hours. I loved the house too and could easily imagine myself getting married there one day.”
Snowdrops at Hodsock Priory this year runs from 31 January – 1 March 2015, priced at £5 adults, £1 children (6-16), and under 6s are FREE! If you wish to discover more of Hodsock, private tours of the house are available for a behind the scenes look at the Hodsock archives.
Make sure to also visit Hodsock in May, when its bluebells will be in full bloom – just as stunning and popular as their snowdrops.