Seven of the best places to see snowdrops in the South West

  • Watch 'Snowdrop season in Gloucestershire'

Snowdrops are in bloom across the West Country. The clumps of tiny plants with drooping white flowers are a welcome sight in many verges and gardens.

Some places are so famous for their snowdrops that they have become tourist attractions and people are happy to pay to take in the displays. Some, such as the Painswick Rococo Garden in Gloucestershire, have had to ask visitors to book ahead to avoid overcrowding.

Here are some of the best snowdrop spots across the South West:

  • Cotehele House, Cornwall

Spanning 14 acres of gardens and 12 acres of orchards, the Upper Garden at Cotehele near Saltash is one of the most popular sites to see spring flowers, especially snowdrops.

There are also amazing walks through the valley down to the river - and a very welcome restaurant.

There is no need to book ahead to visit the National Trust site. More information can be found on the Cotehele website.

One of the newest varieties of snowdrop at The Garden House - Galanthus Fly Fishing first appeared in 2011. Credit: ITV West Country
  • The Garden House, Devon

If you are a galanthophile - someone who collects snowdrops - The Garden House at Buckland Monachorum on Dartmoor is perfect. It hosts more than 350 varieties in its collection. Some are on show for the first time in 2022.

Gardener and self-confessed 'Snowdrop geek' Sam Brown said: "There are all sorts of different shapes, different leaf types, different markings on the flowers, different lengths.

"It's something that you can really appreciate - all the minute differences - and really geek out about them."

The Garden House is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during 'snowdrop season' and there is a café too.

A snowdrop fit for a queen - thousands were planted in Shaftesbury in honour of the diamond jubilee. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival, Dorset

Shaftesbury is the UK's first 'Snowdrop Town' and the place to be when the tiny flowers are involved.

The Dorset town planted thousands of the little white blooms in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. They have come into their own for 2022, her Platinum Jubilee year.

There are accessible walks taking you to the best displays and lots of snowdrop-related events on offer, including an art exhibition and a sale of rare and unusual varieties.

Find out more on the Shaftesbury Snowdrops website.

They may seem fragile but snowdrops are remarkably resilient and can survive the extremes of winter. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Painswick Rococo Gardens, Gloucestershire

This hidden valley is always carpeted with white for a few weeks around February.

The flowers are usually in full bloom in mid-February, although how long they remain so depends on the weather. If it is mild, they will not last so long.

Head gardener Roger Stanley is also not too worried about the thousands of buds if it freezes.

He said, "They're remarkably resilient. We have had several years during snowdrop season when we've had a smattering of snow and they all get flattened down gently by the snow.

"As the snow melts, they all just pick themselves back up again and within a couple of days it looks like nothing has happened at all."

Visitors can check the current state of the snowdrops on the Painswick Rococo Garden Facebook site. If severe weather is forecast, Snowdrop Grove may have to close for safety reasons.

It will take around two hours to take in all that the garden has to offer. People need to book a time slot for their visit and staff say afternoons are less busy.

The wood at Painswick Rococo Garden has become known as 'Snowdrop Grove'. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Snowdrop Valley, Somerset

Every year, thousands of people descend on a valley on Exmoor in February to see the breathtaking displays of snowdrops.

Usually there is a Park and Ride service but, for 2022, snowdrop watchers will have to park at Wheddon Cross Farmers Market and walk. Stewards will be at hand to give out maps and advice.

A pop up café operates at weekends. Find out more on the Snowdrop Valley Facebook page.

People are drawn to the beauty and pureness of snowdrops, which makes places like Snowdrop Valley so popular. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Dyrham Park, South Gloucestershire

Snowdrops flower early at Dyrham Park near Bath. The National Trust property plays host to six or so varieties, one of which can be in bloom as early as Christmas.

It is likely you would be able to see crocuses and daffodils coming through in early spring.

The 17th century mansion is closed for conservation work until April 2022 but visitors can take in a new exhibition celebrating its history and that of the Blathwayt family that lived there.

The parkland is closed due to the ground conditions but the garden - and its display of spring flowers - is open every day, although the tea rooms are closed at weekends.

Snowdrops are one of the first signs of spring and the season is usually over by the beginning of March. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Stourhead, Wiltshire

The historic Stourhead in Wiltshire may not be famous for its snowdrops but that makes the National Trust property a 'hidden gem' for galanthophiles.

In late January and throughout February, the bright white blooms of several varieties of snowdrops appear in many of the borders of the landscape garden near Warminster.

There are fewer visitors in early spring and, with no limit to how long you can stay, it is an opportunity to rest and enjoy the tranquility of beautiful flowers against a stunning landscape.

Snowdrops are thought to date back to the 1500s in the UK. Their Latin name is Galanthus nivalis, which roughly means 'milk flower of the snow'.