March 15 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Millions of snowdrop stems are pushing through the cold, hard earth to become part of a dazzling massed display. And with February marking the peak snowdrop season, we’ve devised a list of Norfolk landscapes to visit so that you can see the fragile flowers carpeting the region for yourself.
✽ At Walsingham Abbey snowdrops carpet almost 20 acres of woodland and river bank. This site was once one of the most famous pilgrimage shrines in Europe and now opens to snowdrop seekers daily throughout February. Paths pass the ruins of the once-magnificent Abbey and cross an ancient packhorse bridge into woods sparkling with snowdrops.
✽ Lexham Hall, near Litcham, is open on Sunday, February 9, in aid of the churches of St Andrew’s, East Lexham, and All Saints’, Litcham. The gardens include winter flowering and scented shrubs as well as acres of snowdrops.
✽ The Mowle, in Ludham, is opening for the first time during snowdrop season on Sunday, February 9. The village garden, running down to the marshes, will also be showing off its aconites, in aid of the National Garden Scheme charities.
✽ Brinton Hall on Stody Road, Brinton, near Holt, will host a snowdrop walk in aid of St John Ambulance from 1-4pm on Sunday, February 9. The grounds include parkland and watermeadows and a lake, with the woodland beyond carpeted in thousands of naturalised snowdrops. There are waymarked walks through the snowdrops plus formal gardens with shrubs and a hothouse.
Dogs are welcome on leads and teas served in the church next door.
✽ At Raveningham Hall the snowdrop season runs from February 9-23.
Sir Nicholas and Lady Bacon invite visitors to see glorious displays of snowdrops first planted by Sir Nicholas’ mother, Lady Priscilla Bacon.
She was both an expert gardener and president of the appeal to raise money for specialist palliative care and proceeds go to Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich.
As well as the snowdrops, Raveningham Gardens include a lake, an 18th-century walled kitchen garden, magnificent borders, an arboretum, and contemporary sculpture.
✽ Hoveton House, near Wroxham, will be holding a snowdrop and aconite walk in aid of Autism Anglia and St John’s Church, Hoveton, on Sunday February 16 from 11am to 2pm.
✽ Three miles of woodland walks wind through drifts of snowdrops at the Fairhaven Garden Trust, South Walsham. Other early flowers should include camellias and skunk cabbage. The gardens are open daily, with a special Signs of Spring week from Saturday, February 15 to Sunday, February 23.
✽ The River Bure flows through the gardens of Horstead House, in Horstead, near Coltishall, where wooded walks are fringed with millions of snowdrops. The gardens, including an island of brilliant red stemmed dogwoods, are open in aid of the National Gardens Scheme charities, on Saturday, February 22.
✽ The grounds of Bagthorpe Hall, between, Fakenham and Docking, are alive with snowdrops – see them at an open day in aid of National Garden Scheme charities on Sunday, February 23.
✽ More than 80 varieties of snowdrop combine to stunning effect at Chestnut Farm, West Beckham, near Holt. The gardens also glow with other early spring flowers including cyclamen, hellebores and aconites, and will be open on Thursday, February 27 and Sunday, March 2, in aid of St Helen and All Saints’ Church, West Beckham.
✽ The Upcher snowdrops at Sheringham Park are named after the original owners of stately Sheringham Hall. The National Trust park is open daily and way-marked paths wind through the coastal park, taking in the swathes of snowdrops at start of main drive.
✽ Oxburgh Hall is hosting free walks to see its stunning snowdrops and early spring flowers, at 11am and 2pm every Saturday and Sunday until March 9 – plus all week during the school half term holiday from February 17 to 21.