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7 pretty places to spot snowdrops in Dorset

PUBLISHED: 12:22 21 January 2019

Early spring snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis. Photo credit: Peter Llewellyn, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Early spring snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis. Photo credit: Peter Llewellyn, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

Snowdrops bring great joy in the early months of the year, signifying the warmer weather ahead. We pick 7 magical places in Dorset to explore these beautiful flowers

Compton Valence

For a few weeks in February the narrow roads of the charming village of Compton Valence become blanketed with thousands of snowdrops, making for quite a display. Visitors can choose to walk or drive the roadways of Compton Valance to experience the stunning floral arrangements; either way you will find yourself in a veritable snowdrop heaven.

Kingston Lacy

Every year the palatial estate of Kingston Lacy is home to thousands of snowdrops that blanket the near 35 acres of formal gardens - with the Victorian Fernery containing 35 varieties alone. A stroll through the estate’s idyllic garden will allow you to see over 40 different varieties of snowdrop, blending in with the plentiful flora and fauna that surround the Italian style manor. The snowdrops are set to be at their most spectacular throughout early to mid February.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy for booking information.

Lawsbrook Garden

Situated in Shillingstone, this private garden boasts one of the prettiest snowdrop displays in Dorset. In addition to its swathes of delicate snowdrops, six acres of garden include over 130 species of trees, vegetable beds and impressive floral borders. A member of the National Garden Scheme for a decade, Lawsbrook opens from February 1st to November 30th, with dedicated snowdrop days throughout February. Adult admission is £3.50 with children going for free. This dog-friendly haven is sure to make for the perfect family day out.

Contact Clive Nelson on 01258 860148 or via cne70bl@aol.com to arrange a visit.

Visit www.ngs.org.uk for more information

Mapperton House and Gardens

The home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich also happens to be home to a stunning display of snowdrops. Every year come February the grounds of the stately home become awash with a milky blanket of the dainty flower. Normally closed until March, the estate opens out of season for a month of ‘Snowdrop Sundays’, allowing garden lovers to enjoy the display; these will run on the 3rd, 10th and 17th of February with the cafe opening for visitors to enjoy tea and scrumptious homemade cakes.

The estate is open 11am-4pm with adults costing £4.50 and children visiting for free.

Visit https://mapperton.com for more information/

Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival

Visit Shaftesbury throughout the month of February and you’ll find the whole town is awash with snowdrops. Every year locals plant thousands of bulbs in the hope of becoming the first ever ‘Snowdrop Town’. Since starting in 2012 the town have planted over 180,000 snowdrops. On the 9th February there is a specialist study day showcasing talks from various experts, a snowdrop sale, sumptuous luncheon and a Q&A with the experts, including a guided tour of Shaftesbury’s heritage snowdrops.

Visit www.shaftesburysnowdrops.org for more information.

Shaftesbury Abbey Museum & Garden

Whilst on your visit to Shaftesbury for the Snowdrop Festival head to the Shaftesbury Abbey foundations. Nestled in their own private walled garden, the ruins of the once prolific Abbey promote a sense of serenity and calm for all who visit.

Although normally opening from April onwards, the museum and gardens open especially for the Snowdrop Festival between the 9th and 17th of February.

Admission is £4 with concessions entering for £3, and children under 16 enjoying the experience for free. Visit shaftesburyabbey.org.uk for more information.

Affpuddle

The picturesque and charmingly named village of Affpuddle, located in Purbeck looks like a scene from a chocolate box with its quaint thatched cottages and large stretches of village greenery. However, the early arrival of snowdrops this year is making for an even more idyllic scene. Patches of perfectly formed snowdrops are popping up along the banks of Affpuddle’s many streams, making for a gloriously scenic country walk for the whole family.

Click here for a wonderful walking route around the village.

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