Snowdrop Spotting in the South

by Sara Barton, 1st February 2022
Snowdrop Spotting in the South

Did you know there is a special word just for snowdrop enthusiasts? If you go snowdrop spotting each year as winter turns to spring, you can consider yourself a Galanthophile. And the South of Scotland is the perfect place to be, with an abundance of these gorgeous little white flowers. This year, the Scottish Snowdrop Festival will be going ahead with a variety of tours, open days and charity events. What better excuse than to bundle up and head out to be rewarded by these darling white flowers bobbing their heads in the winter sunshine.


Please note: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety are of paramount importance. Stay safe and adhere to current government guidance. If you are going for walks or exercise, always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Closures and access restrictions may apply. Always check with places directly and prebook where possible.


Floors Castle

Where: Kelso

The Grounds at Floors Castle are opening especially for you from 25-27 February to view this delicate spring flower. Take a stroll through the trees and along the woodland footpaths to see a carpet of snowdrop splendour. Enjoy the Walled Garden and Children’s Play Park – the perfect way to spend quality time with friends and family. Both the Woodland and Riverside Walks are a great spot for an adventure for your four-legged friends whilst you enjoy unique views and beautifully kept grounds, and if you prefer wheels to walks, the cycle trail will also be open.

All that exercise is bound to make you hungry so be sure to drop into the Terrace Café, or perhaps the Apple Shed Gift Shop & Deli.

Will you go snowdrop spotting at Floors Castle for a weekend in February?
Enjoy the grounds of Floors Castle in late February when you go snowdrop spotting.

Royal Botanic Garden Logan

Where: Port Logan

Visit Scotland’s most exotic (and southwesterly) garden and see the delicate swathes of snowdrops popping their heads up as spring starts to appear. Offering Snowdrop Sundays throughout February (6th – 27th) Logan Botanic Garden will be open from 11am-4pm. Snowdrops are not the only flowers to pop out early and in the Walled Garden there are already some colourful blooms from early rhododendrons. You can warm and fortify yourself afterwards in the Potting Shed Bistro. Entrance to the garden is by donation so take advantage of this opportunity to see this marvellous garden at any time of year.

Snowdrop Sundays at Logan Botanic Gardens offer the ideal opportunity to go snowdrop spotting.
Logan Botanic Garden is hosting Snowdrop Sundays throughout February.

Dawyck Botanic Garden

Where: Stobo

Over in the Borders, Logan’s sister garden, Dawyck Botanic Garden invites visitors to join a garden guide for one of their Sunday Snowdrop Walks. You can learn about the garden’s magnificient plant collection and take in the magical snowdrops carpetting the banks of Scrape Burn. Every Sunday from 6th February to 27th March.

The banks of the Scrape Burn at Dawyck Botanic Garden offer the ideal opportunity for snowdrop spotting this February.
The banks of the Scrape Burn at Dawyck Botanic Garden covered in snowdrops.

Cringletie

Where: Peebles

Feast your eyes on millions of the Genus Galanthus, or Snowdrops, which are throught to have been brought back to Cringletie by soliders from the Crimean War. The descendents of those snowdrops now create a stunning blanket of white throughout the woods and valley in the grounds of this 28-acre estate. Once you’ve had your fill of bracing fresh air and the delicate blooms, give way to your grumbling tummies and enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea. Of course the option of staying for a weekend winter break may be too hard to resist for some.

Go for the snowdrops and be tempted by afternoon tea or a winter break at Cringletie House.

Threave Gardens

Where: Castle Douglas

While not taking part in this year’s Snowdrop Festival as such, Threave Gardens has announced it will be opening full time on 11 February, and it certainly does have an excellent display of snowdrops. Once you have finished wandering there is a cafe, shop, visitor centre and garden centre, where you might find an ideal living reminder of your visit. Did you know that unlike many other spring bulbs, snowdrops need to be planted ‘in the green’, that is to say once the flowering has finished but while there are still green stems?

Threave Gardens will be opening in mid-February to welcome visitors to spot the first signs of spring. Credit: Threave Garden Facebook.

Abbotsford

Where: Melrose

There are plenty of snowdrops to spot in the woodland around the estate at Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford. Whilst Abbotsford’s house and gardens are closed until March 1st, the estate is open and free to explore. In addition the café, shop and free Sir Walter Scott exhibition are open every day 10am- 4pm. The great man was a firm believer in the mental health benefits of a good walk outdoors. “Fighting with this fiend is not always the best way to conquer him. I have always found exercise and the open air better than reasoning.” – Sir Walter Scott on the fiend of depression.

There are plenty of snowdrops around the grounds and woodland at Abbotsford. Credit: Abbotsford FB.

Glenwhan Gardens

Where: Dunragit

As one would expect from this excellent garden, there is a fabulous display of snowdrops at Glenwhan Gardens in Dunragit near Stranraer. This 12-acre garden hewn out of bracken, gorse and willow over 30 years is a gem of a garden and a pleasure to visit anytime of year. Enjoy the winding paths, seats and sculptures as you take in the tranquillity of the garden and the gently bobbing heads of the humble snowdrops.

Spring time bench with azaleas and rhododendron, Glenwhan Gardens
The winter snow gives way to floral displays of snowdrops in February at Glenwhan Gardens.

Dryburgh Abbey

Where: St Boswells

Swathes of white carpet the woodland around Dryburgh Abbey, a remarkably complete medieval ruin by the River Tweed. Known as one of the four great abbeys of the Borders, it is also the burial place of Sir Walter Scott. Its grounds are now open although the abbey itself remains closed. Check Historic Scotland for updates on openings.

Snowdrop spotting at Dryburgh Abbey
Snowdrops aplenty at the medieval ruin of Dryburgh Abbey.

Scotland Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival Charity Open Days

As part of the Snowdrop Festival, you can also visit a variety of gardens for charity open days. Make the most of the select dates and discover some of the region’s hidden gems.

Where: Scottish Borders

Kirkton Manor House, Peebles. Opening 1pm-4pm Wednesdays only from 16th February to 30th March.

Kailzie Gardens, Peebles. Open 6 March 10am-4pm

Where: Dumfries and Galloway

Craig, Langhom. Open 20 February 12pm-4pm.

Craichlaw, Kirkcowan. By arrangement with owner until 11 March.

Barholm Castle, Gatehouse of Fleet. By arrangement with owner 1 February – 11 March.