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Scottish Snowdrop Festival

Galloping Galanthus


Having good knees helps appreciate the beauty of snowdrops.
Snowdrops at Cambo Estate, Fife. Image courtesy Sir Peter Erskine.


Throughout February and March gardens across Scotland open their gates as part of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival. You don’t have to be a galanthophile – snowdrop enthusiast – to enjoy the sight of a late-winter woodland carpeted ankle deep in snowdrops. Their delicacy defies the bitter winter months and their display seems so brave, perhaps that’s why we love them – even if spring is still a way off their pretty nodding heads point the way.


Over 50 venues, in all areas of the country, are part in Scottish Snowdrop Festival , 2 February – 17 March. We’ve chosen to highlight two of the best, for a full list see the above link, details also included in the Scotland’s Gardens Green Book, or online at


cambo snowdrops 2

The woodland walk at Cambo carpeted in snowdrops. Image courtesy Sir Peter Erskine.


Cambo Estate, Fife

The gardens at Cambo boast arguably Britain’s finest collection of snowdrops, they thrive in huge numbers throughout the 70 acres of woodland and the sheltered walled garden. There are over 300 different varieties and each year a small number are for sale at the on-site nursery.


To wander along the burn, stooping to admire the snowdrops, down to the pebbly shore of Kingsbarns beach should be an annual pilgrimage for all, or failing that, something we all do at least once.


Visit Scotland are hosting a competition to win a Gardening Break at Cambo Estate; click to enter: Scottish Snowdrop Festival 2013 Competition.


Snowdrops thrive on the banks of the Scrape Burn around the Dutch Bridge, Dawyck Botanic Gardens. Image courtesy Royal Botanic Gardens.


Dawyck Botanic Garden, Peebleshire

Dawyck is famed for its trees but in the late-winter months snowdrops grow in their thousands beneath the trees and great swathes of white appear along the banks of the Scrape Burn.


Pick up a map and follow the yellow route through the gardens and over the Dutch Bridge. To complement the snowdrop season the Visitor’s Centre is hosting an exhibition by bontanical artist Jane Murray, entitled A Woodland Garden until 28 April.


And finally, don’t forget that the garden at Shepherd House, as featured in our Winter Garden Visits post is also open as part of the Scottish Snowdrop Festival, full details of opening times are published in the post.