The Scottish Snowdrop Festival

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snowdrops in West Fife © VisitScotland

The first plant to flower in my garden is usually the snowdrop but this year, crocuses and grape hyacinths are already open. I have to go down to the riverbank to see the usual, first flower of the year – the snowdrop.

In Scotland, the snowdrop is of such significance that there is a Scottish Snowdrop Festival which runs from the beginning of February until March 12th. The festival features more than fifty different gardens including seventeen new ones for this year including Fyvie Castle in Turiff, House of the Binns in Linlithgow and Castle Kennedy in Stranraer.  Not all gardens are open each year and usually there are new places for people to visit.

Three years ago when Just about Travel first wrote about the festival it was as part of Homecoming Scotland 2014. So much an attraction has it grown in its own right that it doesn’t need to be linked with anything else.

At Castle Kennedy Gardens near Stranraer, the snowdrop areas date back to Victorian times. So long have people been coming to see the snowdrops here that the restaurant has had time to develop snowdrop-themed baking! The snowdrops In the  Logan Botanic Garden which is also near Stranraer and reputed to be Scotland’s most exotic garden must compete for your eye with early flowering rhododendrons.

At Ecclesgreig Castle in Aberdeenshire you can see 150 different types of snowdrop all of which are to be found meandering through the estate. The Victorian gothic building has another claim to fame. It is though the castle inspired Bram Stoker to create Dracula. Coming south, at Langley Park Gardens in Montrose you could two benefits for visiting. Firstly you can look over  27 acres of woodland walks with large drifts of snowdrops  before seeing them along the riverbank and, secondly, you can enjoy the views of Montrose basin, Montrose, the hills and sea beyond.

For those who are in the Scottish capital, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh not only has a large display it also has a specialist collection revealing snowdrops that are different from you might expect.

You will find a complete list of gardens that are open by clicking here or going to www.visitscotland.com/snowdrop

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