18 places to see magical snowdrop displays in Norfolk

Snowdrops inside the grounds of Walsingham Abbey

Snowdrops inside the grounds of Walsingham Abbey - Credit: IAN BURT

Drifts of dazzling snowdrops are lighting up gardens, woodland and churchyards across the country - here are some of the best places to enjoy one of the wonders of winter.

Walsingham Abbey, Little Walsingham.

Snowdrops carpet 18 acres of woodland and riverbank in the beautiful priory gardens which include the ruins of the ancient priory and have been a place of peace and pilgrimage for centuries. Open daily 10am-4pm until March 6. 

A snowdrop walk in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association will be held at Walsingham Abbey on February 12.

The wonderful garden of snowdrops at Walsingham Abbey. Photo: @the_old_bakery

The wonderful garden of snowdrops at Walsingham Abbey. Photo: @the_old_bakery - Credit: Archant

Snowdrops and aconites provide a colourful attraction for visitors to Raveningham Hall and Gardens.

Snowdrops and aconites provide a colourful attraction for visitors to Raveningham Hall and Gardens. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Raveningham Gardens near Loddon sparkles with swathes of at least 150 varieties of snowdrops through February. Raveningham Hall is the home of Sir Nicholas and Lady Bacon and it was Sir Nicholas’ mother, Priscilla Bacon, who added snowdrops to the garden. Money raised from visitors to her snowdrops will go to Priscilla Bacon Hospice. Open daily, except Saturdays, throughout February, 11am-4pm. raveningham.com   

Find drifts of snowdrops across the parkland and gardens of the magnificent Norfolk estates looked after by the National Trust. At Sheringham Park the snowdrops include a variety called Upcher after the family who lived here. At moated Oxburgh Hall, near Swaffham, thousands of snowdrops carpet the Wilderness, My Lady’s Wood and the north terrace. Enjoy snowdrops at Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer, and at Blickling Hall, near Aylsham, where a winter garden is alight with snowdrops throughout February. nationaltrust.org.uk/norfolk  

St Margaret's Church, Thorpe Market Photo: ANTONY KELLY

St Margaret's Church, Thorpe Market Photo: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

St Margaret's Church, Thorpe Market, where a recycling scheme has raised more than £12,000 for churc

St Margaret's Church, Thorpe Market, where a recycling scheme has raised more than £12,000 for church funds. Photo: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

Snowdrops are often associated with country churches. Hundreds of Norfolk churchyards glitter with snowdrops throughout February with especially dazzling displays at St Margaret’s, Thorpe Market, near Cromer; St Peter’s, Spixworth, near Norwich; St Nicholas, Dersingham, near Sandringham and around the ruins of St Theobald, Great Hautbois, near Coltishall. From St Andrew’s church in North Burlingham, near Acle, a network of footpaths winds through woodland and swathes of snowdrops. 

Brinton Hall, near Holt, has a snowdrop theatre. Walk through the lovely gardens and parkland to a beautiful viewing spot ideal for close-up appreciation of the fragile flowers. Its snowdrop tours on February 18 and 25 include lunch. 

See snowdrops in the woods at The Old Rectory, Norwich Road, Strumpshaw, on February 12 and 13. Free admission but donations welcomed, and refreshments sold, in aid of St Peter’s church, Strumpshaw. 

Five Norfolk gardens are part of the Norfolk Snowdrop Festival in aid of National Garden Scheme nursing and health charities. Lexham Hall gardens, near King’s Lynn, will be open on February 13, with snowdrops carpeting its woodland. The Lexham Hall gardens will also be open in aid of St Andrew's Church, East Lexham on February 6. Horstead House gardens are open on February 19 with snowdrops and winter-flowering shrubs in its woodland and riverside gardens. Pre booking essential. Bagthorpe Hall gardens, near King’s Lynn, will be open on February 20 for its circular walk through snowdrop woods. The snowdrops in the grounds of Hindringham Hall, near Fakenham, are on show on February 26. At Chestnut Farm, West Beckham, near Holt, the artist owners began planting snowdrops more than 50 years ago and today their huge collection of snowdrops, plus aconites, crocuses and hellebores, and unusual trees and shrubs, will be open in aid of the National Garden Scheme charities on February 27 and St John Ambulance, 11am-4pm, March 6, with St John Ambulance volunteers serving refreshments throughout the day. 

Spring Snowdrop Flowers with Water Drops in Spring Forest on Blue Background of Sun and Blurred Bok

Delicate snowdrops hint at warmer times to come - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Did you know: 

There are just 20 species of wild snowdrop in the world – but around 2,000 cultivated varieties. 

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Snowdrops are often found in the gardens and parkland of country estates, with historians suggesting that in the 19th century the soldier sons of the landed gentry collected bulbs from the battlefields of the Crimean War as the British, French, Ottoman and Russian empires clashed. The fragile beauty of the flowers amid so much hardship became a reminder of fallen comrades.  

Medieval monks are also believed to have planted snowdrops around abbeys and churches as symbols of purity and renewal. 

Snowdrop flowers are mainly white, but some have green, or occasionally yellow, marks on the inner petals. Different patterns and leaf shapes are the way to tell one snowdrop from another.  

A galanthophile, from galanthus, the Latin for snowdrop, is a lover of snowdrops.