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Snowdrop gardens to visit in Kent

PUBLISHED: 12:21 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:14 05 February 2018

These snowdrop walks are sure to leave you feeling refreshed (photo: Jimsef, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

These snowdrop walks are sure to leave you feeling refreshed (photo: Jimsef, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Archant

The elusive snowdrop can be hard to find and before you know it, they’re gone again, so we saved you the trouble and found some beautiful spots in Kent to go for a walk among the snowdrops

1. Goodnestone Park Gardens

The dreamy gardens at early 18th century Goodnestone Park include the fairytale Walled Garden; the Woodland Garden, which boasts swathes of flowers interspersed with trees; and terraced lawns that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Walk in the footsteps of Jane Austen, a frequent visitor to Goodnestone, through the snowdrops that spring up on the estate during February. Afterwards, head to the recently refurbished tearooms for a cream tea.

Goodnestone Park Gardens will be open for Snowdrop Days on Sunday 11th, Sunday 18th (for the National Garden Scheme) and Sunday 25th February from 11am to 5pm. Free parking

Snowdrop Sunday at Goodnestone Park

2. Doddington Place Gardens, nr Sittingbourne

Doddington Place and Gardens is a striking red brick Victorian manor house and historical landscaped gardens surrounded by the countryside and woodland of the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The estate is ten acres in total and gardens include the Woodland Garden, the Sunk Garden and the Edwardian Rock Garden.

The gardens will be open before their usual opening period for the National Garden Scheme’s third Snowdrop Festival.

Doddington Place Gardens will be open on 15th February from 11am to 4pm. Admission is £6 for adults and £2 for children. Cream teas available from the tearooms

Snowdrop - Galanthus (5)

3. Spring Platt, Maidstone

Mother and daughter duo Carolyn and Julie have created a stunning snow drop garden in the form of Spring Platt in Maidstone with views over the Weald of Kent. Having been inspired to collect snowdrops in 2003, the collection has grown to over 400 varieties, many of which can be seen in their swathes in February.

Opening for the National Gardens Scheme, this is a wonderful, tranquil garden to spend a contemplative couple of hours, soaking in the springtime flora.

Spring Platt will be open on 31st January and 3rd, 4th and 7th February from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Admission is £4 and includes light refreshments. 01622 843383

Snowdrop

4. Sissinghurst Castle

The historic Sissinghurst Castle estate is comprised of 460 acres of meadows and woodland and was originally used as a prison in the mid-18th century.

During February, although the castle and gardens are closed, the estate will be open and scattered in little white flowers to discover as you take in the fresh early spring air. Once you have finished, pay a visit to the restaurant which serves organic food sourced feet away from the onsite garden.

Estate open dawn to dusk, restaurant open 10am to 4.30pm

Leucojum vernalis

5. Ightham Mote

The estate and gardens at Ightham Mote are open throughout February for visitors eager to welcome the spring with a snowdrop walk. The moated house with its asymmetrical exterior as a testament to its evolving history was originally built in the 1300s and makes the perfect backdrop while enjoying a tranquil walk spotting the nodding white heads of the snowdrops as you go.

Relax in the café (open 10am to 5pm) after your explorations with a tea and cake or a steaming bowl of soup to warm up with.

During February admission for adults is £4 and for children £2

Snowdrops Ightham

6. Copton Ash, Faversham

The private garden Copton Ash in Faversham was augmented from a cherry orchard and will be open for the National Gardens Scheme’s Snowdrop Festival.

The garden will be dotted with snowdrops and lots of fascinating flora including specially curated beds of alpine plants, which the owner has a particular interest in, to capture the eye of those with a green thumb.

Copton Ash will be open on Sunday 18th February from 12pm to 4pm and admission will be £4 with homemade teas and soup available

Copton Ash Nursery Snowdrops NGS Faversham February 2014 8

7. Mere House, Mereworth

Mere House is a grand, late 18th-century, Grade II listed Georgian property with a six-acre garden and a total of 20 acres of parkland. Features in the garden include a woodland walk, manicured lawns and a lake.

The garden has been opened for the National Garden Scheme since 1971, and sees scores of visitors hoping to spot some pretty snowdrops.

The gardens at Mere House will be open Sunday 18th and Sunday 25th February from 2pm to 5pm for the National Garden Scheme’s Snowdrop Festival. Admission is £5. There will be refreshments in aid of Mereworth Church

Mere House - Mereworth Kent

8. Knowle Hill Farm Garden, Ulcombe, Maidstone

The private garden at Knowle Hill Farm in the village of Ulcombe is blooming year round with lavender and roses in the summer while cyclamen and hellebores will mingle with snowdrops as the garden gates open for the NGS in February.

The arresting Kentish countryside will provide breathtaking views over the Weald and North Downs as you enjoy the little white heads of snowdrops.

Knowle Hill Farm Garden will be open on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th February from 11am to 3pm. Admission is £5 and there will be hot food available in February. Refreshments will be in aid of All Saints Church in Ulcombe

Snowdrop

9. Yew Tree Cottage, Penshurst

Started 30 years ago by Pam Tuppen, Yew Tree Cottage’s pretty garden in the village of Penshurst will open for the National Garden Scheme’s Snowdrop Festival this year. Pam describes her hillside garden as “a natural cottage style, quite billowy and all mixed up together”.

With plenty of seating for a contemplative pause, explore the “secret corners” and interesting flora, including the elusive snowdrop, on display.

Yew Tree Cottage will be open Wednesday 7th, Sunday 18th and Wednesday 28th February for the NGS’ Snowdrop Festival. Admission will be £3 and there will be light refreshments on offer

snowdrop

10. The Old Rectory, Longfield

With over 100 varieties of snowdrops planted in this one-and-a-half-acre garden, The Old Rectory is a sea of white during the early weeks of spring.

The garden was started 30 years ago and includes natural woodland that will be peppered with snowdrops and you might even spot some fauna too!

The Old Rectory is open for the National Garden Scheme’s Snowdrop Festival in February by appointment only and admission is £4. Call Karin & Christopher Proudfoot on 01474 707513 or email keproudfoot@gmail.com

.:Snowdrop:.

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