Visit snowdrop gardens with South Western Railway

Snowdrop gardens to visit this February

The arrival of snowdrops welcomes brighter days and the upcoming Spring

The arrival of the pretty white flowers of the snowdrop is welcome assurance that spring - and warmer days - are on their way. Mid-February and early March are the best times to see the Galanthus flowering, which often forms "lawns" where they're grown. These hardy little flowers have a built-in antifreeze that keeps them in flower through event the sharpest frost.

Check out some of our favourite spots to take a walk and enjoy the spectacle.

Mottisfont Abbey

Our nearest station: Mottisfont & Dunbridge
Getting there: 30 minutes' walk from Mottisfont & Dunbridge station

Mottisfont Abbey is one of those hidden gems on our network, a medieval priory transformed into a house in both the 18th and 20th centuries.

Its spectacular winter gardens include winter roses, daphnes and honeysuckle to provide welcome bursts of colour in the shorter days of the winter. February of course brings the snowdrop - with more than 16,000 bulbs planted alongside the stream and the river walk. Recently-planted, in later years they'll form the traditional lawn of snowdrops, providing a spectacular view.

Chawton House

When: Cancelled due to high winds
Our nearest station: Alton
Getting there: 30 minutes by number 64 bus, and a short walk into Chawton

Owned by Jane Austen's brother Edward, Chawton House was a favourite haunt of the writer. With its extensive library and beautiful grounds, you can walk in Jane's footsteps through the restored Elizabethan manor house.

Unfortunately, Chawton House have had to cancel their Snowdrop Sunday event on 16 February - but the house is still open throughout the month for you to view their gardens.

Herons Mead

When: Sunday 16 February, 14:00 to 15:00
Our nearest station: Wool
Getting there: Just 10 minutes' walk from Wool station

Ron and Angela Millington open their garden a number of times every year to the public so that you can witness their half-acre garden as it blooms throughout the year. On top of the snowdrops, you'll find a wildlife pond and plenty of plants to entice bees, butterflies and other pollinators. There's a tea room on site, and entry is just £3.50 for adults. A dog-friendly garden, with plenty of pots and plants for sale if you see something you'd like to take home too.

Winkworth Arboretum

Our nearest station: Godalming
Getting there: 13 minutes on the number 42 bus, or 10 minutes by taxi

Thousands of snowdrops appear around Winkworth Arboretum from early February, including a lawn outside the tea room. Head to the Upper Arboretum or the Spring Walk for a crowd-free chance to enjoy the flowers. Winkworth is a National Trust property, so entry is free to members. Whilst your here, there are plenty of seasonal walks to enjoy, and lots more winter flowers to spot.

Claremont Landscape Garden

Our nearest station: Esher
Getting there: Less than 20 minutes on the number 715 bus

Claremont offers a tranquil retreat from the hectic pace of modern life. Dress up warm for a stroll here, where you'll find rhododendrons and laurel to spare, plus the ample sightings of the delicate snowdrops around the gardens. Little ones will enjoy spotting the goslings, taking their first swim in the lake in early February.

Hampton Court Palace

Our nearest station: Hampton Court
Getting there: Just five minutes' walk across Hampton Court Bridge

Hampton Court Palace has more than 60 acres of gardens for you to enjoy, and 750 more of parkland. Head out to the Wilderness to find the Dell - during snowbell season a blanket of colour as the bulbs come into bloom. You'll find voles, robins and hedgehogs in abundance here too, and of course the rest of the palace to explore.

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