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Spring is on the way as National Snowdrop Festival returns to North Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 11:54 03 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:14 03 January 2018

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.

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The end of the coldest months will be marked with a floral blanket this year, as gardens across Norfolk will open their gates for the third national Snowdrop Festival.

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.

Well known gardens in Norfolk include Horstead House, Bagthorpe Hall, Chesnut Farm, and Ravingham Farm, as well as Walshingham Abbey and Hoveton House.

The festival will begin at Horstead House on Saturday, February 17.

The garden will be open from 11am to 4pm at £4 an adult, with millions of snowdrops blooming in a woodland and riverside setting.

On Sunday, February 25, the festival will move to Bagthorpe Hall where a circular woodland walk will take visitors through the snowdrop covered forest.

The wonderful garden of snowdrops at Walsingham Abbey The wonderful garden of snowdrops at Walsingham Abbey

Soup made from the estate’s vegetable patch will also be available at the event from 11am to 4pm.

No less than 90 varities of snowdrop will be on offer to view at Chesnut Farm, alongside other winter flowers and shrubs.

Owners John and Judy McNeil Wilson have over 50 years of gardening expertise and are always keen to share their knowledge with visitors.

The gardens are open from 11am to 4pm, admission is £5.

Woodland at Walsingham Abbey is carpeted with snowdrops. Picture: Ian Burt Woodland at Walsingham Abbey is carpeted with snowdrops. Picture: Ian Burt

A very special event will be held on March 11 when the President of The Royal Horticultural Society, Sir Nicholas Bacon has agreed to open his garden at Raveningham Hall.

The gardens are open from 11am to 4pm, admission is £5 with children free and home-made teas available.

From January 27 to March 4, snowdrop walks will also be open at Walshingham Abbey.

Visitors can explore the 18 acres of woodland carpeted with snowdrops at £5 an adult and £2.50 per child.

Woodland at Walsingham Abbey is carpeted with snowdrops. Picture: Ian Burt Woodland at Walsingham Abbey is carpeted with snowdrops. Picture: Ian Burt

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the NGS reports: “Snowdrop gardens are so popular with the visitors who are keen either to admire the different varieties, or just have a walk in lovely surroundings followed by a cup of tea or warming soup and delicious home-made cake.”

Visitors to Snowdrop Festival gardens will also have the benefit of knowing that their entrance fee is supporting wonderful causes; the National Garden Scheme currently donates around £3 million annually to its beneficiary charities, which include Marie Curie and Hospice UK.

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