Travel tales

Spring in the Cotswolds: Snowdrops at Colesbourne Park

Colesbourne Park snowdrops

After winter seems to have dragged on forever, the first snowdrops peeking out from the ground are a sign that spring is finally on it’s way. But at Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds, they’ve taken snowdrop growing to the extreme. The estate’s been described as ‘England’s greatest snowdrop garden’, and it has over 250 different varieties of snowdrop spread over ten acres of traditional country garden. Colesbourne Park has been home to the Elwes family for centuries and Henry John Elwes started off the snowdrop collection when he discovered a new species – christened Galanthus elwesii in his honour – in Turkey in 1874.

Read more: Log house luxury in the Cotswolds

Snowdrops close up

Since then the family have kept adding to the collection and have even created their own hybrid species. I’m no horticulturalist (if my plants stay alive it’s a bonus) and thought one snowdrop was the same as another, but when you see the different varieties together they’re surprisingly varied. The plants range in size from a few centimetres to a foot tall, some have tightly closed up flowers and some look like insects with petals for wings, and some aren’t even all white, with green stripes or edging. But whichever is your favourite, seeing this many snowdrops in one place mean that spring must definitely be coming soon.

Colesbourne Park snowdrops
Galanthus Dionysus
Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds
Snowdrop flowers
Snowdrops

The details

Colesbourne Park is in the Cotswold village of Colesbourne, about halfway between Cheltenham and Cirencester. The estate is open for the public to see the snowdrops from 1pm–4.30pm over five weekends around in early spring. The dates for 2018 are 3–4 February, 10–11 February, 17–18 February, 24–25 February and 3–4 March. Entry costs £8 per adult and is free for children under 16.

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The first snowdrops show spring is on its way – Colesbourne Park in the English Cotswolds takes snowdrop growing to extremes with 250 different varieties.

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40 Comments

  • Reply
    vannillarock
    February 16, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    stunning! makes you think spring might have sprung!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Let’s hope so, it seems like it’s been a long time since autumn!

  • Reply
    jpilkington09
    February 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    There’s a manor house near my hometown that opens up every year to show off its snowdrops – forgot how lovely they are.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      There’s something really cheerful about them – and daffodils – I think it’s the long wait to see them each winter!

  • Reply
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    February 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    These snowdrops are so pretty – I love that image of them all at the base of that tree trunk – so magical 🙂 I’ll see if I can squeeze it in but I’ve had so many ideas for the Cotswolds from reading your posts that I’m sure something will end up getting left out when I go next week!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      There’s definitely something of an enchanted garden about them. Hope the weather is good for you next week, looks like you’re going to have to start planning a second trip already to fit everything in!

  • Reply
    shazzarob
    February 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Oh how beautiful…..and you can tell the difference between them too.Love snowdrops.x

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Me too, and I was surprised by how many different types there were – the top ones were my favourite, they looked link insects with wings that might just fly away!

  • Reply
    Alison
    February 16, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Beautiful photos, Lucy! It makes me wonder when spring will be coming to Chicago!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Hope it’s on it’s way – your winters are a lot more extreme than ours too!

  • Reply
    elecha
    February 16, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    How lovely! I love how different they all are! So beautiful!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks, yes it was surprising all the different types there were!

  • Reply
    Vlad
    February 16, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen snowdrops this pretty! Oh, how I miss spring!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      We’d been meaning to visit for years and so glad to have finally made it out there – spring must be coming soon!

  • Reply
    unfinishedtravel
    February 16, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    So delicate and pretty!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks, they’re one of my favourite flowers!

  • Reply
    Monica Stott (@TheTravelHack)
    February 17, 2015 at 9:24 am

    So pretty! I love seeing the first snowdrops of spring. Just as you think you can’t take any more of winter they start to show up and remind you that spring is on the way. not long now!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 17, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Me too, there’s something so lovely about spring flowers – probably as it feels so long since you last saw anything growing!

  • Reply
    lexklein
    February 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    You have FLOWERS growing in England already?! I am officially depressed. 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 20, 2015 at 11:51 am

      We do! Only snowdrops so far but at least it’s a sign that spring is finally coming!

  • Reply
    Darlene
    February 18, 2015 at 9:41 am

    How wonderful. Snowdrops are delightful!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 20, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Love that they are so delicate and pretty!

  • Reply
    virginiaemily
    February 18, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Beautiful, I haven’t seen any yet but I can’t wait!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 20, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Hopefully they should be on their way soon!

  • Reply
    Maddie
    February 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Absolutely stunning! They are such a cheerful sight after the long winter, I saw my first crocus today and couldn’t stop smiling! Spring is finally on its way 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      Love crocuses too, I bought a bunch of daffodils yesterday too brighten up the house (no sign of them in the garden quite yet!).

  • Reply
    ifollowislands
    February 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I love snowdrops, I never knew they were called like that! In German we say snow bells but I prefer the English name 🙂 fingers crossed spring will be here soon. By the time it gets to February I always get cabin fever, being inside all the time – but it’s still too cold for me to venture out!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Snow bells sounds lovely too – makes sense from the shape of them! I know what you mean about cabin fever, it seems like this winter has been going on for so long.

  • Reply
    ronmitchelladventure
    February 19, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Very nice details!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Jones
    February 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Very pretty and a good sign that Spring is just around the corner…

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Let’s hope so!

  • Reply
    thebritishberliner
    February 25, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I love winter-spring blooms. Makes you feel alive and burst out in song!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 25, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Haha, I wouldn’t inflict my terrible singing voice on anyone but I know that feeling!

  • Reply
    Ayla
    February 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    So pretty 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 27, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks, you can’t beat snowdrops!

  • Reply
    Uptourist
    March 24, 2015 at 1:03 am

    I love how you captured one flower and really show its beauty. I love how it is white and dainty and is upside down. Such a great way to appreciate life’s simple pleasures.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      March 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks, they’re a lovely flower – so simple but pretty!

  • Reply
    Temple Travel
    July 29, 2015 at 12:40 am

    I love this post…the pictures are beautiful.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      August 3, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks so much!

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