Scotland is set to look blooming lovely as it hosts spectacular flower festivals.
Signaling the end of winter and the promise of spring, the Scottish Snowdrop Festival will showcase some of Scotland’s most beautiful snowdrop collections from 25 January to 11 March 2019.
More than 60 events will take place nationwide in celebration of the classic winter flower, including snowdrop walks and talks, guided tours and open days for all the family.
Organised by garden tourism group Discover Scottish Gardens and supported by VisitScotland, the Festival aims to encourage locals and tourists to enjoy the wonders of Scotland’s gardens during the snowdrop flowering period and highlight the country’s diverse collections.
The Festival attracts organisations including the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the National Trust for Scotland and will showcase an array of events across the breadth of the country, from Dunvegan Castle in the Isle of Skye to Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders.
Catherine Erskine, chair of Discover Scottish Gardens and founder of the Snowdrop Festival in Scotland, said: ‘Over the years, more of us are falling in love with the dainty winter flower and very much look forward to the Festival as gardens open up again for the new year. We are very lucky in Scotland to have some truly stunning sites to visit, many of which open their doors for the Snowdrop Festival, showcasing another spectacular side to their gardens.
‘As the Festival grows in popularity, we encourage the younger generation to discover the world of snowdrops for themselves.’
There are currently around 20 species of the herbaceous plant, scientifically known as Galanthus, and over 2,500 named varieties. Its versatility and hardiness allow it to thrive in Scotland’s climate.
In Aberdeenshire, Fyvie Castle Garden & Estate will be taking part in the festival from 25 January to 3 March. While the Castle and tea room will remain closed until the Spring, visitors can still enjoy a colourful walk through the woods where snowdrops carpet the ground.
Cambo Gardens in Fife, which has more than 350 varieties of snowdrops on show, was one of the first snowdrop gardens to appear in Scotland, attracting visitors since 1934. The most significant snowdrop to be found in the country is Galanthus woronowii ‘Elizabeth Harrison’, with shiny green leaves and yellow-marked petals. Festival visitors can discover these unique flowers at Cambo.
One of the few wetlands left in West Scotland will be taking part, as the RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve in Renfrewshire has signed up.
As well as viewing the gorgeous Galanthus, Lochwinnoch is the perfect spot to watch whooper swans, crested grebe and a wide variety of water fowl during the winter months. The nature reserve has a visitor centre where more information can be found about the area, as well as the snowdrops and wildlife there.
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: ‘The end of January marks the start of the Scottish Snowdrops Festival and I’m delighted that Fyvie Castle Garden and Estate is once again taking part. With its rich history, stunning scenery and beautiful wildlife, Aberdeenshire is a top visitor destination all year round. I hope visitors and locals alike will enjoy the gorgeous snowdrops in the grounds of this 800-year-old castle.’
Gordon Smith, VisitScotland regional director, said: ‘Only 30 minutes from Glasgow city centre by car or train, RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve is an ideal spot to get away from it all and enjoy some amazing wildlife with the family. Boasting a wonderful array of snowdrops along the banks of its loch, I’m delighted to hear the reserve is making the most of the opportunity provided by the Festival.
‘The Scottish Snowdrop Festival is a huge draw for visitors and this represents a major benefit to the area. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the economy, touching every community and generating income, jobs and social change.’
For festival highlights and events listings, visit https://www.visitscotland.com/snowdrops