The transition from winter into spring is a beautiful time, particularly in Norfolk. There’s something rather breath-taking about the way the landscape looks in the chillier months – and none more so than the wonderful gardens at Raveningham, where Snowdrop Season will be celebrated throughout February.
SEE THE SNOWDROPS
For you outdoorsy types and those who appreciate a walk with a view then Raveningham’s Snowdrop Season is where you should head. Their annual celebrations of the garden’s beautiful snowdrops, which flower during spring are truly a sight to behold - fill your Instragram feed full of flowers!
If you’ve never explored Raveningham Gardens before, this is a brilliant opportunity to do so. The gardens cover around 10 acres of beautiful parkland which the magnificent, Grade II listed Hall (built around 1750) is nestled in. The gardens have a large variety of trees and shrubbery as well as a lake, Rose Garden, Herb Garden and a Time Garden, which is designed around Sir Francis Bacon’s essays about the passage of time. There’s also a fabulous tea room to tuck into homemade cakes, where you can also buy vegetables from their stunning kitchen garden – tell them what you want and they will go and pick it! Can’t get much fresher than that (and the prices are reasonable)!
On Sunday 12 February there will be some very special tours of the gardens, and of course the Raveningham snowdrops, which are free of charge (with garden admission). Richard Hobbs, Raveningham’s garden consultant and one of the gardening experts on BBC Radio Norfolk's Garden Party, will take the lead and will explain about the different varieties of planted snowdrops. Tours will start at the Tea Room courtyard at 11.30am and 2pm; just turn up on the day, there’s no need to book.
WHEN TO VISIT
Between Wednesday 1 February and Tuesday 28 February, from 11am to 4pm (closed all Saturdays). The gardens then close (apart from Sunday 5th March, 11am to 4pm when they’ll open as part of the National Gardens Scheme) until their main season starts on Monday 3 April.
Whilst you’re there, make sure you pop into their Tea Room, which serves up a variety of refreshments including drinks, home-made cakes and soup.
Admission to the gardens costs £5 for adults, £4.50 for concessions and free for children under 16. On Sunday 12 and 19 February the proceeds will go to the Priscilla Bacon Lodge Hospice in Norwich.
Norwich Tourist Information Centre also has an information sheet showing the best places and walks to see the snowdrops this spring (including, of course, Raveningham!) which you can pick up there, or they can email it over to you - just call 01603 213993.
COMING TO VISIT?
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Abellio also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.