Snowdrops in the Lake District
22 January 2024

The days may be short and there's certainly a chill in the air, but take a closer look at the ground beneath your feet and you'll begin to see signs that Spring is on its way. Snowdrops, a sight to warm even the coldest of hearts. Finally, the long, dark days of Winter are almost behind us.

These tender, green shoots are starting to crop up across the region. Aptly labelled the Flower of Hope, these pretty little flowers begin to poke their heads through the soil in late January, and we're blessed to have them in abundance in the meadows, woodlands and wetlands across Matson Ground.

If you're in the area, take a moment to admire these delicate, nodding white flowers. Below are a few of our other favourite places to see snowdrops in the Lake District. And make sure you read on for some snowdrop trivia.

Brockhole Visitor Centre, Windermere

Located on the shores of Lake Windermere and just a few minutes by car from our Windermere Cottages, Brockhole is a garden for all seasons. But we especially love Spring when the snowdrops and then the bluebells carpet the ground.

Rydal Hall, Ambleside

Rydal Hall is set in over thirty acres of garden and woodland and with various sculptures and other points of interest scattered around the grounds, it makes for a fascinating stroll. 

Hill Top, Near Sawrey

Hill Top, the former home of Beatrix Potter, will reopen on 10 February and is well worth a visit. The gardens have been lovingly returned to how they looked when she lived there - you can easily see why they were such an inspiration to her.

Sizergh Castle, Kendal

Perhaps one of the best places to see snowdrops in the Lake District is Sizergh Castle near Kendal. If you head to The Knoll in the woodland garden, you'll discover the first glimmers of Spring.

Acorn Bank, near Penrith

For guests in our Ullswater Cottages, head to Acorn Bank, a National Trust property in Temple Sowerby, near Penrith. Here you'll find an abundance of snowdrops in the woods next to the Crowdundle Beck.

These are just a few of our favourite places to see snowdrops in the Lake District. Please do remember to check opening times before you make a special journey.

Snowdrop Facts

Want to know more about these delicate little flowers that bring so much joy? Here are a few fun facts, as well as a piece of German folklore.

  • The scientific name for the snowdrop is Galanthus Nivalis, which literally translates as milk flower of the snow.
  • Other names for the snowdrop are: Fair Maids of February, Candlemas Bells, White Ladies, Little Sister of the Snows, Snow Piercers and Dingle-dangle
  • Snowdrops were named after earrings. In the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, women wore dangly, white-shaped earrings known as eardrops.
  • Snowdrops produce Galantamine, which has been found to be effective in treating Alzheimer's disease.
  • Snowdrops contain a natural anti-freeze which means that even if they collapse in freezing weather, they can recover once the temperature rises. In fact, they were harvested during the First World War to make anti-freeze for tanks.
  • Snowdrop enthusiasts are called Galanthophiles and they have been known to pay an awful lot of money for these sweet, little flowers. In fact, in 2015, a single Galanthus Plicatus (Golden Fleece) sold for a whopping £1390 on eBay. Nowadays, you can pick one up for about £200.
  • When temperatures reach 10 degrees celcius, the outer petals open up, revealing the nectar inside, perfect for bumble bees who come out of hibernation when the temperature rises above 10 degrees!
  • There are over 2,500 varieties of snowdrop. They vary in height from 7cm to 30cm and are divided into approximately 20 species.
  • Collecting snowdrop bulbs in the wild is illegal in many countries, so please don't go digging any up.
  • On a sunny day, snowdrops are highly scented and give off a honey smell.

 

Why the Snow is White

We'll end with one of our favourite snowdrop tales - this one is from ancient German folklore. Legend has it that when everything on earth was brand new, Snow needed a colour, so it asked the flowers. One by one they turned their backs on Snow, believing it to be cold and unpleasant. 

The tiny snowdrops took pity on Snow and offered their colour, which Snow gratefully accepted. In return, Snow rewarded the snowdrop by letting it bloom first and making it impervious to the ice and bitter temperatures. Ever since, Snow and snowdrops have lived side by side as friends.

We'll certainly be enjoying the snowdrops in the Lake District while they last, and we hope that you have some pretty pockets of this fabulous little flower wherever you are. 

If you happen upon a cluster of snowdrops while you're visiting the Lake District, why not spread the joy? Take some photos and share them using the hashtag #lakedistrictsnowdrops

Late Availability and Special Offers

If you fancy a last minute break in the Lake District,  a chance to see some of these beautiful little flowers, keep an eye on our late availability page for our latest offers - https://www.matsonground.co.uk/late-availability 

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