Bagthorpe Hall

In February there is possibly no better activity than getting out with the children and being in a garden. Carpets of snowdrops are a spectacular sight to behold and over 100 gardens will open throughout England and Wales for the third annual National Garden Scheme Snowdrop Festival.

In Norfolk there are four well-known gardens participating in the festival starting on Saturday 17th February north of Norwich at Horstead House in Mill Road, Horstead, NR12 7AU, with millions of these delightful little flowers on show in a woodland and riverside setting. The garden is open from 11am to 4pm and admission is £4 with free entry for children. There will be homemade teas available.

Horstead House

On Sunday 25th February, northwest of Fakenham is Bagthorpe Hall, near East Rudham, PE31 6QY a circular woodland walk through thousands of snowdrops. Delicious warming soup made from vegetables grown on the estate farm will be available. The gardens are open from 11am to 4pm and admission is £4 with children free.

On the 25h February and on Sunday 4th March there will be no fewer than 90 varieties of snowdrops amongst other winter flowers and heavenly-scented shrubs at  Chestnut Farm in West Beckham NR25 6NX. 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 with children free. Refreshments will be available.

Garden Opening Cancellation at Chestnut Farm

Due to the continuing heavy snow conditions the open day for the NGS at Chestnut Farm in West Beckham on Sunday 4th March has been cancelled. Currently the snowdrops, which are a main attraction of the garden, are buried under several inches of snow!

The good news is the open day at Chestnut Farm last Sunday 25th February had a record 378 visitors and raised a brilliant £2400 for the nursing and caring charities supported by the NGS.

On Sunday 11th March we are delighted that the President of The Royal Horticultural Society, Sir Nicholas Bacon has agreed to open his garden at Raveningham Hall, Raveningham near Norwich NR14 6NS. There will be much to admire in this renowned country house garden. The gardens are open from 11am to 4pm, admission is £5 with children free and home-made teas available.

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.

Details of all National Garden Scheme gardens opening for the Snowdrop Festival can be found on the NGS website:

  • Since its foundation in 1927, The National Garden Scheme has donated over £50 million to its beneficiaries to date
  • This year the National Garden Scheme has donated £3 million to its beneficiary charities in 2017
  • Charities supported by the National Garden Scheme include the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers Trust, Perennial, Parkinson’s UK and MS Society. Further donations are also made.
  • Registered Charity 1112664