If you are the type of person who eagerly awaits the first signs of springtime then you'll be thrilled to visit Hartland Abbey for the annual Snowdrop Sundays. This event takes place on the second and third Sundays in February. The wonderful Hartland Abbey is a stunning and historic venue at any time of year, and their Snowdrop weekends are very special indeed.
Hartland Abbey is situated near Bideford, North Devon and the grounds of the Abbey stretch down from the walled gardens to the sea. This vast acreage is covered with a huge variety of snowdrops in spring, followed by a show of daffodils and wild flowers later in the year.
Bring the family to Hartland Abbey Snowdrop Sunday
The snowdrop weekend at Hartland Abbey is a family-friendly affair, and the event is always popular. Perhaps it is the first signs of spring in the air in this sheltered area of the UK, or the beautiful scenery along the North Devon coast that are the big attraction. Dogs are welcome to join in the Snowdrop Sunday events as long as they are kept on leads.
Visitors should definitely bring along some sturdy boots or wellies for children as it can get very muddy. The condition of the paths varies from year to year, depending on the weather, but there is nothing worse than not being able to enjoy the stunning views because your feet are stuck in the mud.
Walking in a wild flower wonderland!
The size of the gardens at Hartland Abbey can be quite deceiving because they do in fact stretch to over 50 acres. The vast majority of the snowdrops were actually planted several hundred years ago. A walk along the path that leads through the woods to the remote cove on the Atlantic coast gives you the chance to appreciate these delicate white and green blooms in their natural surroundings.
Scenic trails lead through the grounds of the Abbey and the bare-branched woods to Blackpool Mill and the remote cove right on the beach. The trails eventually link up to create a wonderful circular route to the gazebo and the sea.
An alternative path leads to the Summerhouse, recently restored and worth a visit even if it isn't quite summer yet! The Summerhouse is particularly interesting as it was where local author Winifred Fortescue would find solitude and inspiration to pen her novels.
Sense and Sensibility at Hartland Abbey
If you have visited Hartland Abbey in the past you will no doubt be aware of Barton Cottage which is situated only a short walk away. This was the home of the Dashwood family in the BBC drama production, “Sense and Sensibility”. It will obviously be of interest to all Jane Austen fans.
The entrance fee for each Snowdrop Sunday is only a fiver for adults and it really is a full day out, whichever Sunday you choose to attend.
When the day is over you will no doubt be in need of a sit down and a bite to eat so where could be better than the Hartland Quay Hotel. As the name implies, this hotel is situated on the picturesque quay at Hartland and is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Children are made more than welcome, the food is fantastic and there can't be many better ways to reflect on a lovely day whilst looking out over the Atlantic Ocean and realising that winter is nearly over and spring is just around the corner.
Have you ever had the pleasure of attending the Snowdrop Sundays at Hartland Abbey? There must be similar events held around the country where you can explore the grounds and see the first snowdrops underfoot which are sure to have left a mark on your memory. We'd love to hear of other snowdrop woods and meadows.