Magical snowdrops at Benington Lordship Gardens
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It’s that time of year again (February) when friends mention they went to see the snowdrops at the weekend, and you begin seeing them in your Instagram feed too. Well if you can’t quite wait for the bluebells to appear (mid-April to May) or the lavender and sunflower fields (late July) then act quickly and find your nearest snowdrop garden before it’s too late. I plumped for the Benington Lordship Gardens just 30 miles north of London.
Usually you would visit the seven acres of the Benington Lordship Gardens during the summer months but it’s become a tradition now for them to open up in February for this wonderful seasonal event. Especially around the Norman keep, completed in 1838, and moat which becomes carpeted in snowdrops. Don’t worry – you can’t miss the keep as it’s at the first thing you see once you’ve paid your entry fee at the hut.
The snowdrop walk, left along the moat was planted in the early 20th century. Walk down the steps just in front of the keep and do a clockwise lap along the inner bailey to circumnavigate the beautiful gardens.
Take some lovely snowdrop photos …
Snap away in the low winter sun and then enjoy the views and the fresh air! You’ll notice this if you’ve escaped from London for the day. Explore the entire estate and hopefully you’ll find some little parts all to yourself to appreciate the silence and the beautiful surroundings.
The photo below shows the house in the centre, the Norman keep to the right, the formal garden to the left, with the lake behind those two conifers in the distance.
Are there just snowdrops there?
Look out for crocuses, aconites, scilla byzantica and daffodils as well, which are a perfect contrast to the whites of the snowdrops. These crocuses were down by the little wooden bridge that leads to the lake, somewhat upstaged by the snowdrops which everyone has primarily come to see.
There’s always time for a cream tea!
Before you leave be sure to check out the tea room which you can find around the corner to the right. It’s slightly hidden from view but once you spot it you’ll be welcomed into a delightful setting. Make sure you try a cream tea there.
Read this post to see whether you should take it jam or cream first though! Here you can also find an assortment of gift items ranging from night lights to aprons to double oven gloves.
How to get there?
Benington can be found in Hertfordshire, 30 miles north of London. If you live nearby and have a car then that’s the best option: there’s plenty of free parking in the Parish Hall grounds next-door. If you’re from further afield or car-less there was a coach trip there on the day we visited so a quick “Google” might uncover companies who put on day trips. The entrance to the gardens is at the Benington Village Green just opposite the village pond.
If arriving by rail nearby stations are Stevenage, Watton-at-Stone, Knebworth and Hertford North. The Arriva buses 383/384 cover all these stations to and from Benington.
Information & opening times – 2019
Opening times: February 6th – March 3rd, daily 12 – 4pm.
Prices: Adults £5 (Sunday it’s £6). Children: 12 – 16 years £2; under 12’s are free.
For disabled visitors please check the link
No dogs allowed
Refreshments: These are available in the tea room from Mon-Sat. and includes hot soup & cream teas. NB. on Sundays, refreshments are in the Parish Hall next-door.
Check out the Benington Lordship Gardens on Instagram and on Facebook.
Has anybody else uncovered a gem of a location to see the snowdrops this year? 🙂
While you’re here if you love the countryside, you’ll love The Cotswolds. If you love The Cotswolds then you’ll love the model village in Bourton-on-the-Water! Also find out if my “royal” Stevenage conker tree can become tree of the year?