Rode Hall & Gardens in Cheshire boasts the UK’s finest Snowdrop Walks to mark the start of Spring. From Saturday the 4th February to Sunday March 5th enjoy a a beautiful end-of-winter walk for all the family with a wonderfully diverse landscape and over 70 varieties of snowdrops.
Walk along paths amidst carpets of white flowers on an enchanting mile-long route (withoptions for longer or shorter walks). Take in the wild beauty of cascading snowdrops in the Old Wood and Wild Garden, the scenic path down to the Lake and drifts of snowdrops in the borders of the formal Nesfield garden in front of the Hall. Highlights are also the two acre Walled Kitchen Garden and an unmissable vista down the Colonel’s Walk where some of the rarest varieties can be viewed.
Rode’s stunning snowdrops are one of the natural treasures of the North West of England. It is one of the finest times to visit the Grade II listed park and gardens when the Humphry Repton designed landscape is most visible.
A labour of love, the snowdrops have multiplied over 6 generations of the Wilbraham family; they were first planted by Sibella Wilbraham in 1833 who came from a family of gifted gardeners. This passion and care continues to the present day having been further developed by Anne Baker Wilbraham over the last 30 years.
Visitors can also buy Rode Hall snowdrops (including limited amounts of many of the more unusual varieties) to plant at home.
Rode Hall’s Tea Room – wonderfully atmospheric with a flaming wood burner and local seasonal menu. Everything possible is grown in the Kitchen Garden and home made at the Hall or sourced from the Rode Hall Farmers’ Market including soups, sausage baps, cakes, cream teas, biscuits and ice cream.
- Rode Hall Shop selling Rode’s new range of jams, pickles and cordials made with produce from its organic Kitchen Garden. Also selling snowdrops, spring plants and dried flowers.
- Rode Hall Farmers’ Market on Saturday 4 February and Saturday 4 March 9am -1.30pm. Over 70 top producers offer the finest artisan produce from Rode Hall, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Lancashire (www.rodehallfarmersmarket.co.uk).
- All Saints Church which will be decorated with snowdrops and other spring flowers and serving light refreshments.
- An exhibition by local artists from 4 February to 5 March in the barn.
Families will love exploring and playing in the different enchanting landscapes. Hunt for beautiful quirky Willow Animal Sculptures dotted along the walk and complete the matching quiz to win a prize at the end. Children’s imagination can also be sparked by a 200 year old Grotto hidden in the Wild Garden, Waterfall, and spotting heron and carp in the stews and lake.
Romantics will enjoy this most beautiful landscape – time a trip for Valentine’s Day.
Foodies should take advantage of the delicious home-made produce in the Tea Rooms and Shop and time a visit for the Farmers’ Market on 4 February and 4 March.
Gardeners shouldn’t miss the opportunity to snap up some Snowdrops to plant at home (including a limited number of rare varieties). Rare snowdrops to view on the walk include the Yellow Cheshire Snowdrop (Lady Elphinstone), the giant Comet, the Viridapicis with green marks on the outer petals rather than the inside and Merlin with all green inner segment. There is also the opportunity to view the snowdrops through strategically placed mirrors under some of the plants. Daphnes, Cyclamen and Hellebores are also in bloom.
Return later in the year for monthly Farmers’ Markets, Bluebell Walks, Rhododendrons, summer borders and Rose Garden, explore the rows of vegetables and flowers in the two acre walled kitchen garden at its peak and Georgian house with one of the finest private collections of English porcelain (5 April – 27 September Wednesdays and Bank Holiday Mondays plus Gardens open the first Saturday of every month alongside the Farmers’ Markets).
Randle Baker Wilbraham, owner of Rode Hall says
“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors of all ages to come and experience the beautiful snowdrop walks in the enchanting gardens here at Rode. We hope that everyone will have a special day out : take in the walks, and enjoy our Tea Room. We love sharing this unforgettable start to spring with our visitors – those who make an annual pilgrimage from across the UK, along with those closer to home and our new visitors too.”
Sam Youd, Chair of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction (former Head Gardener at Tatton) says “Rode Hall and Gardens is a real gem that everyone should try and visit especially during the snowdrop season”
Saturday 4 February – Sunday 5 March 11am – 4pm (closed Mondays)
£5 adults / £2 children / under 5s free. Rode Hall & Gardens, Cheshire ST7 3QP www.rodehall.co.uk