February sees the return of VisitScotland's popular Scottish Snowdrop Festival (4 February-18 March 2012).
2012 sees a diverse range of over 50 gardens (including several new to the festival) showcasing their beautiful snowdrop spots, some of which are open exclusively for the event. Properties taking part in the festival range from majestic castles and classic country estates to woodland walks, walled gardens and urban retreats. There is even a magical Snowdrops by Starlight night time experience on offer.
Some of the gardens taking part include:
Carpeted in snowdrops each year, the 70 acres of woodland at Cambo Estate in Fife is home to the National Collection of 300 species of snowdrop, which offers breathtaking displays by day. In the evening experience Snowdrops by Starlight, in which light and sound is used to transform the snowdrop vistas into an enchanted starlit wonderland.
4 February - 18 March 10am to 4.30pm
Adults - £5.00 / Children - Free
Snowdrops by Starlight
Dates and prices to be confirmed
Enjoy snowdrops in the magnificent woodlands of Rosehaugh Estate overlooking the Moray Firth.
4 February - 19 March 8am - sunset
Free access to the estate
The woodlands and grounds of Traquair House have a spectacular showing of snowdrops that will be open for the first time this year. The 1745 Cottage Restaurant will be open for light lunches and afternoon teas.
25 - 26 February 11am - 5pm and 11am - 4pm on Sunday
Adults - £4.00 / Concessions - £3.00
A gentle meandering route passes through the Hercules Garden and weaves along to St Brides Kirk. The walk also includes access to two new paths only open to the public at snowdrop time. Cream teas are available in the Castle's Tullibardine Restaurant.
4 February - 18 March 10am - 4pm
Adults - £4.50 / Concessions - £2.40
Located on an isthmus surrounded by two large natural lochs, these famous gardens extend to 75 acres of landscaped terraces and avenues.
1 February - 18 March 10am - 5pm
Adults - £5.00
An 18th century garden which is currently being renovated. Mature trees and shrubs, with masses of snowdrops spread around. Beautiful views to the south of Tinto Hill and the Cleghorn Glen.
4 March 2 - 4pm
Entrance fee by donation
Full details of the participating gardens can be found on www.visitscotland.com/surprisesnowdrop, which also contains over 300 discount vouchers for places to stay, things to see and do and places to eat across Scotland.