My spirits are always lifted by the glimpse of these pretty flowers pushing their way through the autumn and winter dump of leaves and debris, heralding the coming of another Spring after the dull, dark winter.
Pencarrow House near Bodmin is a Georgian gem and has been the home of the Molesworth-St Aubyn family for almost 500 years. It holds a Snowdrop weekend, a charity event, in February, opening its 50 acres of beautiful Grade 2 listed gardens to visitors to admire the drifts of snowdrops. Entrance is suggested at a £5 donation to their charity, the cafes are open and they welcome dogs so I thought it was a lovely idea to visit with friends for a Sunday afternoon stroll.
We were not disappointed, the weather was cold but sunny so we cracked on and arrived just after opening time of 10.15am. This was just as well as the car park was filling up fast and all morning cars were queuing down the drive to get in. We were given a suggested route map with snowdrop highlights marked. The leisurely walk wound through the gardens, around the lake for about 2 hours, then back to the house where we enjoyed a welcome mug of hot chocolate from the Peacock cafe, guess what? – surrounded by peacocks! It was a lovely outing and the snowdrops were beautiful. My top tip is definitely to arrive early.
Here are some snowdrop facts, courtesy of the National Trust.
Did you know, there are around 2,500 different varieties of snowdrops?
Wordsworth described them as February fair maids, while some call them dewdrops or pearls of winter.
Their Greek name, ‘galanthus nivalis’, literally translates as milk flower of the snow.
Here are five more facts you (probably) never knew about snowdrops:
1. Monks brought them to Britain in the Middle Ages, planting them in the Abbey grounds.
2. They were considered peaceful and holy for their pure white appearance and symbol of hope.
3. As one of the first signs of spring, their arrival signals the return of the light and the last days of winter.
4. Traditional folklore considers it to be bad luck to take them into the home before Valentine’s Day.
5. The collective noun for snowdrops is a drift – for their resemblance to freshly fallen snow.
Enjoy a early spring break in Cornwall
If you would like to enjoy a break in Cornwall to see the snowdrops this season then why not book a 4 night break for the price of 3, saving 25%. We’ve got a range of cottages which sleep 4-12 people and we’ve won many awards because we are passionate about sustainability – find out more and check availability.