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Snowdrops at Hodsock 2017

Hopsack Priory's snowdrop and winter gardens will open to visitors daily from Saturday 4th February to Sunday 5th March 2017. The historic north Nottinghamshire attraction is celebrating the estate's scents, smells, tastes, sounds and textures this season. Visitors can:

• See stunning white carpets of snowdrops beneath the pollarded beech trees; vibrant colours of hellebores, cyclamen, aconites, irises, acers and cornus; the grand Tudor Gatehouse and Victorian beehives,

• Smell the scent of winter flowering honeysuckle and sarcacocca; the tantalising waft of soup, hot chocolate and bacon butties from the Woodland Cafe; smouldering logs and flickering flames of the campfire,

• Taste locally produced cakes; artisan breads; traditionally made pie 'n' peas and cream teas in the Marquee Tearooms,

• Hear the daily history talk from George or the team; the chatter of like-minded visitors; the laughter of children, or utter peace and serenity,

• Touch the sculptures dotted around the gardens and gently caress the plants in passing, lifting their fragrance into the air.

George Buchanan, ninth generation resident and general manager, says, “One of the joys of working outside preparing for, and throughout, Snowdrops is the cold frosty weather of late winter and the onset of early spring. We wrap up warmly and say there's no such thing as bad weather; more the wrong clothes. Getting time in the woods and back to nature where you hear bird song is an evocative part of the day for us.”

“Nothing starts until the camp fire in the glade is burning and the smoke is wisping through the trees. What's extra nice is the smell floating through the air of sizzling bacon and fresh coffee when our visitors start to arrive.”

2017 also marks the 50 year anniversary of ninth generation resident and general manager, George Buchanan's, parents living at Hodsock Priory. The annual opening of Hodsock Priory is a family legacy started by accident 26 years ago, when Lady Belinda Buchanan turned a previously neglected garden into a celebrated one by opening her Snowdrop gardens to the public for the first time.

She was astonished by the numbers of visitors who arrived, and who returned year after year, interested in meeting the family and seeing behind closed doors. George and his father, Sir Andrew Buchanan, offer a personal touch to visitors who enjoy having a family member on site every day during the snowdrops season.

Each year at Snowdrops at Hodsock, visitors enjoy the opportunity to roam five acres of formal planted gardens, landscaped in the 1820s, and a further 12 acres of stunning snowdrop and beech covered woodland. The woodland walk is suitable for all abilities with regular resting places, and footpaths throughout the woodland and gardens are passable in most weather conditions with wheelchairs and buggies.

The gift and plant sale area run by locally-based Floral Media will be located aside Hodsock's iconic Tudor Gatehouse again, with direct access into the Snowdrop woods. Each day, the campfire will be lit in the Glade where picnics can be eaten, or hot drinks and snacks bought from the Woodland Cafe. A free, fun and informative history talk takes place by the campfire at around 2pm each day. For full details see www.snowdrops.co.uk email info@snowdrops.co.uk or call 01909 591 204.

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This story was published on: 27/01/2017

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