Winter wonderland

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YOU might have seen enough of snow over these past few months but if you want to see a carpet of white in stunning surroundings without trudging through ankle deep slush, then Hodsock Priory is the place to be.

For the annual snowdrop festival kicks off this weekend and owners George and Katharine Buchanan (pictured) will be welcoming visitors to their home over the next few weeks and showing off the historic property near Blyth in all its finery.

There will be a tearoom serving home made cakes and scones, tea and coffee and sandwiches and there will also be shopping facilities inside the priory.

As well as millions of snowdrops, visitors will also be able to enjoy a woodland walk, the priory’s Victorian beehives and a bonfire.

The annual snowdrop festival is one of the most eagerly anticipated dates on the calendar for local gardeners and fans of the great outdoors with scores of visitors heading for the Priory to take in the picture postcard display within the acres of gardens.

The event is now in its 20th year and an exciting programme of events has been planned including treasure and garden trails for all the family, plus, for photography enthusiasts, the annual photo competition which offers entrants the opportunity to win a complimentary pass to a future Snowdrops Spectacular and have their photo published and credited in the Priory’s marketing material.

Vistors can enjoy a bracing winter stroll through the priory gardens which are awash with the winter plant at the same time each year.

The snowdrop festival runs from February 5 to March 6 with the gardens open every day from 10am to 4pm (last entry). Visitors are advised to wear warm, outdoor clothes and suitable footwear such as walking boots or wellies as paths can be wet and muddy. Guests with dogs are admitted but animals are not allowed into the grounds but can run free in the park. Coach parties must book a visit in advance.

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