Last year we only caught a quick glimpse of snowdrops at Stowe, but this year I wanted to check out Evenley Wood Garden. I’d never been but others have recommended it to me for snowdrop trails in particular. As it was the first weekend of opening, and the weather was miraculously due to be dry on the Sunday, I dragged N out with me to check it out.
Evenley Wood Garden is near Brackley, so took us just under 30 minutes to get there. It opens 9.30-4 at this time of year, and we got there at 10. The car park is basically part of a field, although they do have the ‘rubber’ carpet surface now, so at least getting stuck in the mud wasn’t an issue although the gateway wasn’t great after all the rain the day before. There are a few disabled spaces, but I was glad we arrived early because as we were leaving just after 11, cars were driving in and having to turn round and park down the road on the verges it was getting so busy.
We paid the £5 for me to get in (I’m not sure why N wasn’t charged the child rate of £1), were given a map and leaflet, had the key snowdrop areas pointed out and we were ready to walk.
Of course, N spotted the pavilion café and I’d promised him a hot chocolate so we stopped there first. We were the first customers of the day and they offered a good hot chocolate, including a child sized version. The café is a 3 sided structure, with perfect Scandinavian hygge feel. Lots of wood, a wood burner, pretty bottles with snowdrops in and candles lit even in the morning. The cakes looked amazing and if we’d been there for longer we might have stopped for lunch – they serve a variety of sandwiches, soup, sausage rolls etc.
After some sustenance, we set off. The wood wasn’t too busy. We would only see 1 or 2 other families or couples at a time in places, although by the end there were more people about.
You can take any route round or through the woods, but we headed right and vaguely followed the snowdrop trail signs. It’s easy to follow the map because each area has a name which is nice to get your bearings.
A stick was found (supposedly a new shooting/beating stick) but thankfully lost pretty quickly. I did get some lovely photos although my gopro was out of battery so N took over my phone. He needed a bit of reminding not to take just topdown photos of the snowdrops, but that getting down to take sideways ones is better. Hopefully we locate where he’s put his camera soon because I can’t go on sharing my camera and phone. I like to switch between the 2. But I’ve no idea where his camera is as it’s not where I would usually put it.
The snowdrops were so pretty. Not a carpet of them but different areas and groups. We were on the look out for the 5 or 6 different varieties they have at Evenley Wood, but didn’t find them all.
There’s some clearings areas and shelters throughout, perfect to sit and enjoy the peace overlooking the pond or stream.
The crocuses shoots were out as were the daffodils, so in a couple of weeks time, there’ll be more than snowdrops and cyclamen to look at.
I’d worn walking boots, but would recommend wellies as they were caked by the end of our walk. There aren’t really any paths, it’s just woodland trails and tracks, so it’s not buggy friendly or suitable for wheelchairs outside of dry weather. Dogs are allowed on leads.
It was a lovely walk round the woods, and I’m looking forward to going back later in the year. Rhododendrons and magnolia in May, and roses in June.
If you’re nearby and need to get out and blow the cobwebs away, or want to enjoy nature, then do check out Evenley Wood Gardens.
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