Spot the common snowdrop and many other varieties

Spot the common snowdrop and many other varieties

Through late February and early March, the Scottish Snowdrop Festival heralds the arrival of these early spring flowers and the promise they bring for longer days and warmer weather all over Scotland. Fortunately for visitors to Fife, there are plenty of places where you can enjoy the spring flowers particularly around the town of Cupar.

There are plenty of things to do that have been arranged to coincide with the festival. Woodland nature around the lochside paths let you see the snowdrops at their best while local stately homes and estates are a great place to visit at this time of year.

The snowdrops offer a draw to bring people to the area but once in Cupar there are lots of fun and interesting activities. Walking in the open air is just the start, and then you can turn your hand to learning new craft skills and enjoy using the produce of the land.

Nature walks

The gatehouse of Falkland Palace is your gateway to the Snowdrop Festival

The gatehouse of Falkland Palace is your gateway to the Snowdrop Festival

Many of the country houses and woodlands around the area have special events to mark the emergence of the snowdrops, and you can join one of the daily guided walks to learn more about the area and flowers themselves. While most people would think that snowdrops are just one kind of flower, but in reality there are over 300 varieties of snowdrops and it takes a keen eye to spot them all.

For the duration of the festival, woodland walks will be leaving daily from Lindores House. Its loch side position means that there are unique varieties of the flower that can be spotted on the route as well as taking in a range of other local spring flowers as they start to show their heads.

Tickets are £3 and will be taken by a local guide to ensure walkers get the best information about the local area and its nature and wildlife.

Arts and Crafts

Managed by the Centre for Stewardship, Falklands Estate aims to bring the countryside to the people and allow people to contribute to the countryside. In doing this, it is participating in the Snowdrop Festival by allowing people to roam around the grounds of the estate and enjoy the pretty flowers as well as offering a range of free-to-attend arts and crafts workshops to let you learn some new skills on your visit.

Once you’ve taken in your fill of the glorious snowdrop-sprinkled landscape, you can take to the Stables Workshop and learn something about how to craft using the things that surround you. On the 22 February, a workshop on Prehistoric Paints takes local artist Jan Hendry’s knowledge from 12 years of sourcing local pigments from nature to create paints and make your own snowdrop-inspired artwork to take away with you. Then on the 1 March, locally-based textile artist Linzi Knox will talk participants through a short course on wet felting using wool from estate sheep dyed with locally sourced pigments to create a beautiful and unique scarf to take home with you.

All the short courses running at the estate through February and March are free thanks to money from local cultural grants and Heritage Lottery funding. While they’re free, make sure you take advantage and take home a piece of hand-crafted art to remind you of your visit.

Conclusion

Fife is coming out in force to celebrate the Scottish Snowdrop Festival and you’ll find plenty of ways to get out and enjoy the spring flowers around the area. Whether you’re enjoying the scenery in the woodlands and park estates or taking advantage of arts and crafts opportunities the festival is bound to leave a lasting impression.

Image Credits: Wikipedia 1 and 2

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