Colesbourne Gardens

Colesbourne Gardens, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

In late winter, the gardens at Colesbourne Park in the Cotswolds are renowned for their magnificent display of rare snowdrops.

Started by plant collector Henry John Elwes FRS with the outstanding Galanthus elwesii, which he found in Turkey in 1874, the snowdrop collection has been greatly enhanced in recent years by great-grandson Sir Henry Elwes and his late wife Carolyn and is now one of the best in the country with over 250 different varieties.

Visitors can walk through the ten acre garden with its woodland and lakeside paths, the Spring Garden and the Formal Garden to see huge banks of snowdrops, hellebores and other winter plants. The surrounding park, arboretum and nearby church are also open.

Please check the website for opening dates and admission prices, usually open the last weekend of January and weekends throughout February from 1pm with last entry at 4pm.

Tea, coffee and cake is available.

Dogs on leads welcome.

Not all the grounds are accessible for wheelchair users although parts can be seen from some paths, other paths can be steep and risky.

Weekday guided tours hosted by Sir Henry Elwes and Head Gardener Katie Reynolds are available for groups of 20 or more, booking and payment required in advance. Due to the popularity of these special tours, each February a date is reserved for guided tours for individuals who wish to experience the full guided tour usually only available to large groups.

Each February there is the opportunity to join the Snowdrop Study Day where you can meet other enthusiasts, learn more about snowdrops and their companion plants in the winter garden from experts and enjoy a private viewing of the Colesbourne snowdrop collection.

For further details and to book all guided tours and the study day please email

The arboretum of many rare and Champion trees from around the world often opens to the public for a few days during the autumn, with guided tours given by Sir Henry Elwes and Head Gardener Katie Reynolds.

Colesbourne Park is located in the beautiful Churn Valley, halfway between Cheltenham and Cirencester along the A435. It is within easy reach of the M4 and M5, about an hour from Bristol, Birmingham and Oxford and less than 2 hours from London.

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