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Snowdrop Walks at Rode Hall & Gardens

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Yesterday I spent a lovely day at Rode Hall & Gardens with my twins,  Julia from Rainbeaubelle and her little girl.  It’s a little further from us on the Wirral than we thought but we easily managed it as a day out in between school drop off and pick up.  It was nice to venture a little further afield and explore somewhere new.

Rode Hall & Gardens is home to one of the UK’s finest Snowdrop Walks (30 Jan – 6 March) and is a magical end-of-winter walk for all the family, where you can explore the gardens and see over 70 varieties of snowdrops. (I’m not sure we saw all 70 but we enjoyed seeing lots of them).

Rode is apparently one of the few gardens in the North West who open at this time of year for ‘Snowdrop Walks’ as lots of homes and gardens stay closed until Easter.

The snowdrops have multiplied over 6 generations of the Wilbraham family (who still own the estate); they were first planted by Sibella Wilbraham in 1833 who came from a family of gifted gardeners. This passion and care continues to the present day having been further developed by Anne Baker Wilbraham over the last 30 years.

We arrived at Rode as it opened at 11, and were given a map of the gardens and three activity sheets for the children (well us) to complete.  We were actually shown around by Amanda Wilbraham one of the current owners of the house, and it was fascinating to listen to her stories of the house and how her children explored the gardens when they were growing up.

Once we had negotiated the hats/gloves/scarves debacle that you have with three little ones, they set off, maps in hand to explore the gardens.

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Not only is there the opportunity to wander through the snowdrops (mine did worry they might break them) hence the slightly worried faces,
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there is also the chance to hunt for specially commissioned Willow Animal Sculptures dotted along the walk and complete the quiz at the end to win a prize.  We were lucky enough to have Amanda with us to locate all of the animals and we have suggested that these are marked on the map for grown ups to direct children in the direction of the animals, as the grounds are quite large and it would be sad to miss out on such lovely sculptures. The kids loved searching for them in the gardens.
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We frightened the children half to death by discovering the magical 200 year old Grotto hidden in the wild garden.  It’s a fun addition to the grotto that broomsticks and lanterns have been left in there to indicate it is definitely where the Witch lives; she is just not at home.
Various other chairs and benches are strewn through the gardens and make lovely places for the kids to play or for grown ups to rest.
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Entrance Costs are as follows:
House & Gardens: Adults £8, Concessions £7, Children 5-15 £1.
Garden Only: Adults £5, Children 5-15 £1.
RHS/HHA Members Free
We finished our cold, but fun winters walk, by taking a trip into Rode Hall’s Tea Room, this is wonderfully atmospheric with a flaming wood burner and local seasonal family-friendly menu. Everything possible is grown in the Kitchen Garden and home made at the Hall or sourced from the Rode Hall Farmers’ Market including soups, sausage baps, cakes, cream teas, biscuits and ice cream.
We had cheesy jacket potatoes and the kids all had sausage butties, but it was the cakes that really sold the tea rooms to us! Yep the lovely yummy, sticky, cake of all types…
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 Don’t Miss
·         Rode Hall Farmers’ Market on Saturday 6 February and Saturday 5 March 9am -1.30pm. Enjoy live music and craft activites for small children with School in the Woods up at the barns. Over 70 top producers offer the finest artisan produce from Rode Hall, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Lancashire (www.rodehallfarmersmarket.co.uk).
·         Rode Hall Shop selling Rode’s new range of jams, pickles and cordials made with produce from its organic Kitchen Garden. Also selling snowdrops, spring plants and dried flowers.
I couldn’t leave without buying some home made piccalilli and the lovely Julia treated us to some snowdrops.
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I’m really looking forward to heading back later in the year to see the Bluebells over May Bank Holiday.
NB: We visited Rode Hall at the invitation of Rode Hall but all views are our own.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    4th February 2016 at 9:06 am

    Oddly enough, I’ve just read about Rode Hall in this month’s The Simple Thing magazine and was working out if I could do it there and back before the end of school. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos!! The one of your girls with Flo is like a modern-day, kick-ass Charlie’s Angels shot. I adore it!!

  • Reply
    barjerow
    4th February 2016 at 9:49 am

    That sounds a lovely place, we’ll have to look into it. X

  • Reply
    Lisa@intotheglade
    4th February 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I saw some of your pictures on Instagram, the girls look like they are having a great time and look so cute together. Rode Hall is lovely xx

  • Reply
    Sarah Christie
    4th February 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Oh it looks so lovely, and mmm that cake. I would love to see it full of bluebells. I love Forrest floors full of Bluebells reminds me of family trips to the blue bell woods when I was little. Karen you photos are just stunning, they make Rode Hall look magical x x

  • Reply
    traceycwilliams
    5th February 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Your pictures are gorgeous Karen and it looks a lovely place to visit. I also received an invite to visit Rode Hall and we really should try and go one weekend x

  • Reply
    Cathy (MummyTravels)
    5th February 2016 at 10:22 pm

    This looks lovely – and the snowdrop walk is a great idea, especially when a lot of places are still closed.

  • Reply
    Fiona Cambouropoulos
    6th February 2016 at 9:36 am

    What a lovely place to visit at this time of year, there certainly seems to be plenty of snowdrops to see and the quiz trail is a great idea to make it more fun for children. I was hoping we might get out to a similar one here this weekend but so far we are gripped by a horrid storm this morning, perhaps tomorrow as your post has inspired me. Thank you for sharing your lovely looking day there on #CountryKids

  • Reply
    Karen (@karenjwhitlock)
    6th February 2016 at 9:50 am

    Glad you, Julia and the girls had such a lovely day. Your photos are stunning and that carpet of snowdrops so beautiful. Can’t wait to read about your trip to see the bluebells later in the year #countrykids

  • Reply
    Emma
    6th February 2016 at 9:54 am

    That looks like such a fantastic place to visit #countrykids

  • Reply
    karen
    6th February 2016 at 9:15 pm

    You’ve just reminded me that we haven’t done a snowdrop walk this year. We usually do. gorgeous photos of what looks like a lovely day out x #countrykids

  • Reply
    Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    7th February 2016 at 6:11 am

    It was such a lovely day wasn’t it? I absolutely loved it and we were lucky with the weather, nice and bright for the gorgeous snowdrops. I love that photo of the three girls too, a formidable team! xx

  • Reply
    Let kids be kids
    10th February 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Looks such a lovely place and gorgeous photos!
    #Whatevertheweather

  • Reply
    Julie Downes
    10th February 2016 at 10:43 pm

    This looks like a great place to visit, I’d love to see the snowdrops but its a bit too far for us. Cake at the end of the day is always a bonus! #whatevertheweather

  • Reply
    Chloe
    16th February 2016 at 4:08 pm

    This is such a stunning place to visit. Your photos are so beautiful. I love snowdrops. They’re really pretty. It looks like you had a really fun day out. Thank you so much for sharing with #whatevertheweather. xx

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