Shivering sign of spring
A thick carpet of snowdrops shivers in the breeze heralding the earliest signs of a distant spring. The delicate white flowers are among the first bulbs to flower in Britain, and despite recent icy conditions, they are flourishing in Derbyshire.
I love snow drops, these pure innocent clusters, reverently bowing meekly, though they withstand the harshest times, forcing their way into bloom against the elements. Whislt in Derybshire I heard of the Snowdrop walk at Hopton Hall
www.hoptonhall.co.uk £4.00 entry
The current Hall can trace its roots back to the 1400’s when it boasted an estate of 3,700 acres, some of which now stands under the Carsington Reservoir.Set in the Derbyshire Dales on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Hopton Hall now sits in 30 acres of secure grounds. Hopton is two miles from Wirksworth, “The Gem of the Peaks”, famous for its art festivals, well dressings and historic Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. It sits adjacent to Carsington Water Reservoir between Ashbourne and Matlock. For over 600 years the Hall was home to the Gell family of Derbyshire and hosted guests including Oliver Cromwell, Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Caroline.
From the front facade it looks very grand, the back shows Hopton Hall for the mismatched manor that it truly is, The Snowdrop walk is itself very sweet, the grounds are beautiful, starting with the woodland at the front leading to the Hall itself, where you can stop off the tea and a slice of cake (though if you are expecting a quaint tea room, think more garden centre and tea bags) I rate the carrot cake very highly! and then wander off into the formal gardens at the rear.
If you are looking for rolling landscapes and formal gardens head to Chatsworth, if you are looking for english charm and a slice of home-made cake in a more informal setting, whilst watching the innocent of spring return, Hopton Hall will make you smile.