When and where to see spring flowers

spring flowers at Painshill

Every spring Painshill is treated to wonderful displays of spring flowers. Follow our guide below for when and where to see them.

Please note: the timings can vary and exact dates cannot be predicted.


When – Starting now and into Feb

Snowdrops carpet the ground in white across the east side of Painshill in early spring. There are already a few early ones this January. Galanthus nivalis (single snowdrops) and Galanthus nivalis “Flore-Plena” (double snowdrops) are both found at Painshill.

The best snowdrop walk is to take a stroll around the Serpentine Lake and head for the Waterwheel finding snowdrops at the Mausoleum, Cascade and the Five Arch Bridge.

Where – the Cascade and the Mausoleum


When – March into the beginning of April

Signs of the daffodils are already out there! Green shoots are making their way up across the Painshill woodland. Every 2 years the landscape team plant 5000 new daffodil bulbs. They stick to Narcissus pseudonarcissus (wild daffodil), Narcissus obvallaris (Tenby daffodil) and Narcissus aestivalis (Pheasant eye daffodil) as the planting must be in keeping with the 18th century landscape and fit with Charles Hamilton’s vision, although we have inherited a large number of Victorian varieties of daffodil planted after Hamilton left.

For a daffodil walk head through the woodland towards the Gothic Temple. After taking in the view from the Temple, wind around the paths in the area of the Chinese plantings. Head back via the Ruined Abbey and vineyard to see the displays along the lake side.

Where – Woodland close to the Visitor Centre and the Ruined Abbey


Along with the 5000 daffodils the landscape team also plant 1,500 different bulbs. They include Fritillaria meleagris (snakes eye fritillary), Leucojum vernum (the spring snowflake),  Tulipa tarda (the late tulip) and Scilla italica (the Italian bluebell). All bulbs planted by the Trust would have been used in the 18th century.

   The spring snowflake

Wild Garlic

When – March

Wild garlic is found all along the river edge in March. Take a leaf in your hands and you can’t miss the smell!

Where – By the river edge and around the Waterwheel


When – April and May

In April, the daffodils will be joined and followed by the Hyacinthoides non-scripta (English bluebells) which carpet the woodlands and infuse the air with their fantastic perfume.

To spot the bluebells, wander through the woodland behind the Ruined Abbey and then head over the Five Arch Bridge and up to the Turkish Tent to catch the view.

Where – Woodland behind the Ruined Abbey or in front of the Turkish Tent

Why not visit Painshill multiple times and enjoy all the flowers this spring! Join up as a Painshill membership and get unlimited entry. Find out more.