I don’t know why we hadn’t yet managed to make it over to the other side of the river until today but I am so glad we waited. Scone Palace – Celebration of Snowdrops is definitely worth a visit, especially as admission to the grounds are FREE on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (until the end of March visitors – 10.00am to 4.00pm). But our visit today was all about the snowdrops.
The long drive from the main road, we later discovered was laid for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1842. At the car park maps were available from where you would normally pay your entrance fee to the palace, so as first time visitors we had no problem navigating our way around.
Actually the trail was easy to follow as there were decorative pieces of slate painted with snowdrops to guide us around.
At this point I have to admit I was distracted by the impressive selection and enormity of some of the pines planted – giant redwoods, douglas firs and THE most beautiful western red cedar. It is so enormous that it actually looks like several different trees but if you venture through the branches you can see it is just one. It’s incredible. We found some of the largest pine cones we have ever seen. To give you an idea of scale my feet are a UK size 5!
There are signs of maintenance throughout the pinetum with large felled trees. Fascinating to see the inside of a tree and the smell is lovely. We were happy to discover a red squirrel going about it’s business too. We stood still and quiet and he/she wasn’t really that bothered by us and came quite close.
The snowdrop trail takes you through the Kitchen Garden, where we saw a sign about volunteering and I think I might give this a go. I can see me pottering about, weeding and sowing seeds for this years produce. I was quite taken by, what I think is a fruit tree, growing along the wall. I like the different textures and lines.
As the trail re-enters the main grounds there are signs of spring everywhere. Obviously the snowdrops but we also spotted daffodils, buds on some of the trees and rhododendron bushes. We also found large patches of snowdrops which make quite an impact. With no wind today their little head’s were so still and we were able to admire their beauty.
There are signs of wildlife all around the grounds and we saw people taking advantage of this lovely day and who were out with their spotting scopes and camera’s (we had our binocular’s and camera). If you do plan on visiting and you do have some binoculars I would recommend taking them, just in case!
We finally found ourselves facing the palace and it is rather impressive, although currently closed for the winter, and we shall make the effort to visit once it opens at Easter. We didn’t par-take in the scones at Scone in the Old Servants Hall coffee shop but it really does look most welcoming. We admired the chapel and the Stone of Scone (which is now a replica replacement), following in the footsteps of the Kings of Scots and the site of their crownings. It’s quite special.
The palace is also home to very regal peacocks, including an albino, and at the time we were admiring the chapel I counted ten outside the palace and coffee shop and they seemed happy to pose for photos.
If you find yourself at a loose end over the next few weekends I highly recommend taking a trip just outside the city of Perth to Scone Palace – Celebration of Snowdrops. Will you take on the Maze? It is a great place for families, couples and walking the dog (the website states dogs must remain on the lead) and if you have a camera you will have a field day. Enjoy.