TAKE the opportunity to enjoy the first flowers of the year at Berrington Hall and Croft Castle and parkland as they make an appearance after the winter.

The popular National Trust owned tourist attractions are inviting visitors to enjoy a walk as they open up at weekends during January and February.

At Berrington Hall, near Leominster, there are a wide variety of flowering bulbs emerging in the woodland garden of the 18th century estate and around the parkland, signalling the start of spring.

Gardener-in-charge at Berrington Hall, Nick Winney, said “The gardens and woodland are littered with spring flowers so take a wander and enjoy them at their seasonal best. Snowdrops usually flower this time of the year, but nature can be unpredictable so take a walk and see if you can spot February's fairmaids.”

For the first time, Croft Castle and parkland, also near Leominster, opens its working walled garden complete with vineyard for spring walks during January and February.

Jonathon Kellett, gardener-in-charge at Croft Castle, commented “The gardening team at Croft have been lovingly restoring our glasshouse and its out buildings including the old Gardener’s Bothy so it’s a great time for people to get out and about and see what our volunteers have been up to over the winter.”

Both Berrington Hall and Croft Castle open every weekend during January and February and the National Trust tea-rooms are also open serving daily specials including fresh soup, speciality coffees and Sunday roasts from 12 noon to 3pm every Sunday. Vegetarian and gluten free options always available.

Normal grounds admission charges apply for the weekends, with free entry for National Trust members and under fives.

Berrington Hall and Croft Castle and parkland then open daily from February 15 for half term activities.

For further details, please call Berrington Hall on 01568 615721 or Croft Castle on 01568 780246.