A group of us from Fife Food Drink and Adrenaline Lovers went over to Valleyfield Woodland Park on Saturday for their Snowdrop Festival guided walk. Also attending at the same time were some of the Bums Off Seats nordic walking group.
These walks are taking place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon during the snowdrop season (up until mid March) and are organised/led by volunteers from West Fife Woodlands. Our guide, Ronnie, was very knowledgeable about the estate and its history and we all learnt new things about both the Valleyfield Estate and snowdrops. Whether it is the Valleyfield Estate you are interested in or you just want to view a display of single and double snowdrops, I can recommend these walks. We discovered the walled garden, the ha-ha walls, the Repton Arch, the bridges, ornamental canal, remains of the weir, gardener’s cottage, community orchard and more. The estate was was designed by Humphry Repton in the 19th century for Sir Robert Preston who had inherited the estate. Interestingly, it was completely designed “on paper” and Repton never visited the estate!
Another interesting fact I picked up. David Douglas (botanist who discovered and brought back to the UK, many of the trees we take for granted today) served his apprenticeship in the gardens at Valleyfield!
Afterwards we were invited to the Riding for the Disabled centre for tea/coffee and biccies (Borders Biscuits no less 🙂) and the chance to view old photographs and maps of the estate. All this just for a donation which this year will be used to improve the surface of the car park at Shiresmill.
Thank you to both the West Fife Woodlands Group and Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre for an interesting and enjoyable afternoon.
If you are interested in attending one of these walks, more information is available at http://www.shiresmill.org/news/14496/valleyfield-snowdrop-festival-2017.htm or https://www.facebook.com/groups/1547360508811846/.
If you would prefer to explore Valleyfield Woodland on your own, check out the following walks on this site.