I don’t know about you, but after weeks of rain, wind and hail I’m desperate to get out there and enjoy the first signs of spring.

Snowdrops are the star turn right now, dainty little white flowers that seem to have no business pushing their way through the cold, wet earth, a reminder that Mother Nature gives us beauty anytime, anywhere.

Scotland’s Snowdrop Festival, which runs till mid-March is still in full swing, bringing together gardens and walks across the country where dazzling displays of white await.

Some of the snowdrop hotspots below are included in the festival, some of them aren't, highlighting the wild and wandering personality of this tiny bloom.

Pollok Park, Glasgow

No matter how often you visit this vast and wonderful country park on Glasgow’s south side, you’ll always find something new. A couple of days ago I found myself on a pathway I didn’t recognise, bordered on each side by a mini ocean of snowdrops, marvelling at the beauty. And it's all just a couple of miles from the city centre.

The familiar things in Pollok Park never disappoint, either. Pollok House is always great to visit, either for the full history, architecture and art experience, or just a cuppa and a scone in the kitchen cafe. You may also spend more time than you think just watching the Highland cows going about their business.

Cambo Estate, Fife

Home to the country’s national collection, snowdrops are everywhere during winter and early spring at this country estate just outside Kingsbarns, north east Fife.

Not only are there 70 acres of woodland walks carpeted with snowdrops of every variety, but a full calendar of family-friendly events, both fun and educational, help you appreciate this delicate yet hardy flower all the more. Look out for the children’s snowdrop garden, woodland sculptures and storytelling events. There are even piglets to feed. And if you fancy replicating a tiny bit of all this in your own garden, you can buy bulbs cultivated on the estate.

Castle Kennedy and Glenwhan Garden, Stranraer

These two hidden gems in the south west of Scotland are simply brimming with snowdrops. Castle Kennedy, which sits in 75 acres of gardens sculpted over generations, is primarily known for its picturesque lochs and beautiful rhododendron collection. But in early spring the snowdrops are the centre of attention, populating the banks of the lochs and sections of the walled garden.

Glenwhan, just a 10-minute drive away, was carved out of bog-land around 35 years ago and snowdrops are among the 120 species of wildflowers, grasses and ferns you’ll see on your moorland walk. Also notable for the stunning sea views across the Mull of Galloway to the Isle of Man and beyond.

Balbirnie Park, Markinch

This beautiful Fife country park has some of the prettiest woodland walks you’ll find anywhere. The snowdrops are magnificent at this time of year, leading you around an estate that once belonged to one of the grandest houses in Fife. These days Balbirnie House is a luxury hotel, serving a tasty afternoon tea. The craft centre in the park, which sells hand-crafted jewellery and leather products, is also well worth a visit.

Nearby Riverside Park, in Glenrothes, is another hidden gem. The River Leven flows through it, providing sustenance for local wildlife and a plethora of lovely walks and trails, many of which are currently covered in snowdrops.

Dunvegan Castle, Skye

For snowdrops in a more dramatic setting, try Skye. Dunvegan Castle has been home to Clan McLeod for 800 years and offers magnificent views across Loch Dunvegan and beyond. The castle’s five acres of managed gardens contrast to the wild landscape all around. At this time of year the snowdrops are the star.

Dryburgh Abbey, Borders

The 12th century ruined abbey at Dryburgh, right on the banks of the River Tweed, offers a different type of historic setting to enjoy a walk among the snowdrops. It’s surely one of the most romantic settings, too, enjoyed by a multitude of writers and poets through the centuries, not least Sir Walter Scott, who is buried here. Keep your eyes open, too, for the Dryburgh Yew, which is thought to be older than the abbey itself.

Crathes Castle, Banchory

One of the most picturesque castles in Scotland, Crathes has gardens and grounds dating back 400 years. The woodland trails are carpeted in snowdrops at this time of year, and a magnet for wildlife including red squirrels, pine martens and roe deer. Around the Coy Burn look out for herons, red kites and kingfishers. Younger visitors will enjoy the Wild Wood Adventure play centre, while older family members might want to take in the refreshments at dog-friendly Café 1702, which serves some of the tastiest home-baking in the north east.

Mugdock Country Park, near Milngavie

A walk around Mugdock Castle is lovely at any time of year, but I particularly love this place in winter and early spring, not least because of the beautiful snowdrops that carpet the grassy banks. With its convenient location just north of Glasgow, this park is usually pretty busy, especially at weekends. But you can always find a quiet spot, especially round by the loch, or up by Peitches Moor, which offers good views of the nearby Campsie Fells.

Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland

In 1879, the gardener at Scotland’s most northerly stately home came up with a new variety of snowdrop. Named after him, Melville’s snowdrop is thought to be extinct. But it lives on as a parent to one of the most widely grown varieties, Galanthus Magnet. The castle itself isn’t open to visitors until April, but the gardens and policies are, and you’ll find snowdrops – including plenty of Galanthus Magnets – all around.

Dawyck Gardens, near Peebles

At the other end of the country is Dawyck Botanic Garden, home to some of the most exotic plants and trees in Scotland. At this time of year it’s the humble snowdrop that really catch your eye, however, on the banks of the Scrape Burn. Every Sunday in February and March an expert gardener leads a snowdrop walk.