Thursday 3rd April 2003
Weather: Fair but mainly cloudy
Farndale Daffodil Walk
( 3 miles )
Farndale is a
beautiful, deep valley with narrow winding lanes, a patchwork
quilt of fields divided by ancient drystone walls. However, the
dale is most famous for its daffodils which were once reputed to
have been planted
by the monks of nearby Rievaulx Abbey.
The daffodils, though, are truly wild, adding even more charm to the beauty of their annual April display.
By car and by
coachload, approximately 35,000 people come to Farndale each year
the 'daffs' most of these enjoying the specially designed 'Daffodil Walk'.
Please note, Farndale's daffodils are protected by law so please don't be tempted to pick any...
The walk starts at
the small hamlet of Low Mill (Grid Ref. 672 951) where a nearby
field is used to accommodate
the hundreds of cars which arrive during the daffodill season - there are nearby public toilets and a tiny post office.
It soon becomes
clear what today's walk is all about! Go through the wooden gate
next to the car park
and follow the clear path downhill to a wooden footbridge which crosses the tranquil River Dove.
Looking upstream from the bridge you get your first glimpses of the daffodils which carpet the banksides of the river.
Turn left after crossing the bridge and follow the path alongside the riverbank.
For the next mile or so, the path meanders more or less parallel with the river - it's so clear you can't go wrong.
It's been a
gloriously sunny and dry Spring and the daffs are out quite early
- we were lucky enough to time today's walk perfectly and caught them in full bloom.
About 2,000 acres of Farndale have been designated as a Nature Reserve - any wonder....?
The walk continues from field to field, each containing a new 'show'...
...but all with their own charm.
By now, nature's display is almost over but there's something else to enjoy ahead.
The path eventually
arrives at a set of old stone buildings, High Mill, better known
these days as 'Daffy Caffy'.
Here, indoors or out, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with a wide range of other refreshments...
...or you can continue along the narrow lane towards the tiny hamlet of Church Houses...
...where you'll receive a warm and friendly welcome from Frances Debenham and her staff at the Feversham Arms country inn.
The pub has
retained its charm over the years and inside you'll find little
has changed in the bar for centuries.
The black-leaded fireplace is surrounded by gleaming copper kettles and jugs and polished horse-brasses
- the floor is of original natural stone pavers.
home-cooked meals can be enjoyed for most of the day in the
recently re-furbished restaurant,
and bed and breakfast is also available in the three en-suite double bedrooms
. location map
( If any photographs fail to download, click the right mouse button on the blank space then choose 'Show Picture' )
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