Route: Farndale

Area: North Yorkshire

Date of walk: 10th April 2019

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 4.3 miles

Ascent: 400 feet

Weather:  Cloudy at first, becoming brighter

Farndale is a valley located in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The valley is beautiful at all times of the year, but it has a particular claim to fame – each spring, countless daffodils put on a spectacular show – a dazzling display of colour that carpets the meadows and banks of the River Dove.

The medieval monks from nearby Rievaulx Abbey are thought to have planted the first daffodil bulbs here, but the wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) is one of our native plants, and it may be the case that they arrived naturally. The area is part of the Farndale Local Nature Reserve, established in 1955 to safeguard the valley’s famous flowers.

I arrived in Low Mill as early as I could in order to avoid the crowds, and was glad to see that there were only a couple of other cars in the car park. By the time I ended the walk, it would be almost full. The path along the bank of the River Dove starts immediately and I followed its meandering course as far as High Mill  (where refreshments are available at the ‘Daffy Caffy’). The daffodils were on good form, and I’d timed my visit well. However I’d arrived quite late in the season and I guess that by this time next week they will start to go into decline

Beyond High Mill, I left the river bank to join a lane leading to Church Houses, which is the furthest point of today’s walk. I followed the lane out of Church Houses for a short distance and then left it to walk through the beautiful grounds of St Mary’s Church, which were carpeted by thousands of daffodils. Another short road section took me further up the valley before I turned off near Mackeridge House. From here I followed a succession of paths though fields and farmhouses, with good views across the valley, gradually descending back to the start at Low Mill. The daffodils had been the undoubted highlight of the walk, but this is a walk which could be enjoyed at any time of the year

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