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Farndale daffodil walk by Shockthesenses

Farndale

Enjoy a classic spring walk in the so-called ‘Daffodil Dale’ to see Farndale’s glorious wild daffodils. It’s a straightforward 3½-mile linear route alongside the enchanting River Dove, from Low Mill to Church Houses and back, though there is an alternative return route that climbs through farm fields for some lovely valley views. Depending on the weather, the daffodils are usually out between mid-March and mid-April, but this is a charming walk at any time of year.

Walk info

Great for:
nature nuts, riverside rambles, easy access
Length:
3½ miles (5.6km)
Time:
2 hours
Start/Finish:
Low Mill car park, 4 miles (6.4km) northeast of Hutton le Hole
Grid Ref:
SE 673 952
OS Map:
Ordnance Survey OL26
Refreshments:
High Mill and Church Houses
Toilets:
Start/Finish of walk

About this walk

WalkThe path along the River Dove is clearly marked, from Low Mill to Church Houses. It's mostly on the level, with just two short inclines, and is largely surfaced. There are several gates but no stiles. The field paths have steeper sections, and pass through farmland and farmyards; there are occasional stiles. All paths may be muddy in places.

The daffodil meadows and woodlands of Farndale are privately owned and form part of working farms. Please stick to the paths and don't pick the daffodils – leave them for future generations to enjoy.

paw printPlease keep your dog under close control (preferably on a lead) at all times.

Farndale

The beautiful valley of Farndale lies at the heart of the North York Moors. Each spring, its glorious daffodils put on one of nature's most spectacular shows – a dazzling display of colour that carpets the meadows and river banks along a seven-mile stretch of the River Dove.

It's often said that medieval monks from nearby Rievaulx Abbey planted the first daffodil bulbs here. But the petite wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) is one of our native plants and is protected within the Farndale Local Nature Reserve, established in 1955 to safeguard the valley's famous flowers.

Working with nature

Wild daffodils love riverbanks, grassland and woodland – especially woodland with partial shade at the edges and no encroaching vegetation. Luckily, that describes Farndale to a T, with the River Dove snaking through the meadows of a lightly wooded agricultural dale. The daffodils spread either by their seed falling on the ground or by their bulbs being carried downriver. Weather also has a part to play, as extremes of any kind – from drought to overly wet autumns or cold springs – affect bulb growth and flowering. The Farndale daffodils usually manage a grand display, though numbers do vary from year to year.

However, there's one more factor that makes Farndale fab for daffs, and that's the work of local landowners and the National Park Authority, who look after the local habitat together. Maintaining the footpaths keeps visitors on the straight and narrow, avoiding damage to the leaves or roots while growing; while cutting back scrub and branches lets in the light that the daffodils need to thrive.