A Daffodil Walk in Farndale

Farndale Daffodils

So… my ‘phone rang and I looked at the screen; ‘number withheld’, now this is not the best way to contact me. Unsolicited calls really have a tendency to make me cautious so my answer was guarded, “Hello…”, long pause, the voice on the other end said, “Mr. Layfield”. Well at least they know who I am. “Yes…”, I said, slowly, still defensive.

“It’s Amy Garcia, BBC Look North, can I talk to you about rambling and the daffodils in Farndale?”

Well she sounded genuine so I said, “Yes.”

The above conversation happened a few years ago and we’ve been going most years in between. The daffodils are always a delight but on this occasion, there was something sinister happening to the beautiful yellow heads.

The weather was glorious and the dale beautiful; however, a mysterious attack had been made on the heads of some of the daffs. They’d been decapitated by a rogue sheep wearing a mask to avoid recognition and the raids happened mainly at night so catching her in the act had proved difficult.

The woolly hooligan had gobbled some of the flower heads in a fit of gluttony and vandalism but it didn’t put us off as there were many more to enjoy.

You can park in a farmers field for £2 all day at either Church Houses or Low Mill. We chose Low Mill. The track is clearly marked and very easy. Take the opportunity to call in at the Daffy Cafe a couple of kilometres in. If you’re carnivorous the bacon sandwich is just about the best we had last year. This year we skip it in favour of the Feversham Arms at Church Houses as we fancy scones for a change, sadly, they are a bit disappointing. It is mitigated; however, by the lovely tea and coffee plus those that are having a beer seem to be happy with the quality of the ale. We do enjoy sitting in the sun but the Daffy Cafe will be the choice for us next time.

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Don’t forget to call in at St Mary’s Church where there is the best display of the daffs in the cemetery.

The church was built in 1831, and renovated between 1907 and 1914. The site of St Mary’s is thought to be that of a Friary from the Middle Ages, and each spring, the churchyard and surrounding dale blossoms into life with a vivid carpet of wild daffodils, believed planted by the friars. An Annual Daffodil Service is held each year.

Click on any photo and you can page through them full size…

For interest, the original daffs are thought to have been planted by monks from Rievaulx Abbey; however, they are a particularly small and wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) and one of our native plants. They are protected within the Farndale Local Nature Reserve which was established in 1955 to safeguard them.

Leave the church grounds via the wooden footbridge and cross the field then turn left on the road and walk to the public footpath sign. The rest of the route is clearly signposted although you do need to be able to climb the mini ladder styles to get over the walls.

This one is about four and a half miles. I do have a longer one if any one if anyone wants it just make a request in the notes.

The dale is glorious with or without the daffs and walk along the River Dove is worth doing at any time of year.

I Love My Job 🙂

Enjoy the snaps…G..x

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Acknowledgement: Kirbymoorside Parish web site and National Parks Wardens at Low Mill.

The Daffodils – William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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