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During the daffodil season, the normally sleepy valley of Farndale becomes very busy with people coming to see the millions and millions of flowering daffodils. This walk takes you through the most popular part of Farndale, and then into the less well know part.
Can be very muddy, especially from Church Houses to Low Mill, as this section is popular and gets churned up.
Hazards and warnings
Picking the daffodils is illegal, and selfish. If you really want to bring some home with you, you can buy some locally.
You can take the Moors Bus to Church Houses during the dafodil season. This allows a linear route, and avoids parking difficulties and heavy traffic on the narrow lanes. The 'park and ride' starts from Hutton-le-Hole, and the buses are fairly frequent at weekends.
Please note: the wild and high conditions of Farndale, high in the North Yorkshire Moors, means that even if daffodils are in full bloom in the Vale of York, they may have only just started to sprout in Farndale. Depending on the winter, the flowers are generally at their best in late March and early April, which is also a time of very muddy conditions.
Starting from Church Houses, wander down the lane, following the signposts for the Daffy Cafe. After passing the cafe, the route heads across fields. The path is obvious, but very muddy if there has been rain.
Despite the inevitable crowds, the dafodils really are amazing. The fields by the stream are covered in millions of these gold and silvery gold flowers.
Follow the path along side the river. After crossing a bridge, you will arrive at Low Mill. At the junction turn right, and follow Mill lane up the hill out of the village on the west side of the valley. Although the road will have quite a few cars, the views down into Farndale are lovely. At Olive Tree farm, turn left and follow the footpath down the hill and over the stream. After a short but steep climb you will join a farm track. It can be muddy in places, but the walking is easy, and and you get good views along the valley. Follow this track until it ends by the river.
Cross the bridge, and follow the narrow path through the wooded glades. Here you'll find lots of dafodils, but without the crowds. After a third of a mile you will pass some outbuilding, and emerge into a meadow, with yet more dafs. After crossing the meadow, you will go back into some woods, before crossing the stream on a footbridge. From there it's a short distance, over a small stream, and up a hill, back to the road. The moors bus passes here, and can be flagged down to get you back to Hutton-le-Hole.
I have visited Farndale at many times of the year. Most of the year it is a quiet and sleepy place, but by late March the valley springs to life with flowers, and crowds. My route is based on several different walks I have made in the valley, and offers a chance to see the flower at the most famous locations, and in much quieter corners of the valley, away from the crowds. There are many other locations awash with daffodils, but Farndale remains the best location to see them, as long as you don't mind getting a bit muddy and being prepared to walk a bit further to escape the crowds. Driving in Farndale is best avoided as the roads really are not up to the traffic they get on a fine weekend in season, and the experience is ruined by traffic and difficulty in parking.
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