Whether it's the robust yet dainty native wild daffodil or a host of golden cultivars, these vivid flowers are one of the first signs that spring is truly under way.


Daffodils of all sizes and shapes have been seen in the UK since the 17th century, when Shakespeare celebrated them as the flower that “comes before the swallow dares”, and bunches of wild blooms were sold by flower girls on the streets of London.

These days you're more likely to find them in supermarket or out in the countryside, growing in village parks, country gardens and even in the wild.

There are numerous daffodil walks in the UK, from Farndale in Yorkshire and Dymock in Gloucestershire to Brodie Castle in the Moray Firth. Here is our pick of the best to enjoy this spring.

Looking for more spring walks?

From magnificent meadows and wildflower woodlands to springtime hills, here is our guide to the best spring walks in the UK.
Family walking in spring woodland

Daffodil walks

Farndale, North Yorkshire

Dog walker amongst wild daffodils
Farndale's daffodils were planted by monks in the 12th century/Credit: Getty

Cistercian monks from nearby Rievaulx Abbey in the North York Moors may have planted Farndale’s narcissi in the 12th century; or perhaps the blooms emerged naturally millennia ago. Whichever, this is one of England’s finest wildflower emergences; a botanic bucket-list essential.

Dymock, Gloucestershire

White daffodil flowers in a garden
Dymock's Daffodil Trail starts at Shaw Common car park/Credit: Getty

The pastures, woodlands and orchards of this peaceful corner of the Marches, known as the Golden Triangle, effervesce with diminutive wild daffies in spring. The 10-mile Daffodil Way threads from Dymock through the serene Vale of Leadon via Kempley’s ancient church.

Butley, Suffolk

Daffodils in spring
Butley's flurry of daffodils in early spring is followed by a bed of bluebells in May/Credit: Getty

Fringed by Rendlesham Forest’s fir plantations, tiny Butley in Suffolk, and its fine display of wildflowers, is a delight to explore in April. The priory woods shine with daffodils, then bluebells across a long spring. Nearby is the extraordinary Staverton Thicks; ancient woodland with some of Europe’s oldest trees.

Sevenoaks bluebell woodland in spring

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall

Wild daffodils on the Isles of Scilly
For coastal daffodils, head to the Isles of Scilly of the coast of Cornwall/Credit: David Purchase, Geograph

Lemony heads bob above golden sands and an azure sea on the sub-tropical archipelago of the Isles of Scilly. These fabulous flowers don’t all end up as florists’ bundles; countless escapee blooms riffle beside the myriad paths that hug the shorelines and crisscross the tiny islands, most notably St Martin’s and Tresco.

Ullswater, Cumbria

Daffodils by lake
Daffodils flowering in late February on the banks of Ullswater/Credit: Getty

Ullswater is smaller than its neighbour, Windermere, and just as beautiful. From above, it looks like a ribbon discarded by a retreating glacier. At about seven miles long, the lake divides the historic counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. The lake is a peaceful spot for tourists who come to see the bobbing daffodils made famous by Wordsworth in all their springtime glory.

Brigsteer Woods, Cumbria

Yellow flower
Daffodils at Brigsteer are followed by wild garlic and bluebells/Credit: Getty

Wordsworth’s famed daffs nod their heads to countless Lake District visitors beside Ullswater. Far more secret are the woods above the tiny village of Brigsteer, nestled amid limestone hills above the Lyth Valley and Morecambe Bay. Here, wild Lenten lilies (an old English name for a native wild daffodil) stud the wooded slopes of Brigsteer Park, succeeded by ramsons and bluebells in a profusion of spring colours.

Brodie Castle, Moray

Daffodils at Brodie Castle, Moray
Extensive daffodil collection in the grounds at Brodie Castle/Credit: Getty

This laird’s retreat in Scotland is home to part of the National Collection of Daffodils. Over 100 different cultivars of lent lily – many bred here – nod their heads throughout the estate grounds, shrubbery and walled gardens cosseting Brodie Castle, with its notable art collection. Nearby are the Moray Firth’s endless beaches – and famed dolphins.

Arnside, Cumbria/Lancashire

Bumble bee on daffodils
Discover daffodils above stunning Morecambe Bay/Credit: Getty

Muscular hills of limestone hang above stunning Morecambe Bay, where spring sees the creeks, bays and inlets backlit with the bold trumpets of native narcissus. Extensive clumps and strands dapple the ash and hazel woods above the low silvery cliffs; head to Beachwood and Park Point on good paths from Arnside’s estuary-side prom.


Neil Coates is a Manchester-based writer with nearly 40 walking/guidebooks published.