Farndale, North Yorkshire

A secluded daffodil valley in the heart of the North York Moors

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William Wordsworth, married only a few miles from Farndale, would have loved the annual display of the area’s wild daffodils. Today, crowds flock to see the flowers, which cover the wooded banks of the River Dove in colourful swathes. This 3½-mile walk takes you from the prettiest part of the dale to areas that reveal expansive vistas.

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1. LOW MILL

The tiny hamlet of Low Mill is a cluster of stone houses. Its 100-seat, corrugated-iron-clad hall, built for Farndale Silver Band in the 1920s, is now England’s smallest big-name venue and attracts some of the top folk, country, roots and Americana musicians. Take the signed footpath from the car park in Low Mill to join the riverside walk beside the River Dove.

2. DAFFODILS

Farndale’s daffodils are often known by their old name – Lenten lilies. Tradition says that they were planted by monks from nearby Rievaulx Abbey. Farndale has been a nature reserve since 1953 and strict by-laws prohibit picking the flowers or uprooting the bulbs.

3. HIGH MILL

The firm riverside path passes through many gates to reach High Mill. Two supernatural presences once inhabited this area: one was a tenacious hob – a mischievous spirit – that fell out with a local farmer. When the farmer tried to move house, the hob mounted the removal cart, so the farmer stayed put. The other ghost is Sarkless Kitty, a local girl who drowned herself, in her chemise (sark). Over the years, Kitty’s ghost was seen sitting naked in Farndale’s trees, waving her sark to signal the deaths of young men. Follow the lane to Church Houses.

4. CHURCH HOUSES

Farmers petitioned the local landlord for a pub in 1875; named after him, the Feversham Arms still welcomes walkers. Pass the pub and veer right to the church; there are more daffodils in the churchyard. Follow the lane uphill. Just past Mackeridge House turn right on a clearly signposted footpath to Bragg Farm and Bitchagreen Farm.

5. BITCHAGREEN

Enjoy great views over Farndale from this section. Jet, coal and iron ore were once mined in the valley, but the greatest threat to its beauty came in the 20th century. In the 1930s and the 1960s, there were plans to dam and flood the valley as a reservoir for Hull. Both were defeated by conservationists. From Bitchagreen Farm, continue south on clearly marked paths back to High Wold House and finally Low Mill.

Useful Information

EAT

Daffy Caffy
High Mill House, Church Houses YO62 7LF
01751 430363

Enjoy a filling butty at this walker-friendly stopping point.

STAY

Feversham Arms
Church Houses YO62 7LF
01751 433206
www.fevershamarmsinn.co.uk

You’ll find comfortable rooms and good food at the northern end of
the walk.

FIND OUT MORE

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Take the Moorsbus daffodil shuttle service from Hutton le Hole car park into Farndale as parking can be difficult. In 2010 it operates Sundays, 21 Mar-18 Apr (daily, Easter weekend).
01845 597000
www.northyorkmoors.org.uk