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For the next mile the profusion of daffodils was awesome
For the next mile the profusion of daffodils was awesome

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Route No. 404 - Wednesday 5 April 2011
River Dove daffodil circuit
from Lowna, Farndale - 8km
North York Moors . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Ray Brown's route through the daffodils of lower Farndale - another fine contribution from Ray.

Map: OS Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western area


Branching left along a bridleway from Lowna signposted 'Public path to  Low Mill'
Branching left along a bridleway from Lowna signposted 'Public path to Low Mill'

A tree carrying a large burl
A tree carrying a large burl

From there we set off North, quickly branching left along a bridleway signposted "Public path to Low Mill". Soon we entered woodland; on our right we passed a tree carrying a large burl as we approached the River Dove with an early sighting of daffodils. At Birch Hagg House we followed the fine new signpost towards Low Mill. Immediately the route ran between carpets of daffodils as we continued into Birch Hagg Plantation where wild bilberry plants were springing into life alongside the track.

In early April 2010 we enjoyed strolling Frank's walk No. 288, so this year (2011) we proposed to repeat that walk accompanied by our regular group of ramblers. However we were asked to trim down the walk in order to make it less strenuous, so we have eliminated the climb on to Harland Moor and the mile of road walking through Low Mill. Our shorter walk retains all of the daffodil territory within walk 288. As the car park at Lowna was already full before 10-00 we drove the short distance East over Lowna Bridge and immediately forked left on to Lund Road where we parked on the verge at SE688910.

Approaching the River Dove
Approaching the River Dove

Carpets of daffodils
Carpets of daffodils
Wild bilberry plants
Wild bilberry plants

Approaching Hagg End Farm
Approaching Hagg End Farm

Woodland again appeared on the right. All the way we had seldom been out of sight of clusters of daffodils. They especially seemed to thrive on the South side of dry stone walls.

Next we emerged on to pasture as we approached Hagg End Farm. Resuming track, we followed the signpost to Low Mill, ignoring the footpath to Dale End Bridge. For some 500 metres the track bordered farmland on both sides before it crossed over a private farm track.

The track bordered farmland on both sides
The track bordered farmland on both sides

Daffodils thriving on the South side of dry stone walls
Daffodils thriving on the South side of dry stone walls

A fallen tree that had previously blocked the track
A fallen tree that had previously blocked the track

The blackthorn had begun to flower
The blackthorn had begun to flower

We turned left through a gate to Underhill Farm
We turned left through a gate to Underhill Farm

Here blackthorn had begun to flower by the track before we branched left on to a narrower path towards Underhill Farm where we turned left through a gate and made our way downhill through pasture aiming for the footbridge over the River Dove. Here another magnificent carpet of daffodils awaited us.

On the approach to Ewecote Farm we were relieved to find that a fallen tree which had previously blocked the track was now in the form of logs lying by the wayside. It was at Ewecote Farm that we had our first good view of upper Farndale.

Our first good view of upper Farndale
Our first good view of upper Farndale

We branched left on to a narrower path
We branched left on to a narrower path

Downhill through pasture to the R. Dove
Downhill through pasture to the R. Dove

View from the footbridge
View from the footbridge

Duckboards, a fine set of steps and a new robust stile
Duckboards, a fine set of steps and a new robust stile

Sheer luxury! Following a hedge on the left the route led uphill to a stile between two trees, then through rough pasture to a stile on the left and a further duckboard. Clearly no effort had been spared to improve this right of way. Soon we emerged on the service track to Cross Farm.

Across the bridge was a remarkable surprise; as a result of reports to the North Yorks Moors National Parks rangers, a previously unusable right of way had been cleared and furnished with duckboards, a fine set of steps and a new robust stile into the pasture beyond.

A stile between two trees
A stile between two trees

Passing Cross Farm
Passing Cross Farm

Passing through Park Farm
Passing through Park Farm

Dale End Bridge
Dale End Bridge

Thousands of daffodils at a glance
Thousands of daffodils at a glance

At SE679928 we turned right to follow a wall on our left and then, at SE682926 we branched left downhill through woodland to meet the River Dove at Dale End Bridge. Here the profusion of daffodils was awesome. At SE685919 we chose the left path leading down towards Birch Hagg Bridge but on reaching it we stayed on the West bank of the Dove.

At Cross Farm, bearing left, we continued on the track beyond the farm, keeping a wall on our left. At SE676932 the path briefly veered right before returning to the track leading into Park Farm. Immediately after that farm we forked left on a grassy track leading downhill to a farm gate and from there to a further gate which, because of the proximity of a tree, could only be opened by about 50 cm.

Grassy track leading downhill to a farm gate
Grassy track leading downhill to a farm gate

For the next mile the profusion of daffodils was awesome
For the next mile the profusion of daffodils was awesome

The left path leading down towards Birch Hagg bridge
The left path leading down towards Birch Hagg bridge

The river squeezed its way between carpets of daffodils
The river squeezed its way between carpets of daffodils

Quaker burial ground
Quaker burial ground

Footbridge over Harland Beck
Footbridge over Harland Beck

After a brief visit to the burial ground we resumed the return path which led towards Lowna via a footbridge over Harland Beck. The displays of possibly millions of natural daffodils to be seen along the River Dove North of Lowna are extraordinary and, in my view, surpass the better known examples to be found 3 miles further upstream at Low Mill which we visited last week (Walk 400) - Ray Brown

The path continued between a pair of rotting straw bales and followed the river as it squeezed its way between carpets of daffodils. At SE686913 violets and primroses grew where a path on the right led to an old Quaker burial ground (SE686915) in which between 1675 and 1854, 114 Friends were interred because they were denied churchyard burial.

Primroses by the path
Primroses by the path

The wild daffodils of Farndale
The wild daffodils of Farndale

The farm at Lowna Bridge
The farm at Lowna Bridge