In the second part of our spring flowers series, we take you to the best place to see daffodils on the GWR network.
The ‘host of golden daffodils’ that Wordsworth so famously wandered through would have been from the native variety of this familiar spring species. Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus) are smaller and more subtly hued than the blowsier, commercially-grown kinds that we see in parks and gardens and on roadsides and roundabouts.
Wild daffs were once a common sight in the British countryside but are now much rarer – surviving only in patchy populations across western parts of England and Wales. The place to see them in profusion was (and still is) the so-called ‘Golden Triangle’ in Gloucestershire.
In the 1930s, the GWR ran a ‘Daffodil Special’ service that brought visitors from London to this north-west corner of the county, and people still flock here to marvel at this floral phenomenon today.
The area holds dedicated ‘daffodil weekends’ in early spring, offering delicious ‘daffodil teas’ and guided walks to see the flowers. The best of these is the Daffodil Way, which begins in the village of Dymock and makes an eight-mile circular tour through meadows, orchards and woodland where these wonderful wildflowers will be ‘fluttering and dancing in the breeze’ (as ole William once wrote).
Dymock’s Daffodil Weekend is on 31 March and 1 April this year – see dymock.org.uk. Check dates of other daffodil weekends in nearby villages at daffs.org.uk