Lowna Bridge, Farndale and Harland Moor

There are millions of daffodils to be seen on this walk or trodden over should you do this walk during their 10 month hibernation for this walk in Farndale is best done in Spring when the flowers are at their superb height of colour and standing proud taking in the glory of warm spring sunshine. We were so lucky, the day was perfect for us and it is true to say I have never seen a better display of daffodil anywhere. However, I would do the walk in summer or Autumn too for Farndale is a North York Moors magnet, a beautiful place at any time and one any discerning walker should amble within.

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Statistics and Files
Start: Lowna Bridge Distance: 7.1 miles (11.4 km) Climbing: 353 metres
Grid Ref: SE685910 Time: 3-4 hours Rating: Moderate
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Farndale
Start: Lowna Bridge Distance: 7.1 miles (11.4 km)
Grid Ref: SE685910 Time: 3-4 hours
Climbing: 353 metres Rating: Moderate
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

The Walk:

On the bridleway from Lowna BridgeOn the bridleway from Lowna Bridge
Walking into FarndaleWalking into Farndale

The clocks had 'sprung forward' overnight and although the first longer light evening was a few hours away the brilliant blue sky of the first day of British Summer Time was a magnet to get us out of the winter lethargy and into the great British countryside. As it was late March and the time to see the daffodil, the quintessential British spring flower at its best then there was only one place to go. To Farndale, the place in the North York Moors National Park that claims to be the greatest location for a daffodil walk. How could we refuse such an opportunity. And so me, Lil, Dave and Leena travelled over from Harrogate to Lowna Bridge just past the village of Gillamoor in Farndale and the ideal place for us to start our walk. The spring sunshine was brilliant, it was cool yes, but bright indeed.

Farndale Daffodils near Dale End BridgeFarndale Daffodils near Dale End Bridge
Walking alongside Farndale BeckWalking alongside Farndale Beck

The first part of our walk took us along a muddy bridleway but not for far. We soon reached a ford over Harland Beck which took us into the dale and past a wall enclosed Quaker burial ground where there was an information board telling us that 114 friends were buried within the grounds between 1675 and 1837. The friends rest in a lovely place. We were already passing lots of daffodils spread far and wide either side of the trail we were taking and also in the surrounding fields. However there was more to come for as we dropped down to walk alongside the River Dove we came across ground covered in daffodils. This was near Dale End Bridge and it was magical. Wow I thought, the walk is famed for the display but fame is one thing, seeing it for yourself is another. We were all enchanted by the sight.

Rudland Rigg above FarndaleRudland Rigg above Farndale
Lifeless trees still haver beautyLifeless trees still haver beauty

All too soon we reached Dale End Bridge and crossed it to follow a bridleway up from the riverside and towards dwellings at Thunder Head Hill, Ewecote Farm and Underhill Farm. The going was good, a steady climb and not too muddy as we passed the habitations, the first two quiet and the third a blaring noise from a pack of hunting Beagles that would have made short work of any of us given the chance. After their show off tirade as we passed they quietened again to allow us to capture the wonderful sounds of birds in spring going about their wooing and courting. Eventually we left the bridleway at Rawson Syke and followed the tarmaced road to Waste Bridge and then to Low Mill which was the halfway point of our walk. The village was spoiled by masses of cars parked in every possible place, often in single file but sometimes both sides of the road. Low Mill draws the timid walkers to their featured 3 mile daffodil walk. There is a car park in the village but most ignore it to block the narrow lanes to and from the village. As it was halfway we took a break in the village amidst the crowds but as soon as we were done we were on our way.

Heading up to Rudland RiggHeading up to Rudland Rigg
Hanging on the edgeHanging on the edge

After the crowds, cars and general disquiet of Low Moor we headed along the Gillamoor road past yet more cars and frustrated drivers trying to negotiate round them. Soon we were rid of them and at a fork in the road we took a straight course up though fields and a wood onto the flank of Rudland Rigg. This part of the walk was the hardest with a climb of over 120 metres in a short haul until we reached a disused quarry where we all took a short break before continuing on to the moor. The hard work was done and amply rewarded with fantastic views not only of Farndale but also of the high North York Moors of Bransdale and Bilsdale to the west. It was a glorious sight on such a clear day.

Walking to Harland MoorWalking to Harland Moor

The next mile and a half of our walk was majestic, a leisurely stroll over high ground with brilliant views into the distance, it was as if we could see for miles and miles. There was no haze, it was the best time for walking on the high moor. That was for sure and we were ever so lucky to enjoy such walking on such a perfect day.

Harland MoorHarland Moor
Having FunHaving Fun

After the high ground delights of Rudland Rigg and Harland Moor we came to a car parking area and crossed the Gillamoor to Low Mill road once more before dropping off the high flanks and descending back into Farndale on a very interesting track which took us back to Dale End Bridge. During the descent Dave mimicked the birds and the girls gambolled through the thicket although Lil was showing evidence of being tired. Fortunately we had not far to go and so we ambled back towards Lowna Bridge, the girls on a direct route and Dave and me along the waters edge, whenever we could that is as we were diverted back from dead ends a couple of times. Never off course for very long.

Farndale WoodlandFarndale Woodland
River Dove near Lowna BridgeRiver Dove near Lowna Bridge

At Birch Hagg House we crossed the footbridge to follow the track on the north bank of the River Dove and followed the easy trail back to Lowna Bridge. It had been a great walk, not too long for all at a smidge over seven miles. One thing is for sure though, it was all the time fantastic. Thanks to the daffodils, we had never seen so many on a walk. Also, thanks to Farndale, a lovely place. We'll have to come back another time and explore a little more.

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