Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount
Where to see Daffodilsby bus and train around the UK
Shakespeare’s lost princess Perdita in The Winter’s Tale longs for: “…daffodils,/That come before the swallow dares, and take/The winds of March with beauty.” From March (and sometimes even earlier these days), their yellow trumpets light up the parks and springtime woodland. Here are half a dozen places – from stately homes to villages - where getting to see some dancing daffs doesn’t need to involve a car. These are mostly garden daffodils, rather than the Wordsworthian wild variety, but they’ll raise a smile on a grey, wintry day or on a blazing blue one…
1. Hampton Court, London
200,000 flowering bulbs brighten the gardens around Hampton Court. You don’t even need to pay to see them – the Water Gardens in Bushy Park are free to wander through. But arrive by train and you can get two tickets for the price of one to visit Henry VIII’s incredible Tudor palace.
- There are trains to Hampton Court every half an hour from London Waterloo; you can get on at Vauxhall, Wimbledon and other stations and a travelcard or Oyster is valid as Hampton Court’s still in Zone 6.
- The station is just five minutes walk from the palace. Come out onto the main road and turn right over the Thames, enjoying the fabulous views from the bridge.
- You could stride out on a six mile circuit. Simply cross the bridge and turn right along the river, following the Thames Path and then the London Loop, through Bushy Park from Hampton Wick, past ponds and deer parks.
- Or, for a shorter stroll through flowering woods, head straight towards the Diana Fountain and left across Bushy Park into a springtime paradise.
- Turn left through the blossoming gardens, with the water on your right, or cross the bridge to find the café.
2. Thriplow, Cambridgeshire
Every year the Cambridgeshire village of Thriplow has a daffodil weekend and Country Fair (this year – their 50th festival! – it’s on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th March 2018)
- Monday to Saturday, you can visit the village via bus 31 from Shelford station, on the Cambridge – Liverpool Street railway line.
- Stroll down Shelford’s Station Road and turn right on Tunwells Lane to find the bus stop. Buses leave every 1½ hours from 10.30am, with the last one back soon after 2pm.
- Check out the Green Man, Thriplow’s friendly, community-run pub, which is a great place for lunch . It’ll be jam-packed during the festival, but you can enjoy morris dancing outside and plenty of food outlets dotted around the village.
- The 31 goes on (until early evening) to Fowlmere, where there is a fabulous RSPB reserve. From there, you could walk two miles across country to the stations at Foxton or Shepreth.