Where to see Daffodilsby bus and train around the UK

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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 often 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…

  • County: by bus and train around the UK
  • Great for: birds | castles | family | flowers | gardens | good cafés and pubs | walking | woodland |
  • Refreshments: Tiltyard, Privy Kitchen, and Fountain Court Cafés at Hampton Court; plus lots more choices at each venue.
  • Please note: researched/updated November 2023. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch: features@goodjourney.org.uk
woodland walk - Spring daffodils car-free
  1. 3. Castle Howard, Yorkshire

    The gardens at Castle Howard become a carpet of yellow around Easter. Arrive by bus and you’ll get a discount on entry. And there is usually a reduced-rate ticket in winter for the gardens only with plenty to see as the trees and flowers start to bloom again.

    • How do I get to Castle Howard by bus? Just follow Good Journey’s directions.
    • Spring is a particularly magical time to visit these huge, landscaped grounds. Besides the flowers that brighten every corner of the gardens, there are buzzards wheeling over Ray Wood and great crested grebes doing water dances on the lake. The Castle Howard bus service, a few times per day from York, takes you to the castle gates.
    • The Yorkshire Arboretum is nearby too with plenty to see in spring, from carpets of wood anemones to woodpeckers drumming in the trees.
    • For more car-free adventures nearby, see our guide to Malton.
  1. 4. Caerphilly Castle, South Wales

    Within easy walking distance of Caerphilly station, this castle was used as a major location for the hit BBC show Merlin. It’s a great place to see the national flower of Wales reflected in watery moats and lakes.

    • If the half-mile stroll from Caerphilly station is too much, the 26 bus stops right outside on its way from Caerphilly to Cardiff. Bus 50 from Newport also stops at the gate 15 minutes after leaving Newport railway station.
    • Not only are there banks of daffodils framing the fortress, there are also ornamental cherry trees blooming nearby too.
  1. 5. Batsford Arboretum, Gloucestershire

    To enjoy hosts of golden daffodils while strolling in a wooded valley, walk from Moreton-in-Marsh station to Batsford Aboretum, about 1½ miles away. March is the best month for daffs and early magnolias. Regular First Great Western trains from London Paddington head towards Worcester and Hereford via Oxford.

    • Half an hour’s enjoyable train ride from Oxford through scenic countryside brings you to the gold-stoned Cotswold town of Moreton-in-Marsh.
    • Stroll into the centre of town and head past the historic town hall into Corder’s Lane, following brown signs to the arboretum. Keep straight across several fields with spring lambs and huge old oaks.
    • You’ll see a cottage on your right and find the arboretum gates just beyond it. Together with pale primroses, blue scilla and pink flowering cherries, the daffodils make a great spring show.
    • Half a mile south of the arboretum is the chocolate box village of Bourton on the Water, with several tourist attractions including a historic model village.
    • From Bourton-on-the-Water, the 801 bus runs regularly back to Moreton-in-Marsh or on to Cheltenham.
  1. 6. Greenbank Garden, Glasgow

    Famous for its daffodil collection, nearly 600 different varieties of daffodils burst into life every spring at the National Trust’s Greenbank Garden in Glasgow. This eighteenth-century merchant’s house has an unusual walled garden surrounded by woods.

    • Scotrail lists Clarkston as the nearest station, but the garden is also half an hour’s walk from Whitecraigs: turn left off the main road down The Loaning and look out for a path on your left, just before house number 15.
    • This will lead across Cathcart Castle Golf Course. From near the clubhouse, turn right into Mearns Road and left into Flenders Road to reach the garden.
  • bench in park - Spring daffodils car-free
  • daffodils - Spring daffodils car-free
  • daffodil - Spring daffodils car-free
  • morris dancers - Spring daffodils car-free
  • woodland walk - Spring daffodils car-free