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. In 2021, we have to be happy with the flowers in local parks and gardens. But, for future years when we can travel again, 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, Greater 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 is 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 beyond the palace to 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. In 2022, it will be on March 19th and 20th. And it’s a lovely place for a stroll on quieter days too.
- 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 about 10.30am, with the last one back soon after 2pm so plan ahead.
- Check out the Green Man, Thriplow’s friendly, community-owned pub, which is great for lunch or dinks. It’ll be jam-packed during the festival, but you can enjoy morris dancing outside and plenty of food outlets dotted around the village.