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The Daffodil Way - A Spring Walk
The Daffodil Way
I heard about the Daffodil Way walk some months ago and was so excited about this opportunity to see a multitude of daffodils growing wild, I set out a month too early!
My walk that day was on a glorious sunny afternoon, the countryside here is so beautiful that although there wasn’t a daffodil in sight, it was still very enjoyable.
A 10 mile circular walk
This 10 mile circular walk is in north west Gloucestershire and takes you through the pretty countryside of Dymock and the small villages of Kempley and Kempley Green.
Daffodil Way 10 mile circular walk
The walk is signposted the 'Daffodil Way' and takes you through lush meadows, where the wild daffodils grow along the hedgerows, beautiful woods, peaceful fields, orchards and alongside ponds and streams.
Until as recently as the 1960’s the local people use to gather these wild daffodils to sell at wholesale flower markets, but as the local railway disappeared so did the markets.
As soon as I saw the first field of wild daffodils, the words of William Wordsworth’s poem ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’ also known as 'Daffodils' sprang to mind.
I remember the words from my school days when I was about 12 years old, in our English lesson we would learn and recite poetry.
How I dreaded those lessons, I took an instant dislike to poetry! Where was the fun in just reciting the poems? It would have been so interesting to learn about the poet, their inspiration for writing and the wonderful different styles of poetry, all of which I have learnt to appreciate in later life!
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought;
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth - written in 1804
William Wordsworth's inspiration
William Wordsworth was born and lived most of his life in the beautiful Lake District in Cumbria.
After seeing wild daffodils on a visit to Glencoyne Park with his sister Dorothy, she wrote about them in her journal.
'I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing’
It is thought this inspired Wordsworth to write his famous poem two years later.
How can so many daffodils grow wild? Although daffodils grow from bulbs they do actually produce seed.
Squirrels help to disperse seeds by digging up bulbs while foraging for food, at the same time they can destroy the flower, releasing the seeds from the pod behind the flower head.
These seeds can take up to five years to produce a flower.
A host of golden daffodils
Although the Daffodil Way is a ten mile walk, we only managed about 3 miles in the afternoon, due to me constantly stopping to take photographs!
I had always wondered what it would be like to see a ‘Host of Golden Daffodils’ and now I have - it’s breathtaking!