232 Daffodil Line Destinations
Though all the towns on the line feature a wealth of historic architecture, Ledbury might be the winner (just don’t say this in Newent or Ross!). Cobbled Streets lined with black and white timber framed buildings are home to a host of independent shops, pubs and galleries. The history of the area is on show in several fascinating museums.
Church Lane leads from the Market Square to St Michael’s, where the unusual free standing spire reminds us of an Italian Campanile. Step inside and although the church is quintessentially English, the Italian theme does continue, with a recently discovered Last Supper painting, attributed to the Venetian Renaissance artist Titian.
As well as being one of the prettiest villages you could wish for (country pubs, lovely church, lots of opportunities for walkers).
Much Marcle is home to two great places for a day out: Hellens Manor and Weston’s Cider Mill.
Open from April to October, Hellens gardens and grounds are beautiful, dog friendly and free to visit. And of course there’s a top-notch tea room to enjoy too. The house is fascinating and tours can be booked. There is also a monthly local produce market and music and garden festivals in the spring and summer.
The Weston family has been making cider in Much Marcle for over 140 years and are one of England’s leading traditional cider makers today. You can take a tour of the Mill, pop in for a meal or snack at the Scrumpy House Restaurant, meet Reg the Shire Horse and let the kids loose in the free play park.
If you’re into art, history or nature it’s worth getting off here. You are in the heart of the Windcross Walks area and there are several mapped and signposted routes worth exploring. Find out more at windcrosspaths.org.uk.
Kempley is also home to two fascinating churches. St Edward’s is an arts and crafts gem, and the simple Norman St Mary’s is anything but simple when you get inside. You’ll be amazed by some of the best preserved wall paintings and frescoes in England.
The whole area has inspired poets, artists and musicians for generations and still does. The Dymock poets, a group which included Robert Frost and Rupert Brook, are particularly famous.
It’s easy to imagine them enjoying a pint at the historic Beauchamp Arms. Like many village pubs the Beauchamp faced closure back in the 1990s but was saved and is now owned by the parish council and is England’s longest running community pub.
Dymock is also heart of the daffodil country, and in March and April the woods are carpeted with the wild daffodils, hence the name of our bus.
Castle Tump is a good place to hop off the bus.
Bentley’s Castle Fruit Farm grows traditional apples, pears, plums and cherries and you can pick up fruit in season and juices, jams and chutneys at the farm shop.
Across the road you’ll find Three Choirs Vineyard, where award-winning English wine is made. You can enjoy a tour, a meal in the restaurant, or even stay overnight.
And just a few yards along the road we have not one but three garden centres to explore, offering coffee and cake, if you need to refuel.
Turn right when you leave the bus at Newent and you’re in the centre of this historic market town, with shops, cafés and galleries waiting to be explored, including the atmospheric Shambles off Church Street.
Turn left and a few steps take you to Newent Lake, one of the area’s hidden gems. The lake and woods are in the centre of town but offer a peaceful haven bursting with wildlife and dotted with charming sculptures. With ducks to feed, autumn leaves to crunch through and wild flowers to admire, a walk around the lake is a treat for the whole family at any time of year.
There’s even an outdoor gym and kids’ playground if you’re feeling a bit more energetic.
Gorsley and Kilcot
We’re not short of good pubs along the Daffodil Line. The Kilcot Inn is a fine example, you can even stay over.
Kilcot and Gorsley make a great base for walking, with routes to May Hill and easy access to Dymock Woods, Take a wander to Briery Hill and you can even walk with llamas.
Keeping up the community spirit, Gorsley is also home to a thriving community, shop, café and post office. The café makes a great stop and has an impressive kids’ play area.
Good food and drink continue to be highlights and it’s well worth taking the short walk to the Alma Inn at Linton before the bus reaches Upton Bishop and another much loved pub and restaurant, the Moody Cow. It is thought that the pub was given its name as a joke, aimed at the local dairy cows, and as far as we know it’s the only Moody Cow pub in the country.
Upton Bishop is also worth a stop for the Wobage Farm Craft Centre: a community of local artists and makers which offers a gallery, shop and workshop.
The birthplace of tourism, Ross has easily as much to offer on the shopping, art and history fronts as Newent and Ledbury.
So, take your time to explore all the town has to offer before making your way down to the beautiful River Wye, which winds its way beneath the town.
Whether you choose to walk, fish, canoe, paddle board, swim or simply sit and enjoy the view, the river is stunning and offers a gateway to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley countryside.