STORY | Find your Happy in the Daffodil Triangle in Gloucestershire
SYNOPSIS | A unique and rare gem to see wild English daffodils in Spring
There are other parts of Britain where daffodils appear like a Spring dream, but there is nowhere quite as special as the Daffodil Triangle in west Gloucestershire. Boundless friendly daffodils bobbing low. Clusters of glorious gold.
It is centred around the villages between Newent and Ledbury – the wonderful sounding Oxenhall, Kempley and Dymock. Interspersed between these villages are the remnants of the ancient Dymock Forest; it once spread much farther than the small Dymock Wood.
The daffodils that grow here are native daffodils. They are diminutive with a small distinctive flower. Nobody really knows why they grew here in such numbers but possibly due the forest or the number of orchards that appeared hereabouts; under the canopies of these trees, untouched soil was allowed to leave those daffodils to sit, to sleep and then to flower in such marvellous numbers that this miracle exists.
The villages hold annual Daffodil weekends during March and April; celebrating their daffodils with walks and talks, teas and their communities. It is a local celebration of their part of the world; and an invitation for anyone to come and marvel with them.
This celebration of the Daffodil Triangle is not new. People have been coming here for a long time. When times were different and lives needed brightening by something as gorgeously simple as an English daffodil.
In a now lost and bygone era, the Daffodil Line used to run between Gloucester and Ledbury. A railway line run by the Great Western Railway which had stops at Tibberton, Newent, Four Oaks, Dymock, a halt at Greenway before reaching Ledbury town. It opened in 1885 but closed for passengers in 1959 before finally closing for freight in 1964. It must have been a very pretty journey.
These were the journeys that once the Dymock Poets arrived and departed. The likes of Edward Thomas and Rupert Brooke.
The Great Western Railway ran special trains called ‘Daffodil Specials’ - trains that used to run for people from the cities to come to view and pick the flowers. My mother used to tell me about coming by train from urban Bristol to pick daffodils near Ledbury when she was a child before the First World War.
They came during the war and after to collect these Gloucestershire daffodils to brighten the spirits of the injured and the affected. Nature’s tribute to bravery, selflessness and loss. But they must have been a wonderful sight to behold, from the grey cities, when these golden delights appeared to them.
These are the heroes of Spring. A natural delight in a corner of Gloucestershire. The Daffodil Triangle.