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Farndale April 2009.jpg
Farndale is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population207 (2011 census)[1][2]
OS grid referenceSE673952
Civil parish
  • Farndale East and Farndale West
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townYORK
Postcode districtYO62 7
Dialling code01751
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
UK Parliament
List of places
54°20′47″N 0°57′54″W / 54.3463°N 0.965°W / 54.3463; -0.965Coordinates: 54°20′47″N 0°57′54″W / 54.3463°N 0.965°W / 54.3463; -0.965
Farndale in winter looking north

Farndale is a valley and community in Ryedale district, North Yorkshire, England, which is known for the daffodils which flower each spring along a 7-mile (11 km) stretch of the River Dove.[3] The valley is in the North York Moors National Park, some 11 miles (18 km) north of Kirkbymoorside, the nearest town. Pickering is some 17 miles (27 km) to the south-east and Helmsley 17 miles (27 km) to the south-west.

The combined population of the civil parishes of Farndale East and Farndale West was 207 in 2011,[1] and was estimated to have dropped to 180 by 2015.[2]

Farndale is an isolated, scattered agricultural community with traditional Yorkshire dry stone walls. The valley is popular with walkers due to its famous wild daffodils, which can be seen around Easter time all along the banks of the River Dove. To protect the daffodils the majority of Farndale north of Lowna was created a Local Nature Reserve in 1955.

Farndale is home to two hamlets; Church Houses at the top of the valley and Low Mill further down. Low Mill is a tourist honeypot during daffodil season as this is where the famous daffodil walk begins. The other end of the daffodil walk is at High Mill a cluster of houses a short distance down a lane from Church Houses.

The annual Farndale Agricultural Show[4] which is held on the Summer Bank Holiday Monday in late August is a popular local event. The 100th Show was held in 2006.[5]


Sources disagree on the origin of the name Farndale, although it is a combination of two parts "Farn" and "Dale".

There a four possible origins for "Farn" all of which do describe the dale. It may be derived from the Celtic "Faren" meaning beautiful; alternatively it could be derived from the Scandinavian "FæN" meaning sheep[6] or possibly from Old English "Fearn" meaning fern or ferny place[7] or from the Gaelic "Feàrna" which means alder tree of which there are many in Farndale.[8]

While Dale probably means Valley either derived from Scandinavion "Dalr"[6] or Anglian "Dæl"[7] although it could be derived from the Gaelic "Dail" meaning level field by a river.[8]

The name of the River Dove which flows through Farndale is almost definitely from either the Old British "Dubo"[9] meaning Black or from the Gaelic "Dubh"[8] also meaning black, hence Black (or Dark) River.


Farndale is a valley within the North York Moors, it is surrounded by some of the wildest moorland in England. The dale is sandwiched between Bransdale to the west, Rosedale to the east and Westerdale to the north. To the north-east sits Blakey Ridge at over 1,312 feet (400 m) above sea level, and to the north-west, Cockayne Ridge reaching up to 1,490 feet (454 m) above sea level is one of the highest points of the North York Moors. The southern boundary of the Farndale Parishes are along Harland Beck and Shortsha Beck (across Lowna Lund),[10] although the Gillamoor to Hutton-le-Hole road is considered as the boundary for all other purposes, south of this the dale continues but changes its name to Douthwaitedale, though the Tabular Hills until it reaches Keldhome then Kirkby Mills just east of Kirkbymoorside.

The River Dove rises on Westerdale Moor North of Farndale, then flows through Farndale south-east past to Church Houses. Here it turns south and continues meandering past Low Mill to Lowna. At Gillamoor it heads south-east again past Hutton-le-Hole before returning southwards past Ravenswick and to the east of Kirkbymoorside. It continues past Keldholme and Kikrby Mills to Great Edstone. From there it flows south-south-east to where it joins the River Rye in the Vale of Pickering near the village of Salton. Several tributaries meet the Dove through Farndale two of these make the valley is almost 'cactus' shaped, with a long central valley following the River Dove, and two side branches to make the arms - Blakey Gill near Church Houses and West Gill near Low Mill.[11]

Local nature reserve[edit]

Farndale Daffodils

The Farndale Local Nature Reserve constitutes the majority of Farndale, which is a dale within the North York Moors National Park. It was created in 1955 to protect the wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus), for which the dale is famed. The Local Nature reserve comprises the larger part of the Farndale Site of Special Scientific Interest which comprises 390 acres (157 ha).[12]

Over 40,000 people visit the dale in the springtime to walk along the River Dove and see the daffodils.[13] The variety of daffodil that grows wild in the valley, has shorter stems than the cultivated variety[14] and are believed to have been planted by monks in medieval times.[15][16] The daffodils are also known as Lent Lilies in Farndale and they usually appear around Lent.[17][18]

Long distance foopaths[edit]

Around the north of Farndale, between Bloworth Crossing and Blakey is the track bed of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway (Rosedale Branch) which forms part of three Long Distance Footpaths these being Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk, The Lyke Wake Walk and the Esk Valley Walk.


Farndale was historically divided between three ancient parishes. Farndale Eastside was a township in the parish of Lastingham.[19] The township of Farndale High Quarter and Bransdale Eastside (also known as Farndale Westside) and the township of Farndale Low Quarter (also known as Low Farndale) were in the parish of Kirkbymoorside.[20]

In 1873 Farndale Hiqh Quarter and Farndale Westside joined to become a single parish.[21] The Farndale parishes were subsequently realigned to Farndale East and Farndale West.[22] The dividing line between the two Farndale civil parishes is along the course of the River Dove. Until 2018 Farndale East had a Parish Council responsible for the eastern side including Church Houses and Farndale West had a Parish Meeting looking after the western side including Low Mill.

In April 2018 a joint Farndale Parish Council was formed under a grouping order and it now represents the interests of all residents in Farndale.[23]

The second tier of Local Government is Ryedale District Council and the third tier North Yorkshire County Council, historically being part of the North Riding of Yorkshire.

Farndale is part of the Thirsk and Malton UK Parliament constituency and formerly the Yorkshire and Humber European Parliamentary constituency.

In popular culture[edit]

Farndale has been used as a location for a number of film and TV locations including:


The 2020 Film adaption of The Secret Garden includes Moorland scenes filmed around Farndale.[24]

The 1975 Film, All Creatures Great and Small starring Simon Ward and Anthony Hopkins, included locations in Farndale.[25]


BBC Documentary: A Wild Year, The North York Moors[26] was partly filmed in and around Farndale,[27] and featured the wild daffodils.

Bad Move, an ITV sitcom written by Jack Dee and Pete Sinclair and starring Jack Dee was partly filmed in Farndale.[28] The location of Rawlings' new home is near Low Mill.[29]

Accidental Farmer, a pilot for BBC TV starring Ashley Jensen was partly filmed in Farndale, June / July 2010.[30]

BBC Inside Out covered Heavy Snow in Farndale in November 2010.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Farndale West Parish (1170217236)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b "2015 Population Estimates Parishes" (PDF). northyorks.gov.uk. p. 16. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Farndale". North York Moors. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Farndale Show". Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Centenary show is the biggest and best yet". Gazette & Herald. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Glossary of Scandinavian origins of place names in Britain". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Key to English Place Names". Nottingham University. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Glossary of Gaelic origins of place names in Britain". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Cetic Place Names". Yorkshire Dialect. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  10. ^ Ordnance Survey. Explorer OL26 Map. Ordnance Survey. pp. South Sheet. ISBN 0-319-23461-4.
  11. ^ "Farndale". Moors Knowledge.
  12. ^ "Farndale SSSI" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Spring walks in the UK: readers' travel tips". The Guardian. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Weekend Walk: Farndale Daffodils Walk". The Yorkshire Post. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  15. ^ Don, Monty (10 March 2002). "Monty Don". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  16. ^ Robinson, Maureen (20 April 2018). "Walks: See Farndale's daffodils in all their glory". The Scarborough News. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Farndale, North Yorkshire". Countryfile.com. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  18. ^ Hughes-Games, Martin (8 March 2018). "Seven wonders of British springtime – and where to see them". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  19. ^ Page, William, ed. (1914). "Lastingham". Victoria County History. A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 1. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  20. ^ The ancient parish of Kirkbymoorside: historical and genealogical information at GENUKI.
  21. ^ "Lastingham". GENUKI. 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  22. ^ Vision of Britain website
  23. ^ Farndale Parish Council. "Farndale East and West Grouping Order" (PDF). Farndale Community / Parish Council. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  24. ^ "NYMNP, TV and Film Locations, A Secret Garden". NYMNP. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  25. ^ "All Creatures Great and Small 1974 Remembered". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  26. ^ "A wild Year, Series 1, The North York Moors". BBC. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  27. ^ "The North York Moors, Wild Year". RadioTimes. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Jack Dee comedy filmed in Rosedale and Farndale has TV debut". Gazette and Herald. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  29. ^ "Bad Move series 2 location: Where Bad Move filmed? Where's the Jack Dee sitcom set?". Daily Express. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Credits". Alistair Don Locations. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  31. ^ "BBC Inside Out Yorkshire". You Tube. BeebFilms. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2018.

External links[edit]