Bus To Daffodils Walks
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 the end of February, their yellow trumpets light up the parks and springtime woodland.
Marvellous Mells, near Frome
Mells, near Frome, is just the prettiest, most charming village which has so much to offer. In late February the verges in the village and some of the surrounding fields are carpetted with Somerset's best display of daffodils. It's well worth a trip to see. Mells used to hold an annual Daffodil Festival but unfortunately this hasn't been held for the last few years.
There are beautiful walks, great places to eat and places of architectural interest.
The easiest way to reach Mells by bus is via the Libra Travel 184 which picks up from the Costa side of Frome Market Place (for a full list of pick up points and a timetable: https://www.libratravel.co.uk/ ). Libra Travel 184 services runs Monday to Friday. You can travel to Mells for £2 single fare (offer to 30 June).
If you enjoy keeping fit, you could reach Mells by taking the Colliers Way Walk and Cycle Path (https://www.mellsvillage.co.uk/colliers-way-walk-cycle-path/ ). This path links Radstock to Frome and, on its way, passes around the back of Mells (just half a mile from the village’s shop and award-winning cafe). So, having worked up an appetite, you could reward yourself with a cup of tea and a slice of cake/bacon roll/bowl of soup on arrival.
MELLS CAFE, SHOP & POST OFFICE
Mells cafe (https://www.mellsvillage.co.uk/mells-cafe/) had a very auspicious start as it was opened by Mary Berry in 2011. The cafe has gone on to build a great reputation for serving fresh, home-cooked food. A century ago the building was home to the Jacobs family. Back then it was two stories high and the family of 7 all slept upstairs!
If you plan to walk around Wells and on some of the footpaths it’s worth downloading the Ordinance Survey app in advance or buying a local map.
There are some lovely walks through Mells especially around the Mells Estate via a bridle path. You can walk along the Mells River and see a small waterfall. There is even places to paddle in the summer! Only a short way down the path are some ruins of Fussell’s old iron works (https://www2.bgs.ac.uk/mendips/Industrial_archaeology/fussells.html ). While some of these are now out of bounds many of the old works can still be explored.
BITE TO EAT?
After all that exercise you might be ready for something else to eat. You can eat at the Mells Café. Our you could go to The Talbot Inn (https://www.talbotinn.com/) – a stylish 15th century former coaching inn or grab a bite to eat at The Walled Garden Cafe (https://www.thewalledgardenatmells.co.uk/cafe ). However, The Walled Garden Café isn’t open until the 29 March (so you need to plan your return visit!)! The Walled Garden Cafe offers a good selection of pizzas (cooked in a wood-fired oven), sandwiches, salads and other light bites. This is a plant nursery, so there are plenty of great things to look at and buy.
Directly opposite the entrance to The Walled Garden is Mells Tithe Barn https://mellsbarn.org/ ). This medieval, Grade II listed building is now used predominately for private parties and celebrations.
St Andrew’s church is a Grade I listed building which dates back mainly to the 15th century. It is open to the public during the day.
Don’t be put off by the metal gates across the front porch. These aren’t locked during the day and are used to stop birds from nesting in the porch.
The church has some beautiful stained glass windows which date back to the mid 1800s. Inside the church there is also a striking equestrian statue. The statue is one of only a handful designed by Sir Alfred Munnings ( https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/sir-alfred-munnings-1680 )and it rests on a plinth made by Edwin Lutyens (http://www.lutyenstrust.org.uk/about-lutyens/chronology-2/ ). It’s in memory of Edward Horner who was killed in battle during the First World War.
Wander around the well-kept graveyard and you’ll spot beautiful memorials to the Asquith and Horner families, the poet Siegfried Sassoon (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/siegfried-sassoon ), Monsignor Ronald Knox, and Lady Violet Bonham Carter (grandmother of the actress Helena). Even the yew trees owe their placement to Lutyens.
Stroll back past the tithe barn and Walled Garden and you will come across a striking war memorial. This was also commissioned from Edwin Lutyens and features St. George slaying the dragon. The memorial cost £400 and was paid for by the Asquith and Horner families. It was unveiled in 1921.
You can still catch a glimpse of where the Horner family used to live. While there isn’t any public access to Mells Manor it is visible from various places in the village. The manor of Mells was bought by Thomas Horner (following the dissolution of Glastonbury Abbey) in 1543.
Mells is a village with a long and rich history and there is still much to enjoy here today.
By Bus: Libra Travel's 184 service
Holcombe, near Midsomer Norton
Edford Wood is full of wild daffodils in late February. Edford Wood's are near the bottom of Holcombe Hill. Download the Ordinance Survey map or buy a map of the area showing the location: The location can be seen on this website: https://footpathmaps.com/
By Bus: 15 minutes walk from the bus stop where Libra Travel's 184 service drops you off in Holcombe.
Frogmary Green Farm, West Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5DJ
Daffodil's are in abudance all around the farm and cafe area from the end of February.
Bus: Somerset County Council bus service18 service. Timetable: https://bustimes.org/services/18-ilminster-south-petherton-hospital .
Nearest bus stop: Lopen Raj
All Yeovil's roundabouts have wonderful displays of a million daffodils which attract visitors from all over the South West year after year. For more information: https://www.yeovil.gov.uk/yeovil-in-bloom
Bus: Yeovil has so many buses! Too many to list. They can be viewed on this link (scroll to bottom): https://bustimes.org/localities/yeovil
JUST OVER SOMERSET’S BORDER
Prior Park, Bath (National Trust)
You can enjoy the elegant surroundings of an 18th-century landscape garden in Bath, while also finding banks of wild snowdrops in its woodlands.
Winter is a good time to explore Prior Park, with bare trees opening up views across the garden and towards the city. After visiting the garden’s famous Palladian Bridge, it’s worth wandering further and taking to a woodland trail.
When the National Trust bought the property in 1993 the timber ruins of an old summerhouse were found deep in the woods. In 2004 the structure was rebuilt, and it is now the perfect place to stop and rest, surrounded by trees and native flowers – including the many snowdrops which cover the woodland floor.
It’s a beautiful, natural display, the snowdrops later giving way to daffodils and wild garlic.
For more information: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/bath-bristol/prior-park-landscape-garden
Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire (National Trust)
Lacock Abbey is set in the beautiful village of Lacock which is famous as a location and setting for period dramas.
Lacock Abbey, its medieval cloisters and rooms are steeped in history and make for an interesting visit. The Fox Talbot Museum is also set within the grounds of the Abbey and is worth visiting.
We feature Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire for its delightful displays of daffodils and aconites in February and early March. You can follow various paths within the grounds to make the most of your time.
Make sure you have time to wander around the village, its shops and tearooms.
.Grounds open daily.
For more information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/wiltshire/lacock