Riding the Daffodil Line around England’s ‘golden triangle’

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The Herefordshire-Gloucestershire border is famous for its spring flower displays, and a new community-run bus service is the perfect way to explore

When Clare Stone’s local bus service was abruptly axed in 2022, she “got quite cross” and co-founded protest group Buses4Us. In the early 20th century, daytrippers used to come by train to see the displays of wild daffodils that carpet the forests and meadows of the so-called “golden triangle” on the Gloucestershire–Herefordshire border. The railway (now long gone) became known as the Daffodil Line. Clare’s group channelled the spirit of the early Victorian investors who had raised the funds to build the railway: “They wanted the railway so they decided to get on and do it themselves,” she tells me. Buses4Us raised money from councils, businesses and individuals and in April 2023 launched a bus called the Daffodil Line (AKA bus 232 or simply “the Daff”).

The original railway also transported harvested wild daffodils to cities such as Birmingham. Now visitors can use the bus to see the flowers still growing along its rural route, which winds between the Herefordshire towns of Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye. Each spring, local villages organise walks, teas and celebratory daffodil weekends.

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