The people and places of Farndon that make it such a lovely place to live

PUBLISHED: 16:37 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:48 07 October 2020

Farndon is a lovely, picturesque little village on the River Dee. Photo: Kirstry Thompson

Farndon is a lovely, picturesque little village on the River Dee. Photo: Kirstry Thompson

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Farndon is the type of quintessential English village where the minute you step foot there, you want to call it home. It’s the kind of place that makes you forget anywhere else exists; where you take a peaceful wander to explore the pretty houses among the nooks and crannies of the windy roads and breathe in the gentle, slow-paced way of life.

The high street in Farndon is full of charming features. Photo: Kirstry ThompsonThe high street in Farndon is full of charming features. Photo: Kirstry Thompson

You won’t find all the trappings of urban living, but the village has great amenities, a welcoming feel and is perfectly positioned for the hustle and bustle of Wrexham, just over the Dee, and Chester, only eight miles away. And there’s a lot of creativity (most of the businesses are owned by women), so pay a visit and see why it is so homely.

Established in 2019, Botany House sells all things antique, vintage and collectable (there’s something for everyone) and owner Beverley Davies knows quality pieces. There’s Velvet Peony, the small and friendly florist, with pretty cards, gifts and homewares from independent, high-quality brands as well as some lovely vintage pieces and fresh flowers to order for any occasion, or to simply pick up and go. “I’ve lived in Farndon for 20 years and it’s a place that’s hard to imagine ever leaving,” says owner Julie Carmichael. “It’s such a friendly village; people chat when passing by and it has all the essentials, so between the two villages of Holt and Farndon, we can be pretty self-sufficient.”

The lovely Julie Carmichael owns Velvet Peony, in Farndon, and has lived in the area for more than 20 years. Photo: Ellie CarmichaelThe lovely Julie Carmichael owns Velvet Peony, in Farndon, and has lived in the area for more than 20 years. Photo: Ellie Carmichael

Next to it is The Beauty Studio, the perfect spot for pampering, with a range of beauty and aesthetic treatments, and for a five-star hair experience, head to Farndon Hair Studio, celebrating its 20th year in the village. Tilly-Anna’s Bridal Wear is a beautiful boutique (by appointment only) and offers a range of stunning gowns from a range of designers. And for the little ones, Dandelions Day Nursery nurtures every child to be ‘curious, creative and independent’ – and the views from the grounds are simply gorgeous.

Excitement surrounds the renovation of the once The Greyhound Inn into The Hare at Farndon, a sister pub to Jerry Brunning’s The Swan at Marbury and The Black Bear in Whitchurch. Rumour has it that it’s due to open its doors this autumn. The family-run Lewis’s of Farndon holds a lovely courtyard spot on the high street, with front and backyard seating areas. It is a particular favourite for scones, tea cakes and cream teas.

Khumo Mackae, Katie Evans and Thea Leeming at Lewis's of Farndon. Photo: Kirstry ThompsonKhumo Mackae, Katie Evans and Thea Leeming at Lewis's of Farndon. Photo: Kirstry Thompson

Little Churtons dishes up delicious homemade food in a friendly, cosy atmosphere, and across the road you’ll find Griffiths Traditional High Street Butchers, quoted by a local as ‘the best’.

The village is bordered by the Dee – keep the river on your left for a great view of Farndon Cliffs and explore the former strawberry fields along the way, or make the most of the public footpaths for a circular route through the nearby village of Churton. David Hughes has put together a series of walks on behalf of the Village Surgeries Patient Participation Group, all starting at Farndon Health Centre.

Head to the River Dee for an afternoon stroll. Photo: Kirstry ThompsonHead to the River Dee for an afternoon stroll. Photo: Kirstry Thompson

The Church Towers of either Farndon or Holt are visible most of the time, and there are escape routes back to the village in case of tired legs (or children).

It may have started out as a ‘give-it-a-go’ in September 2017 when her baby Francesca came along, but Sally Linsdell’s handmade bespoke hot air balloon hangings lined with timer LED lights have become quite a hit.

Sally Linsdell handmakes gorgeous hot air balloons, exclusive to Botany House. Photo: Kirstry ThompsonSally Linsdell handmakes gorgeous hot air balloons, exclusive to Botany House. Photo: Kirstry Thompson

She says: “Each one is unique – they’re exclusive to Botany House and are made to order. I’m a single mum and haven’t rushed back to work because of this opportunity.” (Exclusive to Botany House).

And when it comes to where to live, Alastair Summerfield, senior associate director at Strutt and Parker, says: “Recent events mean that some buyers are looking to move out of large towns and into the countryside – while still having access to the amenities they are used to. Farndon has everything that people want when they are searching for a new home, with a good community, and a variety of home comforts on their doorstep. It has a popular pub, a brasserie restaurant, a GP’s surgery, a church, good post office, various shops, and a primary school at its heart.

Charles Griffiths Row, Farndon. Photo: Kirstry ThompsonCharles Griffiths Row, Farndon. Photo: Kirstry Thompson

“Importantly for families, Farndon Primary is considered a partner school for the outstanding Bishop Heber High School. There is a thriving village hall, popular organised family activities, and the summer months have seen paddle boarding on the river. On top of all this, it is a truly attractive village, surrounded by glorious countryside. Being right on the England/Wales border, it has a wealth of history to explore, from the Romans to the Civil War.”

A video tour exploring the history of St Chads in Farndon

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