lavender-fields

10 secret lavender fields that should be on your UK summer bucket list

UK day trips can be just as stunning as international holidays

Harriet Keane

Looking for the perfect day trip? People around the UK are beginning to use their holiday days for staycations following the coronavirus outbreak, and we can't think of a better place to visit to get some Instagrammable shots than at one of the UK's idyllic lavender fields. Famous for its ability to reduce anxiety and its soothing properties, lavender is the perfect flower to help you relax after a busy week at work. You can get your wellness fix at the UK's blooming lavender fields between the months of May through to September, but it's worth checking the website before you travel. Here are some of our favourites to consider for your next summer excursion. You will need a car - so it's worth looking into a rent-a-car service like Enterprise if you're in need of wheels...

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Castle Farm, Kent

Just a stone's throw from the village of Shoreham, Castle Farm sits on the remains of an old Norman Castle dating around the 1100s. Home to the UK's largest lavender farm, stop by the award-winning farm shop 'The Hop Shop', to get your hands on Lavender oils, food essences, Lavender teas and honey, as well as carefully selected gifts, cards, crafts, seasonal decorations, food hampers and local, traceable produce. Endlessly beautiful and bursting with colour, this year access to the lavender fields is only available via a pre-booked time slot to allow for safe social distancing, so make sure you book in advance!

castle-farm

WHERE: Castle Farm, Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7UB

WHEN: Open from Wednesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm, however, anyone looking to visit must pre-book. 

Entry fee: £4.25 for adults, £2.25 for 5-15 years

For more information visit castlefarmkent.co.uk

Mayfield Lavender Farm, Croydon 

This 25-acre lavender farm is approximately 15 miles from Central London, situated close to Croydon station. Enjoy lunch with a sea-view of lavender at the farm's cafe, they have picnic tables seated underneath large gazebos so weather needn't be a concern - this is still England after all. And if your packed-lunch doesn't quite cut it, you can book a lavender cream tea which has the option of their unique home-grown lavender cider. However, If you prefer a faster thrill there are also tractor tours available which are an affordable £2 for 15-20 minutes. The gift shop even sells lavender plants for your garden amongst other lavender laced goodies so you can take a bit of the experience home with you.

mayfield-lavender

WHERE: 1 Carshalton Rd, Banstead SM7 3JA - Nearest station Croydon

WHEN: 1 June - 31 August, 7 days per week from 9am to 6pm

Entry fee: £4 per adult. No entrance charge for children under 16

For more information visit mayfieldlavender.com

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Cotswolds Lavender, Worcestershire

Take a trip to the classic English countryside with a visit to a third-generation family farm set in the heart of the Cotswold Hills. Beginning in 1999 with just a few plants, the lavender fields now boast over 40 different varieties, 140 miles of rows and over 500,000 plants in total. Unfortunately, the distillery is not open this year due to the coronavirus, but visitors can still benefit from the relaxing smell and stock up on products such as lavender oil and even chocolate online. Early-mid July is supposedly the best time to see the fields, but they will continue to be open until the end of July and possibly later depending on whether the lavender keeps flowering.

cotswolds-lavender

WHERE: Hill Barn Farm, Snowshill, Worcestershire, WR12 7JY - Nearest station is Moreton in Marsh

WHEN: 22 June - 26 July, open 10am - 5pm daily

Entry fee: £4 for adults, £2 for children under 15

For more information visit cotswoldlavender.co.uk 

Kew Gardens, London

This botanical beauty has been famous for its gardens for centuries, so it's no wonder that lavender season is always in full flow at London's Kew Gardens. Check out Kew's Queen Gardens, the Mediterranean Garden, Dukes Garden and the Great Broad Walk Borders to get your full lavender fix. There are also a few sneaky patches of the lustrous blooms spread out around the other gardens if you are eagle-eyed enough to spot them, such as in the Prince of Wales Conservatory. Kew also has a gift shop where you can purchase lavender themed gifts such as hand cream, essential oils and soaps so you can embrace the smell of lavender outside of the season. Book a time slot in advance. 

Kew-Gardens-Lavender

WHERE: Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE - Nearest station Richmond

WHEN: The lavender typically grows from May to September, open 10am to 7pm

Entry fee: Adults £16.50, £8 ages 16-24, £4.50 ages 4-15

For more information visit kew.org

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Caley Mill, Norfolk 

Caley Mill's Roam Caley Mill has 10 acres of lavender and you can go on a 45-minute tour that runs hourly from 11am-2pm. On the tour, you'll learn all that this 1930s lavender farm has to offer. Originally an old mill, the lavender field not only offers the calming perfume and indigo sea of lavender but it also oozes history. 

In 2020, the gift shop and plant centre continue to offer lavender-scented produce made exclusively on-site, but it recently stated: "We are unable to offer tours to our Lavender fields this year but you may explore the mini field on site for free."

norfolk-lavender

WHERE: Norfolk Lavender, Caley Mill, Lynn Rd, Heacham PE31 7JE

WHEN: Tuesday - Saturday, open 10am to 4pm for the gift shop

Entry fee: free

For more information visit norfolk-lavender.co.uk

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Vauxhall Park, London

Amidst the often hectic bustle of South London lies Vauxhall Park nestled away with its violet sea of lavender delight. Although it may not be the largest of its kind, it offers a refreshing respite from its surrounding city swarm with its beautifully scented blooms. The lavender fields in Vauxhall Park are replaced every autumn with fresh beds. Once harvested, the bloom is sent to Carshalton lavender field where it is turned into lavender oil and sold locally on Bonnington Square and South lambert Market in order to fund the park. 

vauxhall-park-lavender

WHERE: 12 Lawn Lane, SW8 1UA. Vauxhall. Nearest station Vauxhall

WHEN: July to mid-August is recommended, open 7.30 am to 15 minutes before sunset. 

Entry fee: free

For more information visit vauxhallpark.org.uk

Yorkshire Lavender, Yorkshire

This gorgeous family-run lavender farm is 60 acres of purple paradise. It is not only home to the lavender farm but also award-winning lavender gardens and a specialist Plant nursery with hundreds of different lavender and herbs for sale. Grab a bite to eat at EJ's Tea room including their infamous lavender ice cream or browse the gift shop which sells lavender based products made from their home grown lavender oils. Also it is said that the farm's panoramic views over the Vale of York is one of the best in Yorkshire!

Yorkshire-lavender-field

WHERE: Terrington, York YO60 6PB

WHEN: Scheduled for 6 May - 31 August 2020, but currently postponed due to the coronavirus

Entry fee: Shop, plant nursery and tea room is free admission. Gardens - £4.50 for adults and £3 Children (3-16)

For more information visit yorkshirelavender.com

Kennington Park, London

Kennington Park is host to an accumulation of small but punchy lavender patches which have been planted there for generations. Sitting alongside the olive trees in the Mediterranean beds and surrounding the garden's sundial you will most likely smell the blue, violet and indigo blooms before you see them. Having recently been replanted with two new species of lavender you can ensure you will get the full experience at Kennington Park.

kennington-park-lavender

WHERE: Kennington Park Rd, SE11 4BE. Oval. Nearest station Oval.

WHEN: July to mid-August is recommended, Open 7.30am - 15 minutes before sunset. 

Entry fee: free

For more information visit kenningtonpark.org

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Hitchin Lavender, Hitchin

With 25-mile rows of lavender, as well as a sunflower field and wildflower area, Cadwell farm is definitely worth that extra mile out of London. From King's Cross Station it is only 54mins to Hitchin and you'll be rewarded with a vast lavender landscape which has been managed for more than 100 years by five generations. Also, you can take blooms home during the season meaning you do not go home empty-handed. What's even better, during the month of August the farm hosts outdoor film screening amongst the lavender sea - enough to soak out that smell of popcorn in trade for a lavender perfume. 

Hitchin-lavender-fields

WHERE: Cadwell Farm, Arlesey Rd, Ickleford, Hitchin, SG5 3UA. Nearest station Hitchin.

WHEN: Open July until the end of August, open 10 am to 5 pm. Bookings required.

Entry fee: £6, free for under-fives.

For more information visit hitchinlavender.com

Somerset Lavender

This lavender field holds over five acres, with more than 50,00 lavender plants. What's best about Somerset Lavender is that on harvest days you can wander into the distillery and watch the lavender be transformed into essential oils. These lavender based oils can then be purchased in all shapes and forms from their gift shop, from candles, to body products and even tea. Take a wander into the fields and notice the different qualities of over 20 types of lavender grown there - you'll leave a pro!

somerset-lavender

WHERE: Horsepond Farm, Faulkland, Nr Radstock BA3 5WA

WHEN: 16 May 2020 until September from Wednesday - Sunday, open 10 am - 5 pm 

Entry fee: £4 per person

For more information visit somersetlavender.com

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