Treat your senses to vivid sights, floral smells and fragrant flavours with a day trip to a lavender farm. These photogenic purple fields are a summertime favourite, especially between June and August when the plants are in full bloom. And with many farms branching out into bee-keeping, distillery tours and sculpture gardens, there’s plenty of ways to make the most of your visit. Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite lavender farms in England.
Hill Barn Farm, Snowshill
Overlooking the Vale of Evesham, this family-run farm has been growing lavender since 1999, thanks to the rich limestone oil the Cotswolds is famous for. There’s around 140 miles of rows to explore (and plenty of photo opportunities), as well as camomile gardens that, in the summer, look like a field full of tall daisies. Once harvested at the end of summer, the farm creates a variety of products from the crops, from shower gels and moisturisers to diffusers and even lavender-infused chocolate truffles.
Tucked away in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a 60-acre hillside farm chock-a-block with an array of white, pink, blue and deep purple lavender. Work your way through the lavender maze, tick off all the artworks in the sculpture gardens, stroll through the Mediterranean Dry Garden and take on Yorkshire’s largest snakes and ladders game.
Somerset’s Horsepond Farm attracts visitors from far and wide to its vast fields filled with over 20 varieties of lavender. Walk amongst the colourful rows accompanied by bees, butterflies and, now and again, buzzards. Don’t forget to wander through the Healing Garden (filled with the likes of thyme, mint and Echinacea), underneath the weaving willow tunnel and take a rest in the Rose Arbour.
The small town of Hitchin was once one of only two major lavender-growing areas in the country. Today, the Hertfordshire lavender farm attracts tens of thousands of visitors to its fields each summer and picnics are more than welcome. If you happen to miss the lavender in full bloom, you can always pay a visit to the sunflower patch in late August, or come by for pumpkin picking in the autumn. Make sure to pop in the shop before you leave to pick up a homemade bottle of Hitchin Lavender gin!
Tread lightly among a sea of beautiful organic lavender in Surrey this summer before turning your hand to bee-keeping. As well as growing miles of fragrant purple flowers, Mayfield Lavender hosts bee safaris, ideal for aspiring keepers. You’ll have an introduction to beekeeping, take a guided tour and get to taste some straight-from-the-hive fresh honey.
Take a trip to England’s premier lavender farm to traverse 100 acres of lovely lavender fields and breathe in fresh, fragrant air. If you want to make a day of it, you can learn about the history of Norfolk Lavender and how the plants are distilled on a farm tour, or spend the afternoon exploring the grounds and gardens filled with vibrant flowers, herbs, winding paths and towering bamboo.
Close to the village of Shoreham in North Kent is Castle Farm, one of the largest producers of lavender in the UK. See the stunning fields for yourself on a tour of the farm, or tuck into a lavender picnic, followed by a visit to The Hop Shop to nab some luxury lavender hampers or essential sleeping oils. If you miss the lavender season, the farm is also open in the autumn to pick your own apples.