It's not just bees who love lavender. Soothe your soul this summer by discovering some of the best, brightest and most beautiful lavender fields you can visit in England, Scotland and Wales...
Typically open for visitors from mid-June until the beginning of August, there’s a limited window open for appreciating Hill Barn Farm’s sweeping lavender fields, stretching over 140 miles of land.
A weekday visit is highly recommended if you hope to see the 40 different lavender varieties (and 500,000 plants total) without the crowds. Of course, you get more than lavender from a trip here: a postcard-ready view of the Cotswold countryside, plus the chance to spy the new, growing crop of camomile. Lavender oils are for sale in the farm shop.
Open until: 1 August 2020
More information: Cotswold Lavender
This Banstead-based lavender field is the largest organic lavender field in the UK. It makes a picturesque day trip, particularly given its close proximity to the 422 sq km Surrey Hills (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and given how easy it is to visit from the capital (it's just 15 miles from central London).
The back-to-nature, wading-through-the-purple-flowers experience is complete with a spot of tea at the charming Mayfield café, and a chance to purchase lavender products in the farm shop. Weekday visits are recommended.
Open until: 31 August 2020
More information: Mayfield Lavender
This sustainable lavender farm – the biggest in Scotland – grows seven varieties of lavender, including Folgate and Grosso, along the banks of Loch Leven Nature Reserve. It also has three honeybee hives placed to help encourage pollination – that’s a massive 100,000 bumble bees on site. Eep.
Keep in mind that Tarhill Farm is a family home, and as such visits are by appointment only. Their website states that they hope to be open to visits again soon.
More information: Tarhill Lavender
Dubbed as a ‘purple paradise among the green hills’, Wye Lavender, near the market town of Rhayader is one of the only lavender fields in Wales.
3,600 lavender plants have been rooted here, and though it’s a family home, visits from the public are welcomed, though you need to call ahead in advance. It isn’t the biggest lavender field on our list, but tours and cream tea are available, as well as a chance to pop into the lavender shop.
Open until: August 2020
More information: Wye Lavender
Situated in northern England, this lovely, 60-acre lavender garden is just 14 miles from York, and three miles west from Castle Howard: a grand stately home well worth a visit in itself.
Not only are you able to wander through and admire the pale and dark shades of purple rippling through the field, you can also get lost in the lavender maze, enjoy a host of other gardens (including the Sensory Garden) and sample (rather unusual) lavender-imbued scones and ice cream at EJ’s Licensed Tea Room.
Reopens: March 2021
More information: Yorkshire Lavender
Proud owners of the ‘UK’s largest lavender farm’ title, the 1,100-acre Castle Farm near Shoreham, Kent is the perfect nature escape for those keen to get out of the capital. Especially when you consider its prime location on the pretty Darent Valley.
Pre-book either a lavender walk or lavender picnic, then sit back and enjoy the view. Or, if you’re keen to try some lavender products, try the socially-distanced farm shop drive-through in operation. The farm also grows hops, apples and pumpkins, among other produce.
Open until: Mid-August 2020
More information: Castle Farm
35 miles of lavender meadows, within reach of Cambridge and London, makes Hitchin Lavender an ideal nature escape for city dwellers. Not to mention that you’ll also find rows upon rows of sunflowers here from early August onwards, as well as fields of wildflowers.
Hitchin’s popular lavender fields are still accessible to visitors, though you do need a time slot. It’s worth it, especially if you can stop for a spot of tea in their 17th century barn, or wander their museum – a recreation of the 19th-century, lavender-loving Perks & Llewellyn Pharmacy.
Open until: 27 July 2020
More information: Hitchin Lavender
Kew Gardens needs little introduction to fauna fans, thanks to its famous Bamboo Garden, Rose Garden, rhododendron dell, collection of carnivorous plants, indoor rainforest and 14,000-strong arboretum (just to name a few attractions).
Lavender lovers won't find a full field, but should visit the Great Board Walk Garden, the Duke’s Garden and the Queen’s Garden to catch a glimpse of purple among the rainbow symphony of flowers on display. Best to visit in July, August or September for your best chance seeing lavender.
Pre-book tickets in advance, and remember that Kew’s various gardens have their own open and closing times, particularly in 2020. Check the website for full information.
Open until: Year-round
More information: Kew Gardens
Somerset Lavender, based in the pleasant Somerset village of Faulkland, offers over five acres and 50,000 flowers in 20 different lavender varieties to roam past and admire. Birders will enjoy spotting swifts and swallows, and expect plenty of bee and butterflies on site, too.
The farm plans to add another five acres of lavender in the near future, and also has the Healing Garden, filled with the soothing scents of lemon balm, arnica and echinacea. You can stock up on gifts at the farm shop, selling lavender goods and honey, as well as enjoying a cuppa in the café.
Open until: 29 September 2020
More information: Somerset Lavender
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