Visit England’s Beautiful Lavender Fields
Smell the fragrant lavender as you stroll through the lavender fields!
Having missed my chance of visiting the beautiful lavender fields last year (sad face), I was determined not to miss out again this year. The lavender fields in Provence are absolutely stunning but a bit far to travel to for a day trip. However, if you live in England, don’t worry as there are quite a few lavender fields dotted around the country. The lavender is usually in bloom from June to August in England but I would advise to check online for updates. Luckily the U.K was experiencing extremely good weather during the month of July and the lavender were blooming.
The Egyptians made perfumes with lavender and when Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened traces of lavender were found and its scent was still detectable - Hitchin Lavender
Here we’ll be sharing our visits to two beautiful lavender fields in England; Somerset Lavender Farm and Hitchin Lavender Farm.
Driving back from our trip to Padstow, I mentioned to Ian that we should stop off at the lavender farm on the way back home. Checking our route on the map, it was only a slight deviation from our journey. Just our luck, we hit Friday traffic and the weather had turned. In the back of my mind, I was hoping we would reach the farm before closing time … fingers crossed. With 20 minutes to spare we finally reached the farm. There was ample space in the car park and we noticed people were leaving so this meant we should have the field all to ourselves! We stumbled out of the car and wandered through to the lavender garden.
Somerset Lavender Farm is family run and smaller when compared to Hitchin and Mayfield, offering only five acres of lavender which were planted in 2004. The lavender garden has a variety of lavender plants for you to see. Who knew that there were over 20 different varieties of lavender plants, from deep violet purple of the Essence Purple (Lavandula Angustifolia) to the mid violet Grosso (Lavandula Intermedia) which can be used for cooking.
From the lavender garden, head over to the two lavender fields. I was expecting the lavender to be really fragrant as I strolled in between the rows of lavender. Perhaps the lavender were not in full bloom since it was the start of July. It was a delight to walk through the field with not one person in sight. How lucky were we! As you walk through the lavender, you can hear the bees buzzing around collecting the pollen. The lavender not only attracts the bees to make the honey, but also a variety butterflies too.
During the Summer months of late July to August, the lavender is harvested using traditional methods for the essential oils. Lavender is often used for relaxation and also has antiseptic properties. Harvesting the lavender usually takes around six weeks. Once harvested, the lavender flowers are then distilled using steam. The oil is released from the flowers into the steam and condensed to release the oil. The oil is eventually left to mature for months.
Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and we could see the grey clouds slowly moving across to our direction. As we were short on time and the farm due to close soon, we made our way to the shop to see what goodies we could buy. The shop sells numerous lavender gifts ranging from body products, essential oils, dried lavender to lavender tea. How interesting … lavender tea, have you tried lavender tea?
If you’re feeling peckish, there’s a café on site selling cakes, sandwiches, tea and coffee.
Entrance is free, however feel free to donate towards the farm.
Opening Times: May to September 10am – 5pm
Address: Somerset Lavender, Horsepond Farm, Faulkland, Somerset BA3 5WA
Hitchin Lavender can be easily accessed from London and Cambridge. With Hitchin being only just over an hour away, we decided on a little day trip to visit their beautiful lavender fields. It was fairly busy when we arrived and we spotted lots of people with their little brown paper bags of overflowing lavender. There was a short queue at the kiosk to pay for our entrance and were given two paper bags and scissors to cut the lavender flowers of our choice.
Rows and rows of stunning purple lavender! With 25 miles of lavender rows, there’s enough space for everyone to enjoy and pick the fresh lavender. There were less people towards the back of the lavender fields … so off we went walking through the field. As we wandered deeper into the field, the lavender was thick and wild with the bees buzzing loudly. This was perfect to cut handfuls of lavender. Aahhhh the lovely smell of fresh lavender and the sun beaming on my face. British summer has arrived! There’s nothing quite like being in the countryside, walking through and smelling the lavender. What I love about Hitchin Lavender is that they allow the lavender flowers to be cut and taken home.
There are two main types of lavender growing in the field, angustifolia on the left side and intermedia or lavendin on the right. As mentioned above, the angustifolia is the deep purple lavender and the Intermedia is the mid violet. Usually the Angustifolia blooms from mid June to July and Intermedia from mid July to August. There are over 60 different types of lavender in the field … lavender heaven! Gazing at the field, you’ll notice the various hues of lilacs and purples due to the variety of the lavender. I clicked away and took numerous pictures and Instagram worthy shots!
To the right of the lavender field is the sunflower field. The sunflowers were also in bloom and offered a perfect time to pick. I love sunflowers – so big and bright. As I walked into the sunflower field, I could easily get lost in the flowers. A sea of bright, bold, big sunflowers! They stand so tall, wavering in the air withstanding the gently breeze. Of course, I had to take a sunflower home. Boy are they quite tough to cut. Don’t forget to pay 50p on your way out for each sunflower you pick or you can collect one already cut at the exit.
Both bags filled with lavender and a sunflower in hand, we headed over to the coffee shop for a refreshing drink. Browsing the drinks selection I noticed homemade cakes on the counter made with lavender. What caught my eye was the lavender ice cream. Lovely lilac creamy ice cream! Well, I had to try the lavender ice cream in a cone and I thought it tasted similar to vanilla surprisingly. Due to the heat outside, the ice cream was melting fairly quickly and all of a sudden the ice cream was gone. Poor Ian only managed a lick! Ha ha!
There’s a huge picnic area with picnic tables for people to bring their own food and drinks. And dogs are welcome too, however not in the lavender field.
Just to make you aware that there is a photography fee of £50 if you’re looking to take portrait shots, even if they’re not to be used commercially. The fee includes the photographer to use the field for 4 hours.
We highly recommend strolling through the lavender and sunflower fields here at Hitchin, when in full bloom. Check their website regularly during the Summer season, for up to date information.
Entrance Fee: £6 Adult / £3 Children (aged 5-14 yrs)
Opening Times: Everyday 10am – 5pm, except Tuesday and Fridays close at 9pm.
Address: Cadwell Farm, Ickleford, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 3AU
- If you wish to have extra bags of lavender to take home, it’s £4.
- Arrive at the fields when they first open to avoid the crowds and to capture those beautiful shots of the rows of lavender.
Visiting the beautiful lavender fields in England makes a perfect day trip out. Take in the stunning rows of purple lavender and don’t forget to try cake/ice cream with lavender in it. Maybe next year we’ll visit Mayfield farm.
Have you visited any lavender fields in England? Used any lavender products?
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