Purple haze: Run through fields of lavender at Mayfield Farm
If told to envisage running through lavender fields, you’d probably expect to be in Provence, France, right? Well, visitors to and residents of London can enjoy their own floral fantasy just outside the capital. Located in Banstead, Surrey – just on the border of London and just 5 miles away from Croydon – is an idyllic piece of countryside – Mayfield Lavender Farm.
From the end of May until mid-September, the family-run organic farm opens its 25 acres to the public. As well as the fields of lavender to roam about in, there’s also a café and shop selling lavender products. With the weather soaring to 30C today, I decided to head down to the farm with my friend and godson to check it out. The first thing which hit us when we stepped out of the car was the gorgeous smell of lavender. Rows upon rows of lavender can be seen heading off on to the horizon. With the end of the lavender season only a few weeks away, some of the lavender plants had been harvested a bit more so we walked up and over the hill to see the fuller, bushier lavender, which created the better photo moments. Being a Saturday, the farm was very busy with quite a few young tourists brandishing selfie sticks creating their Insta-moments. With the cooling summer breeze and the smell of lavender, we found it incredibly relaxing strolling through the field.
Following our roaming around, we took shade in the on-site café, which is very reasonably priced. Lavender is an ingredient on many of their menu items, including fairy cakes, ice cream and lemonade. I enjoyed a scone, ice cream and lemonade, which were all delicious. The shop next door also sells lavender plants, bouquets, toiletries, oils and other products made from the plant.
- Mayfield Lavender Farm, Croydon Lane, Banstead, Surrey, SM7 3BE. To get there on public transport, you can get a train to East Croydon, Purley or Banstead and then get 166 bus to the farm. Open from late May until mid September. Entrance: £1 per person. Their nursery and shop in Epsom is open all year round. For more information, visit the Mayfield Lavender website.