Scrolling through your social media feeds recently, you may be seeing lovely shots of people running through lavender fields. Obviously, an over-crowded metropolis like London doesn’t have the room for huge fields, but there are several of these floral paradises just outside the capital. Lavender season is usually from late May until September, with July to August the best time to visit. As these tend to be in the countryside, it’s advisable to go via car if you can, however some public transport routes have been detailed below. The fields are all family friendly so it’s a great day out with the children during the summer holidays.
- Mayfield Lavender Farm
Despite some London guides claiming this is in Croydon, it isn’t. Located in the Surrey Downs, in the London Borough of Sutton, it’s at least a 45 minute commute from Croydon town centre. Mayfield has 25 acres of fields with an Insta-tastic red phonebox and tractor for those perfect poses. It also has a shop selling lavender products and a café, serving drinks and snacks, many featuring lavender flavours. Find out more on their website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post about her visit.
Mayfield Lavender Farm, 1 Carshalton Road, Banstead, Surrey SM7 3JA. Open daily 9am-6pm from 1 June – 16 September. Tickets: Adults £2, Under 16s free.
Getting there by public transport: The nearest train stations are Chipstead (42 mins from London Bridge) or Banstead (56 mins from Victoria), before a short bus ride (166) or a 40-45 minute walk. Alternatively you can get the 166 bus earlier from West Croydon which takes about 45 minutes.
- Hitchin Lavender
Situated north of the capital in Hertfordshire, Hitchin boasts 25 miles of rows from which you can pick your own lavender. It also features a sunflower field and wildflower area. There’s a 17th century barn on-site selling lunches and cakes, as well as a shop. Find out more on their website.
Hitchin Lavender, Cadwell Farm, Ickleford, Hitchin, Herts SG5 3UA. Open daily 10am-5pm from 19 June until the end of August. Tickets (picking included): Adults £6, Under 14s £3, Under 5s free.
Getting there by public transport: From King’s Cross, you can get a Thameslink train to Arlesey (54 mins). Take the 72 bus to ‘The Green’ stop, a few minutes walk from the field.
- Kentish Lavender
Castle Farm in Kent is home to the largest lavender farm in the UK with over 95 acres of the purple stuff! Their Hop Shop is open all year round, selling lavender and other farm products. You can only visit the fields on a guided group tour or a sunset pop-up picnic. Check out their website to find out more.
Castle Farm, Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7UB. The Hop Shop is open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Group tour tickets: Adults £6/£7, Children 5-14ys £3/£3.50.
Getting there by public transport: From Blackfriars, you can get a Thameslink train to Eynsford (55 mins) or Shoreham (59 mins). From either, there are several bus routes (approx. 15 mins) going to the Hop Shop.
- Lavender Fields @ Hartley Park Farm
This is a lot further afield in Hampshire, but if you’re willing to make the journey, then you may find it quieter than the ones closer to London. There’s an on-site shop open from mid-April under late September, but the lavender fields are only accessible during their open days. Check out their website to find out when their open days are taking place.
Hartley Park Farm, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 3HP. Tickets (open days only): Adults £4, Under 12s free.
Getting there by public transport: From Waterloo, you can get a South Western train to Petersfield (1 hour). Take the 38 bus to the ‘Hartley Park Farm’ stop.
For a guide to what’s on in London in August, click here.
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.