Some of our favourite lavender farms and fields to visit near London — all of them welcoming visitors this year, though most will involve advance booking. Check websites for tickets and more details, and remember to check the lavender's in bloom before you make a special trip, as the season can vary by a couple of weeks each year.
Mayfield Lavender Farm, London
Just, *just* within the boundaries of London itself, Mayfield Lavender Farm gained Instagram fame a few years ago, partly thanks to the red phone box plonked strategically in the middle of a field.
The 25 acre farm is a sea of purple, enticing visitors to walk through it, as if in a purple-tinged dream. It gets very busy at weekends — visit on a weekday if possible. There's a cafe and shop on site.
Photography among the lavender is encouraged (there's even an official competition every year — uncertain if that's happening in 2021), but if you're taking part in a professional or extensive photoshoot, you'll need to register and pay a fee.
Open to the public: Lavender is expected to bloom from the end of June, but check before you travel. Entry is £4 per adult.
The farm also has a nursery and farm shop based in Epsom which is open all year round
The Hop Shop and Castle Farm Lavender, Kent
If you've taken the train between Orpington and Sevenoaks during lavender season, you'll have seen the bright purple fields right next to the railway. They're part of the extensive Castle Farm empire — the largest producer of lavender in the UK.
The farm's 1100 acres are spread all over this part of Kent, but the activity all takes place at The Hop Shop near Shoreham. If you visit, it's worth sampling the lavender ice cream available in the farm shop.
Open to the public: The Hop Shop farm shop is open all year, but access to other parts of the farm is only available in lavender season, late June-late July. Tickets for the Lavender Walks and Lavender Picnics will be released in late June — sign up to their newsletter to be emailed when tickets go live. The Lavender Tours which have taken place previously aren't happening in 2021.
The Hop Shop at Castle Farm, Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7UB
Hitchin Lavender, Hertfordshire
If you want to know what 25 miles of lavender rows looks like, head to Hertfordshire and wander around in the Hitchin Lavender fields — you can even pick your own to take home.
There's an £8.50 entry fee (£5.50 for kids), which includes access to the fields, and a bag to fill with lavender to take home. Extra bags are available at an extra cost, and once you've worked up a sweat, lunches, cakes and drinks are available to buy in the cafe in the 17th century barn. You're also welcome to bring your own picnic.
There's a small museum on site, with a replica of the Perks & Llewellyn pharmacy, well-known in the 19th century for its lavender products.
If you can tear your eyes away from the lavender for a minute or two, the hillside location of the farm means it offers views all over the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire countryside.
Open to the public: From 26 June 2021, with lavender in flower from mid-June.
Hitchin Lavender, Cadwell Farm, Ickleford, Hertfordshire, SG5 3UA
Lavender Fields at Hartley Park Farm, Alton, Hampshire
For a grand day out in the opposite direction, head to the Lavender Fields at Hartley Park Farm. Visiting the lavender itself is usually restricted to certain open days, when you can stroll through the seven varieties of lavender being grown, as well as a wild flower field. They've yet to announce their dates for 2021 but have said they do plan to open as long as government guidelines allow it. Entry prices for 2021 haven't been confirmed, but were £4 for an adult for their last open days.
The rest of the time, the lavender shop is open to the public, but there's no access to the fields.
Open to the public: open day dates TBC — check their website for details.
Lavender Fields at Hartley Park Farm, Selborne Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 3HP