August-September is when sunflowers usually bloom in the UK — and plenty of farms and fields near London invite you to pick your own. If you're making a special journey, check ahead to ensure the flowers are out. British summers are anything but predictable.
Pick your own sunflowers at Garsons Farm, Esher, Surrey
Consisting of a farm shop down in Hampshire, and a huge PYO farm in Surrey, Garsons has most of the pick your own market covered. Among the myriad fields of fruit and veg — many over by the time the sunflowers are in bloom — you'll find a couple of patches dedicated to the yellow blooms.
Check the website for latest season information and picking availability.
2020 update: Pick Your Own is happening at Garsons this year, but for social distancing reasons, you'll need to book a farm pass in advance.
Pick your own sunflowers at Hitchin Lavender, Hertfordshire
If you've seen any photos of Hitchin Lavender, they've probably been of the eponymous purple crops. But in among those lavender hues are patches of yellow, where the sunflowers are grown (with sweeping countryside views to boot).
As one of the UK's most famous lavender farms, it's unsurprising that Hitchin now charges an entry fee — it's £7.
2020 update: Hitchin is open to visitors this year, but for social distancing purposes, you'll need to book in advance. No lavender picking is allowed this year, and the barn, tea room and play area will remain closed all season.
Pick your own sunflowers at The Pop Up Farm, Hertfordshire
2020 update: The Pop Up Farm isn't offering sunflowers this year, but keep an eye on the website for future seasons — there may be pumpkin picking in autumn 2020.
Yep, London's fetish for pop-ups has reached the fields of Hertfordshire. The Pop Up Farm is there all year, but only opens to the public for certain seasons, with focus very much on educating people about farming.
They love their pumpkins around here, but the sunflowers get a look in too, with the fields open for picking in August.
There's no entry fee, and taking photos in the fields and around the farm is very much encouraged. A small selection of soft and hot drinks available to buy.
Pick your own sunflowers at Stanhill Farm, Kent
Fruit is the primary focus at Dartford's Stanhill Farm, but come August, when much of the fruit has gone, it's sunflower season.
Secateurs are available to borrow from the hut (adults only!), and sunflowers are priced on number of stems — in the past it's been 40p each or 3 for £1, but this year's prices have yet to be announced.
2020 update: Fruit picking has been happening this season, so we're optimistic that sunflower picking will also go ahead — keep an eye on the website for dates and updates.
Pick your own flowers at Blooming Green, Kent
If you love flowers — of any kind — you need to know about Blooming Green. The flower farm, located near Maidstone in Kent, is open to the public one day a week, when you can fill a bucket from the acre of flowers for a set price. Here's a video from our 2018 visit — we went in June, so too early for sunflowers, but they are usually available later in the season.
2020 update: PYO is happening at Blooming Green this year, but you'll need to book a slot in advance, by purchasing a PYO gift voucher.