Last year I missed the opportunity to experience lavender season and remember my jaw dropping at everyone’s photos online. This year, I made it a top priority not to miss out and when I found myself a spare Friday off work, Farley and I decided to visit the beautfiul Mayfield Lavender Farm. Funny fact… I actually have a slight allergy to lavender but only if I were to manhandle and rub it on my skin!
The farm sits on 25 acres of land in Banstead, Surrey, a 30 minute drive from my home and approximately 15 miles from Central London. Can you believe you can experience this kind of beauty just outside of London with no need to travel to the iconic fields in Provence! The actual address you need to get there is 1 Carshalton Rd, Banstead SM7 3JA.
This year, Mayfield Lavender opens its fields to visitors from 1st June and will be closing for the season on 31st August. During this time they open 7 days a week from 9am until 6pm with last entry for cars being 5:45pm. The lavender typically blooms towards the end of June and peaks in colour between July and August.
I knew the farm was a popular destination but I thought given it was an odd Friday, and we are technically still in the middle of a global pandemic, that there may not be so many crowds. I was so wrong, it was a struggle just to get into the car park! I must say we made the mistake of visiting during the middle of the day and if I were to go again, I would plan accordingly to visit as soon as their doors open. Entry is £4 per person (£8 total for the two of us), free for children 16 years and under, and free for dogs (you just have to remember to clean up their poop!). But, yes you can bring your fur baby! You didn’t think we would leave Moose at home did you!
Once parked up we immediately caught as whiff of the lavender which smelt divine, and as we stepped over into field, we were welcomed by a sea of purple and some very busy bees hard at work searching for nectar. A huge grin like a Cheshire Cat instantly spread across my face and I felt like I had stepped straight out of London and into a charming fairytale land. I must admit, I was slightly overwhelmed by the amount of people there, it was one of those insta vs. reality moments.
From what I could see, Mayfield Lavender has a great understanding of what draws the crowds in. They have the organic lavender as their natural effortless backdrop, and have dotted several incredible centrepieces, like colourful trucks, quirky signage and a traditional red London telephone box across the farm to really allow visitors to capture some incredible photos. As you can imagine, these photo spots were bustling with people so we stayed clear and found our own little spot to shoot in one of the further ends of the field where there was no-one around. Once we had taken the shots we wanted we put the camera away and just appreciated the natural beauty of the lavender.
You can stay as long or as little as you like. After 30 minutes, given that it was rather hot summers day and our tummy’s were starting to rumble we were ready to get going. The farm has a cute cafe overlooking the sea of purple which serve panini’s, burgers, cakes, light bites and drinks to those feeling peckish. The queue however was rather long and every table full so we skipped this and headed home. Note that you are not allowed to bring your own picnic. Attached to the cafe is their own gift shop where you can purchase some lavender to take home with you as a souvenir.
There’s just a few weeks left of lavender season, so if you haven’t already, go and experience it! My advice would be to go on a week day, visit first thing and appreciate the beauty.