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Lavender fields Kentish Lavender
Kentish Lavender

Lavender fields in and around London

From rolling fields of indigo to neat patches of mauve, here are the best spots to see lavender blooming in and around London

By Alexandra Sims
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It may be known for its sleepy scent and soothing properties, but there’s nothing dozy about the explosion of colour – an astonishing crop of mauves and indigos – happening right now in London’s lavender fields. 

Lavender season typically runs from May to September, peaking some time near the end of August. For those wanting to lay their eyes and nose on this year’s epic bloom, London and the surrounding area boast a sweet selection of sweeping lavender fields. From Kew Gardens to Kennington Park, the purple stuff is everywhere. And with views like the ones we’ve rounded up below, it’d be rude not to take advantage!

To help keep visitors and staff safe in 2020, many lavender fields are asking people to book in advance. And some usual services and activities have be cancelled. Please check each venue’s website before you visit. 

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London’s loveliest lavender fields

lavender field 1.jpg
Photograph: Mayfield Lavender

1. Mayfield Lavender

Things to do Borough of Sutton

You’ll smell these rolling, perfumed fields long before you see them. Set up in 2006 to help revive the historic lavender industry, which boomed here in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the 25-acre farm harvests its lavender and distils its oil on the original Victorian site. Visitors can wander through the rows of purple, enjoy lavender tea and a scone in the alfresco restaurant and browse the gift shop for aromatic treats. Social-distancing measures are in place. 

1 Carshalton Rd, Banstead, SM7 3JA. Belmont rail. Until Aug 31, 9am-6pm. £4, kids free.

Kentish Lavender
Kentish Lavender

2. Kentish Lavender

Forget Provence. Take a day trip to the Kentish Lavender fields, which give the French purple rows a run for their money. With 95 acres of the crop, the folks at Castle Farm cultivate the largest lavender farm in the country, extracting oils in a steam distillery. There are guided tours, pop-up picnics, a farm shop and a pick-your-own orchard, meaning there’s no need to hop on the Eurostar.

This year, visitors must pre-book tickets to the fields. There are two options: a 45-minute lavender walk or a lavender picnic. The farm shop will be drive-through only.

The Hop Shop at Castle Farm. Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, TN14 7UB. Eynsford rail. Wed-Sun 10am-5pm. Guided tours have been cancelled for 2020.

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Hitchin Lavender

3. Hitchin Lavender

Okay – it’s located a little further out of town than you might be used to, but make the journey up to Hitchin Lavender at Cadwell Farm and you’ll be rewarded by a true purple paradise. The farm has been managed by five generations for more than 100 years, and the indigo flowers here were introduced back in 2000. During the flowering season you can wade through the silvery grey foliage and pick some blooms to take home with you.

Throughout August there’s a programme of perfume-laden outdoor film screenings, and during the day the farm shop is open for you to stock up on pretty much any kind of lavender product imaginable. Make sure you delve into the glorious sunflower fields, too. Worth going that extra mile for.

To keep everyone safe, Hitchin Lavender asks that visitors book a time slot in advance, here

Cadwell Farm, Arlesey Rd, Ickleford, Hitchin, SG5 3UA. Hitchin rail. Until Aug 31, 10am-5pm. £6, free for under-fives.

Lavender at Kew Gardens
A.McRobb

4. Kew Gardens

Attractions Parks and gardens Kew

London’s botanical treasure trove holds tons of eyepopping flora, but make sure you seek out the spikes of violet-blue lavender peering out from the sculpted foliage of the Duchess Border, growing (appropriately) along the outside wall of the Duke’s Garden. The regal border has been a test bed for Kew’s lavender and other Mediterranean plants since 1990. You can also spot various patches of the purple blooms dotted around the 250-year-old gardens, such as alongside the luscious plant life in the Prince of Wales Conservatory.

Visitors must book a time slot in advance before arriving at Kew to help the garden stagger entry flow and reduce queues.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, TW9 3AE. Kew Gardens tube. Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 8am-8pm. £16.50, £14.50 concs, £4.50 ages 4-15, free for under-fours. 

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5. Kennington Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Kennington

This green gem holds a compact, but charming, flower patch modelled on an old English kitchen garden. Lavender beds have been planted here for years, but thanks to a Heritage Lottery grant, the 1931 nursery has been renovated and replanted with two different species. Find them beneath olive trees in the garden’s Mediterranean beds and around the sundial at its centre. The bee-friendly plants are also a stone’s throw from Bee Urban’s headquarters, where ten hives are kept at the Keeper’s Lodge.

Kennington Park Rd, SE11 4BE. Oval tube. 7.30am-15 minutes before sunset. Free.

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