When people think of lavender fields, they usually think of Provence in France. In England, there are also quite a few beautiful lavender fields, in particular there is one nearby in Surrey where I used to live.
In the late 1990’s, a gentleman working in the fragrance department of a large corporation in UK wanted to revive one of England’s old lavender brand called Yardley. He proposed to his employer that they could grow lavender in order to promote the brand but unfortunately, they rejected the idea. Over the years, the gentlemen continued to develop his vision and eventually opened his own lavender farm outside of London.
This is Mayfield Lavender Farm at Banstead, about 24km south of central London and opens to the public during the summer each year. When I went there in 2010, the farm was still in its early stages of opening to the public, and even some of locals couldn’t tell us where it was when we got lost. The farm is about 25 acres big, that’s about 14 football grounds in English speak. There are rows and rows of lavenders, and visitors are free to walk around the fields but of course aren’t allowed to pick the flowers. The farm didn’t feel commercialized at all, it was just a massive sea of beautiful lavender, the organic lavender products were sold on a few tables under a small gazebo, and the car park was a small strip of land on the side. I recall there weren’t too many other visitors when I was there, and I had plenty of opportunities to practice photography skills.
From the website, it seems that the farm now has much more facilities including a café, a proper farm shop, and tractor rides. You can even hold a party there! I haven’t been back since 2010, though I do know it has become much more popular, and rightly so as it is such a lovely place，and perfect for a summers dayout from London.