English Lavender Fields – Somerset Lavender
I have been influenced – not surprisingly really considering the amount of time I spend on line. Last year I kept seeing pictures of beautiful English lavender fields and some stunning photography. So given the chance this year I dragged my mum out for the day to the depths of Somerset in search of the chance to experience this myself. Our destination was the closet lavender farm I could find, called Somerset Lavender which is about 7 miles south of Bath.
Somerset Lavender Farm
So here’s the thing, I was a little bit disappointed. Some of the pictures I’d seen of large farms in Kent and the Cotswolds were stunning. Huge fields, neat rows of lavender and vivid colours (which admittedly may well have been enhanced).
Sadly by the end of July some of flowers were starting to go over and the colour did not live up to my expectations. It was partly the light, any good photographer knows that midday is not good for capturing colour.
That said, it is a lovely place.
The whole site is full of bees of every variety and when you crouch down you can hear the hum. Also unlike most other lavender farms this one is free to visit (donations appreciated).
First Stop – Coffee
It was coffee time when we arrived (that’s late morning for mum and I!) so it was a pleasure to see the coffee shop and lots of seating. There’s no fancy coffee machine but we had a very good cafetiere and had no qualms about sampling the cake, one of which was almond and lavender. Very nice it was too.
The cafe also had a shop section where you could purchase items like essential oil, candles and dried lavender.
The farm planted it’s first lavender in 2003 to supplement the dairy farm income. Now all the cows have been replaced with lavender. According to the website there are two main fields. The first field is planted with English Angustifolia lavender that flowers in June and July, the second has a mixture of English lavender and hybrid intermedia lavender that flowers later during July and August.
As well as the fields there is a pretty Lavender Garden, an area packed full over 20 different colours and varieties of lavender. There is also a Healing Garden with many herbs, from the ordinary thyme and mint to the more unusual healing herbs such as arnica and echinacea. Finally there is a beautiful flower & vegetable garden that had an amazing row of sweet peas. There are also are various plants available to buy.
At the end of the summer, the lavender is harvested and distilled to make essential oil. Lavender oil has been used for centuries for it’s scent and healing properties. Lavender was used to scent the water in Roman baths, it name originates from the Latin “lavare” meaning “to wash.” Romans also used it as a perfume, insect repellent, flavouring and even added dried lavender to their smoking mixtures.
Instagram and selfie Heaven
For many of the younger generation, having the best pictures for your social media is a priority. I have to say I did attempt a few with my mum for my Instagram story, but I never really know where to look!
This is one of my favourite photos of the day!
We spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around at the Somerset Lavender Farm. The farm is child friendly and accessible.
If you don’t live in the South West here’s a list of some of the many other ones that might be nearer you.
English Lavender Farms
Hitchin Lavender, Hertfordshire
Snowshill Lavender Farm, Oxford
Norfolk Lavender – Norfolk
Mayfield, Banstead, Surrey
Cotswold Lavender, Cheltenham, Worcestershire
The Hop Shop, Sevenoaks, Kent
Kentish Lavender (The Hop Shop) – Shoreham, Kent
Suffolk Lavender Farm, Bucklesham, Ipswich,
Lavender Fields, Alton, Hampshire
Lordington Lavender, Chichester
Long Barn, Hampshire
Shropshire Lavender, Pickstock
Yorkshire Lavender, Terrington
Wolds Way Lavender, Yorkshire
Inglenook Farm, Saint Helens
Welsh Lavender, Builth Wells, Powys
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