If you are looking for options of an easy and absolutely beautiful day trip to do from London, I highly, highly recommend that you consider either Hitchin Lavender field just outside London, or Mayfield Lavender fields, in South London: both within easy reach. I had the pleasure of visiting both earlier this month with two friends, and they made for unforgettable trips. I feel super lucky to have these on the doorstep! The Lavender season doesn’t last for long, and is at its peak now, so act quickly to make sure you get the full effect! It is a wonderful thing to see, and makes for a refreshing day out.
Locations: Hitchen is in Hertfordshire, but literally just 30 minutes on the train from Kings Cross station (just under £14 return on the day, plus fare for bus or taxi ride), and Mayfield is in the London Borough of Croydon (Zone 6- overground train to either West Croydon and Purley stations, then a bus). Easy trips!
Here I’ll take you through the virtues of both, as I really enjoyed them both but for different reasons.
Just 5 minutes from the town of Purley, Mayfield doesn’t feel like you are in London at all. As soon as we arrived and I saw the purple tents and fields, I was so excited, and it felt very much like we were in countryside. I was blessed to be staying with my friend who lives just 5 minutes from here, so getting there for 10am was easy! (I’d recommend you get here around this time if you can to avoid the crowds. The fields open from 9am, Monday-Saturday).
It’s possibly smaller than Hitchin I believe, but it is also less crowded, which for me is more important. It’s how we were able to take photos like these:
I want to be honest and say there is a filter on these, to make the colours “pop” but the fields really are beautiful. If you want to do a proper photo shoot (we saw a heavily pregnant mum looking glamourous, with balloons and outfit, and a blogger in a ballgown) there is an expected fee, which of course goes for both Lavender sites.
We really liked the family friendly focus: there’s a tractor ride for children that takes you round its fields which looked like a lot of fun. The price was also only £2.50 for adults and free for under 16’s, which was an absolutely bargain, and therefore if you are paying for a few of you, it’s a very affordable family day out.
Its shop was amazing and in comparison to Hitchin far better (sorry Hitchin), with a much bigger selection to choose from, including lavender teas and lavender infused chocolate, but plus all the smellies you could ever dream of! I also rated the cafe highly and was really sad not to have got my hands on one of their ginormous looking lavender infused scones with their lavender infused jam! We had Lavender iced teas instead, and chose others of the stack of Lavender infused cakes to choose from. The difference to Hitchin is that picnics are not allowed at Mayfield, so if you were considering a picnic perhaps bear this in mind.
Mayfield closes on the 28th August 2019, so if you want to see it, you’ll need to plan your visit now!
Website for further information: https://www.mayfieldlavender.com/
We chose to be at Hitchin just slightly later than my 10am arrival to Mayfield, but on a Sunday. It definitely seems bigger in size and by the time we left at 2pm ish, it was absolutely heaving. If you’re a blogger and wanting photographs, or just someone wanting tranquility, I’d say (as for both fields), to come as early as you can. Hitchin opens 7 days a week, and has two late night options on Tuesdays and Fridays which is rather cool. (This is something not possible with Mayfield).
Hitchin charges more for entry, as it is £6.00 per adult, £3.00 per under 14 and children under 5 are free. The key difference is you are given a bag and a pair of scissors to cut (and asked to cut from the sides of the lavender bushes and not to the tops, as this then helps keep the walkways clear for members of the public to walk up and down easily), and that if you so wish, picnics are permitted. Regarding cutting the lavender, that is fab if you want to do something with it, but what if you don’t? (My thought was are people just needlessly cutting? There seems to be enough for the bees but I hope the stacks we saw taken away gets used and enjoyed- it must be really lovely for creatives who will use it to dry it and use in flower arranging).
Hitchin has a beautiful number of bees and the sound of them buzzing was something quite extraordinary (whilst at times a little scary to look down and see the number of them!). I liked the way the field is on a slant so if you walk to the top, looking back at people cutting and chatting, and posing for photos amongst the sea of purple flowers is quite a special sight.
The field is only open until Monday 26th August 2019, so you have just a short window to get in to Hitchin if you want to still make it!
Website for further information: https://hitchinlavender.com/
If you go I’d love to know which was your favourite! The first time in my life I get to go to a lavender field and then I get 2 beautiful ones in the same weekend! x