Who needs Provence? The UK is blessed with its own stunning lavender fields – and now is a fabulous time to see them at their peak.
Here are five of the most beautiful farms to visit…
Mayfield Lavender, Banstead, Surrey
Rolling fields: Mayfield Lavender in Banstead is located just 12 miles from London
As you approach the farm, the aroma of lavender is heady and you’ll hardly believe these rolling purple fields are 12 miles from London. The cafe’s lavender-infused treats – macarons, fudge and lemonade – are perfect for a picnic in the fields. Open until September 1 (mayfieldlavender.com).
Bed down: The Garden House, Beaverbrook, Leatherhead. This rustic retreat, in the grounds of the glorious Beaverbrook estate, offers a slice of quintessential country charm. From £385 a night (beaverbrook.co.uk).
Cotswold Lavender, Broadway, Worcestershire
Third-generation family farm in the heart of the Cotswold hills. This picturesque spot is so painterly it’s as if you’ve stepped into a Monet canvas. Wander through rows of lilac blooms and visit the fairytale-like chamomile and wildflower fields. Open until August 4 (cotswoldlavender.co.uk).
Bed down: The Kings Hotel, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. Set in an 18th Century townhouse, it is in one of the most unspoilt villages in the area. The Jackrabbit restaurant has original beamed ceilings, an open fireplace and three AA Rosettes. From £99 per night (kingscampden.co.uk).
Somerset Lavender, Horsepond Farm, Somerset
If five acres of fragrant lavender isn’t enough, you can join fluttering butterflies and buzzing bees at the farm’s lavender and healing herb gardens, where 20 varieties of lavender are grown. Head to the rose arbour for the best views over the flowering fields. Open until September 29 (somersetlavender.com).
Bed down: Backwell House, Backwell, Somerset. With just nine bedrooms, this hotel feels more like a grand family home. It has revamped Georgian interiors – think copper bathtubs and vintage details. From £105 a night (backwellhouse.co.uk).
Norfolk Lavender, Heacham, Norfolk
Norfolk Lavender, Heacham, is one of the oldest lavender farms in the UK
One of the oldest lavender farms in the UK – founded in 1932 – the fields cover more than 100 acres. Rows and rows of nodding buds, from deep purple to the palest lilac, give picture-postcard scenes. As well as guided tours of the fields, visitors can watch how lavender oil is made in the distillery. Open year-round, tours until August 17 (norfolk-lavender.co.uk).
Bed down: The Victoria Inn, Holkham Estate, Wells-next- the-Sea, Norfolk. At the gates to the grand Holkham Estate, the 20-room inn is a stroll from Holkham Beach. Each of the bedrooms is individually designed and the restaurant sources most of its ingredients from the estate. From £130 per night (holkham.co.uk).
Castle Farm, Sevenoaks, Kent
Blooming marvellous: Rows of lavender at Castle Farm in Kent
As well as tours of the pastures, visitors can learn how to make lavender wreaths. A must, however, is to book one of the pop-up sunset picnics which take place among the flowers. Open year-round, tours until July 31. Harvesting has begun, so check before a visit (hopshop.co.uk).
Bed down: The Pig at Bridge Place, Bridge, Kent. Bursting with period features, the newest Pig hotel is carved out of a 16th Century manor house. Book one of the ‘hop-pickers’ huts’ set on an island within the grounds. From £145 a night (thepighotel.com).