Mayfield Lavender Farm, Surrey

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If you've ever seen the photos of the lavender fields in Provence, you'll be very pleased to know that it's an escape you can enjoy in England, and for free.

Mayfield Lavender is situated in Banstead, once the heart of the international lavender industry and is open from 25 April every Friday 11am – 3pm, and then seven days a week from 30 May to 27 July from 10am to 7pm (although the lavender has flowered late this year so you may find that the season is slightly extended.)

It has fantastic views and is a great place for a walk, a little rest stop and a browse of all things lavender.

Overall, smaller than you would expect from their excellent website the shop is more of a stand (and the nearest toilets are in the neighbouring park), but it is still a wonderful place to be.

There's a small picnic area underneath a tree, so you could even bring your own.

I took my niece there in July 2010 and we enjoyed some lovely lavender shortbread and a nice cup of tea.  Apparently lavender essential oil is very good for treating insect bites, so one of the very helpful ladies there dotted some on my niece's bug bites - I am still waiting for the verdict!

Lavender fields at Mayfield Lavender Farm, Banstead, Surrey, UK

“The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer to God in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.”

from God’s Garden

by Dorothy Frances Gurney

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