Getting to the famous Mayfield Lavender Farm (everyone seems to be going there at the moment), from North West London by public transport is not the easiest (unless you are a crow flying), but not impossible.
It takes a good 2 hours by bus, Tube, train, a second bus, and you need plenty of toffees. The good thing is, while it might seem a million miles away from the bustling city, it’s technically in Greater London and you can use your Oyster Card. We went from London Bridge to West Croydon, then it’s a short walk (or a short spell of being carried in your pet’s bag) to the bus station round the corner. From there, take the 166 to Banstead (which is only a small country bus which runs every 20 or 30 mins and gets very busy there and on the way back). The bus stops just in front of the fields – practically everyone gets off – and entry was just a short queue and £1 away.
We went at the beginning of August, and as soon as we stepped off the bus, we were hit by a glorious wave of lavender scent and the sound of joyful bees. You can’t pick the lavender, but you can walk along the rows and rows and rows of it. Don’t stop at the beginning, but walk right to the back, where the lavender is more lavender in colour, and the rows vaster. It does get quite busy at weekends, but with a bit of creative posing, you can get photos with no one else in them (don’t forget to check out the Mayfield photo competition). When we went, the purple wasn’t at its most purpliest, but it was beautiful.
While we were wondering round the lavender fields, we met one of the harvesters. He was so quick. First, he hand-tied the bunches on the bushes, then snipped them off, stopped to take a quick photo, and then was on his way.
After all that walking and sniffing, we stopped at the café and had the lavender scones and lavender cider (naturally).