Until recently, I only associated blue and purple lavender fields with sunny Provence, but recently I came across to this charming town, almost like one from the books of Jane Austen called Shoreham. I walked there among picturesque houses and surrounding fields and it was a truly angelic experience. My delight was completed when I reached Castle Farm, with their lavender fields, such an unusual view in England. On 95 acres of land grow several varieties of this fragrant flower.
The Farm owners use lavender for the production of cosmetics and aromatic oils, and also sell in their store as bouquets. The Hop Shop has a fantastic range of lavender products; cosmetics, oils, spices and even jam jars, and decorated with lavender motifs napkins, jugs, mugs, plates etc.
The farm grows not only lavender, you can also buy other products, fruits, preserves and meat here, I bought two beef steaks and they were delicious. It’s not cheap here, but it was worth it. The cows have free access to grass on green pastures here, I know, because I saw it myself.
Outside of the store there are stands where you can buy lavender but also other plants. The farmers pride themselves on their ecological approach to animal and plant breeding, and have implemented a system that protects the wild areas surrounding their fields.
Unfortunately you can not wander among the lavender fields alone. The owners are afraid that inattentive tourists might accidently destroy the flowers. I am not surprised at all by looking at the group of kids running wildly by the gate.
In Hop Shop you can buy tours around fields and a guide can show you everything and talk about lavender and its products. After the walk, guests get a glass of apple juice from a local orchard and a lavender cookie.
From time to time, you can of course, for an appropriate fee, arrange a picnic among the lavender, and even come to the real lavender massage.
Farm address: Castle Farm, Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7UB