A 2023 guide to visiting Hitchin Lavender - a day at the Lavender Farm less than 1 hour from London.
It's lavender season! Now that the UK is finally enjoying some summer weather, this month is the perfect time to escape the city and indulge in some purple hued aromatherapy, wandering through rows of dreamy lavender at Cadwell Farm.
About 40 miles north of London, Hitchin Lavender is less than 10 minutes by taxi from Hitchin train station and also has a free car park. Between July and August, the fragrant fields are thick with waving lavender and buzzing bees. And photographers of course... as well as coming to enjoy the fragrant fields and cutting the lavender to take home, getting that perfect purple photo has become a summer staple for content creators - no judging, as you can see we took plenty of photos our own! But if you'd like to enjoy Hitchin lavender in relative peace, we would recommend arriving in the morning on a weekday to wander the space before it fills up in the afternoon - there were some very dedicated instagrammers who arrived later on with huge suitcases of clothes to change into and we wanted to enjoy the open swathes of purple without crowds. Weekends can be bonkers so if possible come during the week!
You can see the sea of purple rising up the hill as soon as you park up and it really is gorgeous. Hitchin Lavender has 30 acres of flowering fields for you to freely roam. No need to catch the Eurostar, on a warm sunny day it feels like rural France! Keep an eye out for bees and butterflies, partridges and hares as you explore.
Peak flowering is typically Mid July - Mid August, check the farm's Instagram for updates on how the fields are looking before you travel.
Visiting Hitchin Lavender
Hitchin Lavender is open from 9am-8pm everyday (last entry 7pm) 9am-8pm Everyday (last entry 7pm) and until 10pm on Wednesdays.
Walk in tickets can be bought on site at Cadwell Farm but to avoid disappointment we would recommend booking online before visiting (a small booking fee applies).
Entry to Hitchin Lavender is £7 for adults, £5 for children aged 3-16, and if you want to cut the lavender you need to pay an additional £4 for large brown paper bag. It's recommended that you bring your own scissors as numbers available to borrow are limited- you can spend as long as you like cutting as much lavender as you can fit in your bag and take it home. Lovely!
Later in the summer, the farm also grows sunflowers, which you can also cut for £1 per stem.
Facilities at Hitchin Lavender:
The farm has a cafe set within its 17th century barn and a couple of other food sites in the main field selling hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams. For souvenirs, the main shop (also in the barn) sells all kinds of lavender goodies including plants, locally produced teas, shortbread, jams and chutneys, therapeutic treats like soaps, essential oils, candles and indulgent lavender bath products. Hitchin Lavender even has a line of Lavender gins! A second shop can be found in the main field.
There are toilets available, including disabled and baby changing facilities, a children's play area and dogs are welcome at Hitchin Lavender, providing they are on a lead and you pick up after them! While visiting, don't miss the museum about the use of lavender in Victorian times.
Top tips for taking photos at a Lavender Farm
Don't be afraid of the bees! They're quite happily doing their own thing, and if you just calmly brush past them as you walk then they won't bother you. If you have any allergies you should take necessary precautions.
Shoot facing up the field so that the rows of lavender stretch endlessly away ahead of you.
Don't worry if it isn't sunny, overcast skies actually help avoid overexposing the flowers and make the purple shade look more dramatic.
The earliest lavender varieties begin to flower in mid June, but for the densest, most purple flowers, we would recommend visiting in mid July.
Hitchin Lavender is open until 10pm on Wednesdays (last entry 8.30pm), perfect for sunsets and golden hour!
Stick to the paths! Be respectful of this beautiful place and don't damage the plants by clambering over the rows.
Get low! Sit between the rows and get as many flowers in shot as possible. Alternatively have your photographer stand a few rows away from you, to make it look as if you're surrounded by a sea of purple.
Have fun with your macro setting capturing bees and other insects on the flowers.
Drones are not permitted at Hitchin Lavender.
Photography at Hitchin Lavender Farm is for personal use only. Professional photographers must pay a fee of £50 to shoot there.
How to get to Hitchin Lavender Farm:
Located just off the A1M, Hitchin Lavender is easily accessible from all over the country. It's also a really easy day trip from London!
By train: The closest train station to Hitchin Lavender is Hitchin - from there you'll need to take a short taxi ride to get to the lavender farm.
The quickest way to get to get to Hitchin Lavender farm from London is to take one of the frequent trains that run from London Kings Cross to Hitchin, taking around 35 -45 minutes.
Hitchin Lavender has free parking on site. The farm's address is:
Cadwell Farm Ickleford Hitchin Hertfordshire SG5 3UA
If you're coming from London you'll take junction 8 off of the A1M and drive for another 13 minutes to reach the farm. From the north, come off at junction 9.
And after the flowering season?
Keep an eye on Cadwell Farm's website for heaps of special events throughout the year, including live music, outdoor cinema, craft workshops and pick your own pumpkins!
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