A couple of Saturday’s ago I spent the day strolling through the lavender fields at the Hop Shop, Castle Farm. What better way to spend a sunny Saturday? I absolutely adore the smell of lavender, its probably my favourite scent in fact! It’s such a soothing relaxing herb too that people often use to help them wind down and fall asleep after a long day at work. What I didn’t realise though until after our guided tour, was just how many different uses lavender has. From food ingredients (I sampled the vanilla and lavender ice cream whilst I was there and it was absolutely delicious!). To acting as a remedy to aid heyfever and even as an ointment to prevent and get rid of mosquito bites!
If you haven’t visited the Hop Shop before it’s definitely worth a visit, especially at this time of year when the lavender is out in full bloom. It’s also the biggest lavender farm in the UK (another fact I found out which I did not know). They offer guided tours during the week and at the weekends which I definitely recommend if you would like to get a better view of the fields and find out more about the herb itself. Alongside the fields themselves (as if they aren’t stunning enough!) The farm has the most dreamiest setting, surrounded by sweeping fields and the most charming stream that even has a model windmill, as pictured below!
They also have a farm shop selling all the lavender related products that they produce along with locally sourced jams, chutney’s and cherries which you just can’t beat at this time of year! Bunches of fresh and dried lavender were very popular too as I’m sure you can imagine! Pretty handmade lavender wreaths were also for sale. Such a lovely way to decorate your front door during the summer months. Who said a wreath was just for Christmas, right?
Lavender and Lavandin, do you know the difference? Nope me neither, until I went on the field tour that is! Lavender is great for relaxation, it helps to sooth and is sleep inducing as I mentioned before. Lavandin is invigorating and good for energising. It acts as a decongestant and helps to relieve tired aching muscles when used as a massage oil. So the two are complete polar opposites of each other, I’ll be honest I didn’t even know that Lavandin existed! Still you learn something new every day as they say.
Walking through the lavender fields was spectacular, especially on a warm sunny day! The views were just stunning, a sea of deep purple tones that just went on for miles. The scent was just intoxicating too, you instantly felt calm and at peace. The bees were enjoying themselves too! One of the many wonderful aspects of summer, all the pretty wildlife seems to come alive! After our wander in the fields we were then taken to the distillery to see how they extract the oil from the herb which was interesting.
I couldn’t have left without making a few key purchases from the farm shop (obviously) I bought a breath-easy balm which helps to sooth heyfever & colds. As someone who suffers with heyfever it was just what I needed! I also bought a pack of their morning booster tea, which I can’t rave about enough! If you feel a bit sluggish in the morning and need an energy boost, this tea is the perfect pick me up!
A Saturday well spent, wouldn’t you agree? Have you visited any lavender fields this year or is it on your too do list? If so don’t leave it too late, they tend to only bloom until late July. Do you have any other must see/things to do this summer? Would love to know what you recommend.
Image Credits: Sarah Williams Photography