The Prettiest Lavender Fields Around the World
One truth that most people realize when walking through Nature is the sheer wildness of it all – the fact that the mountains sprawl, that the forests are large and looming, and that there are places in the world that seem untouched by our hand. On the other side, you have fields that are well-kept and controlled, where their growth is maintained. An incredible place to see such control is at flower fields – particularly lavender fields. Visiting a lavender field can be an exuberating experience, and the rich purples from the fields are a great place to click some stunning photos. The fields themselves are lush and often historic, and the lavender, too, is heavy with meaning. Lavenders are known to symbolize purity, devotion, serenity, and calmness – the deep purple of the lavender flowers are quite symbolic, too, and purple is traditionally the colour of royalty, grace, and elegance.
The plant is historically significant too – for example, hieroglyphic texts discuss the use of lavenders, for embalming and cosmetic purposes. There have been mentions of lavender in the Bible as well – it’s referred to as ‘spikenard’ in the Bible, and is often mentioned as having an amazing scent that could be transformed into a type of oil or perfume that was used to purify and heal, along with provide an incredible scent.
Cape Cod Lavender Farm, Harwich, MA
Harwich, Massachusetts (in the United States) is known for the role it played in the history of the United States – the town was first settled by Europeans in 1670, and the town’s early industries included fishing and farming. Apart from the lavender farm, the town is also known as the site of the “Sail Around the Cape” course, which includes a counter-clockwise course of the Cape, returning to the Harwich port via the Cape Cod Canal.
The Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich is another reason to visit this historic town – apart from soaking in everything the town has to offer, the lavender farm is the perfect place to visit for a calm, warm evening filled with flowers. A great time to visit the lavender farm would be in June or July, as that’s when the annual harvest takes place. Started in 1995, this family-owned farm has been home to three generations, and has grown from a small farm to a thriving business, complete with making and selling their own lavender-based products. The farm expanded to include a new section known as the Enchanted Garden in 2013, which includes a shade garden, a miniature stone replica of a medieval castle, and small faerie house portals built into the ground, to add to the sense of wonder and enchantment. It’s a great place to visit to get some lavender-scented candles, essential oils, or even fresh lavender to take back home.
Mt Shasta Lavender Farms, Montague, California, USA
Mt. Shasta Lavender farms is located around 20 minutes from Mount Shasta City in Siskiyou County, California – the city itself is less than ten miles away from Mount Shasta, a potentially active volcano that’s in the southern end of the Cascade range of mountains. The peak is the second-highest peak in the Cascades, and is the fifth-highest peak in the State. The mountain and the surrounding area are part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and the mountain is open for climbers during the summer, and becomes a popular skiing destination during the winter. It’s possible to climb the mountain – however, climbers must have a summit pass and wilderness permit before they can proceed. Though it is possible to reach the peak in one day, most climbers tend to complete it in two days, and choose to rest either at Horse Camp (which is around 7,900 feet high) or at Helen Lake (10,400 feet high).
The lavender farm is a farm and seasonal destination that’s intoxicating for two reasons – for the lavenders, and for the stunning views of the mountain range. The farm is on a slope that’s 3,500 feet above ground level, and primarily grow two types of lavender. Many visitors make the trip out to the farm just to walk through the lavender fields, click some stunning photos of the farm – with the mountain serving as a backdrop – and to take part in harvesting. Visitors are allowed to help harvest, take a basketful home, and enjoy some of the farm’s fresh lavender and lavender products.
Washington Island, Wisconsin, USA
Washington Island is an island in Lake Michigan, Wisconsin. The island is about 11 kilometres northeast of the Door Peninsula, and is part of Door County. To reach the island, visitors have to take a ferry across a strait that connects Green bay to the rest of Lake Michigan. The strait was quite treacherous, and early French explorer called it Porte des Mortes, or “Door of the Dead”. The port is colloquially known as “Death’s Door”, and is the reason why Door County and Door Peninsula have those names. Luckily, crossing the strait now is smooth and convenient with a five-mile ferry ride, and the island itself is home to a number of restaurants, theatres, the Schoolhouse Beach, and their lavender farm.
One of Washington Island’s more popular attractions is the Fragrant Isle Lavender, one of their lavender farms. The farm has over 14,000 lavender plants in the garden, the view is obviously spectacular, and the farm has a bistro and shop attached – the shop has over 120 lavender products to choose from. Fragrant Isle Lavender also has a working barn, where they hold demonstrations in processing and distilling lavender essence during the harvest season, so the best time to visit lavender fields is when the plants are being harvested. The restaurant, called Le Petite Bistro, offers fresh, delicious food with a view overlooking the lavender fields, and is a great place to stop and freshen up after your visit.
Mayfield Lavender, Banstead, UK
The town of Banstead borders Greater London in Surrey, England, and is an old town – one of the earliest recorded mentions of Banstead was in AD 967, during King Edgar’s reign. The town is well-known for its church, the All Saints Church that was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, and restored in 1861. Other historical landmarks include the old village well, a well that’s almost 300 feet deep, and was last used in the 19th century – the cover of the well dates to the 18th century, and the well is east to the town centre. Of course, another reason to visit the town is to check out the lavender farm, Mayfield Lavender.
The farm was first set up in 2006, to help revive the lavender industry in the area (an historic industry that thrived in the 18th and 19th centuries). The farm is quite large, covering almost 25 acres on a site that’s located in the North Surrey Downs.
The farm grows two types of English lavender, and the flowers are harvested and distilled to produce lavender oil. The farm also has a tea shop attached to it, and the entry fee is just one pound, which goes towards the upkeep of the farm. Though the farm is open from June 1 to September 30, it’s recommended to go sometime around July or August, as that’s when the lavenders fully bloom, and you’ll be able to witness the harvest, and fully appreciate the sight of the lavender plants.
Cotswold Lavender, Cotswold Hill, UK
The Cotswolds is an area in southwest England, and comprises of the Costworlds Hills, a range of hills that arise from the meadows of the upper Thames to the Cotswold Edge. The hills also gave name to the Cotswold local government district, and most of the district is in the Gloucestershire county. The Cotswolds have been designated as an ‘area of outstanding beauty’ (AONB) in 1966, covers around 790 square miles, and is the third largest protected landscape in England.
Cotswold Lavender is a lavender farm set in the Gloucestershire countryside, and has over 90 acres of lavender fields to harvest lavender, and make lavender products. Their lavender is harvested and distilled to make lavender oil, and the farm is run by a small team – a farmer, an administrator, and someone to run the shops and act as a tour guide to those who visit. The farm itself is well-known for its views of the English countryside. The farm first started in 1999, with just a few lavender plants – now, the farm has over 40 different varieties of lavender, and over 500,000 lavender plants, making this farm one of the largest lavender farms in England. The farm has also expanded to include camomile – however, this is a relatively new addition, and the flowers are harvested and used to make herbal teas, along with making herbal remedies.
Yorkshire Lavender, Yorkshire, UK
Yorkshire, too, has a family-run farm known as Lavender Gardens and Specialist Plant Nursery, that’s set in the hills, and covers nearly 60 acres of farmland. The farm is within the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, located between the Yorkshire Wolds, the North York Moors National Park, and the Vale of York. The name, Howardian Hills, is taken from the name of the Howard family, who still own the local lands. The lavender farm is an award-winning visitor attraction, with the lavender gardens, a plant nursey, a maze built using lavender plants (so you can literally walk in the fields and follow different paths to find your way out) and many parks within the area to make the visit entertaining for the whole family. Of course, the farm also sells their own lavender products, and the tea room and restaurant serves delicious food while overlooking the Vale of York, providing stunning views of the lavender gardens and of the English countryside.
The Howardian Hills is one of the 46 areas in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to have been classified an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’, because of its rich, varied landscape, its importance as a wildlife resource, and its historical heritage – there are medieval castles, monasteries, and grand houses that contribute to the hills’ landscape.
Blues Dreamland, Beijing, China
Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, is definitely a must-visit city – the city is one of the world’s leading centres for culture, politics, technology, business, and economics, and is the nation’s cultural, educational, and political centre. Beijing is also one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back at least three millennia, and the city’s architecture is a testament to its rich and varied history. There are three dominant architectural styles – including the traditional architecture of Imperial China (best exemplified by the Tian’amen – the Gate of Heavenly Peace), the “Sino-Sov” style that was popular in the 1950s, and the modern architectural style, which is seen in the Beijing National Stadium, or the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
The Landiao Lavender Garden (also known as Blues Dreamland) is in the Chaoyang District, near many of Beijing’s main attractions, and is a popular lavender farm outside the city. The lavender farms are a sight to behold, and covers twenty hectares – the farm is also set in the grounds of a theme park, and the farm tends to be busiest during an auspicious day in the Chinese calendar (on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month). Blues Dreamland is one of the most romantic gardens in Beijing, with many newlyweds and couples visiting the gardens, and more often than not, you’ll see young couples walking around the gardens, hand in hand. The best time to visit is during the summer, when the flowers bloom and are ready to be harvested.
Shanghai Ancol Dreamland Herb Farm
Shanghai, another megacity in China, is the third most populous city in the world, and is a global centre for finance, research, technology, and manufacturing – the Port of Shanghai is the world’s busiest container port. Shanghai is another ancient city – historians say that the western part of modern-day Shanghai was first inhabited over 6,000 years ago. Similar to Beijing, Shanghai, too, is known for its architecture – it’s often described as a ‘showpiece’ for China’s economy. The city features several architectural styles that are appreciated through their museums and historic buildings, including the Yu Garden and the China Pavilion. Of course, Shanghai is also known for its numerous events, including the Shanghai Fashion Week, and the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Shanghai Ancol Dreamland Herb Farm is a massive, 266, 667 square-metre farm of herbs and flower gardens. They’re particularly famous for their lavender gardens that bloom between June and September, and guests are invited to walk through the huge swathes of lavenders during this time. The farm has also opened an outdoor barbecue section, so visitors can spend the day near the flowers and enjoy the food as well, making it a perfect place for family gatherings and parties. There is an experiential zone as well, known as the “one-day flower grower”, where you can choose particular seedlings and flower beds, so that you can plant your seed under the guide of a horticulturalist.
Warratina Lavender Farm, Victoria, Australia
Victoria a state in south-eastern Australia, is home to a variety of tourist destinations and stunning natural sights. One of its more famous attractions is the Great Ocean Road, a long stetch of road that takes you past miles of glittering coastline, Victoria’s national parks, towns, and natural spots. The Great Ocean Road tour can take you a day, or you can do the trip overnight and spend a night out in the stars, unspoiled by the city lights. The city to visit is Melbourne City, a stunning city that’s filled with attractions, restaurants, cafés, and places to explore. The Melbourne Zoo, the Melbourne Museum, and the East End Theatre District are all popular visits, along with many day trips that can be scheduled to fully explore the city.
The Warratina Lavender farm is at the foothills of Mount Dandenong, and is just an hour away from Melbourne. The farm was started in 1991, and first began as a hobby by the owner. Soon, however, the little farm began attracting visitors, and slowly expanded to become the large farm it is today – with over 10,000 lavender plants. In Australia, the lavender plants are normally harvested between November and January, and the plants are taken to a drying shed to dry, before being stripped and used to create lavender oils, decorative items, and other lavender-based products.
Bridestowe Lavender Estate, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmania is an island state of Australia, and is about 240 kilometres south of the Australian mainland, and is separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait. The state is well-known for its rich cultural history, carrying everything from small spaces dedicated to new artists, to museums filled with contemporary art, and festivals to celebrate every interest – from the globally popular to the niche – popular festivals include celebrating craft and film making, to boat building and singing; underneath all this runs a strong live theatre and music scene, with world class symphony orchestras and underground acts running side by side.
Bridestowe Lavender Estate was started by a perfumer from London, who migrated to Tasmania, Australia with a packet of lavender seeds from the southern French Alps. The lavender thrives here because of its similarity in climate and weather conditions to the lavender regions of Provence, France. The Bridestowe Estate began with the first planting of lavender at North Lilydale. In the 1940s, the farm relocated to Nabowla in Tasmania. By 1989, the farm shifted from the original family to a corporate owner. In 2006, the current owners recognized the historic value of the farm and restored the farm to its former glory. The farm now boasts an on-site café and a gift shop stocked with products made using their own lavender, along with vast luscious purple fields that attract thousands of visitors.
Furano Lavender Fields, Hokkaido, Japan
Hokkaido is the second largest island of Japan, and is renowned for a variety of things, including the quality of its seafood, and its rural landscapes. The waters surrounding Japan’s northernmost prefecture are great for fish and other marine life, which means that the seafood you get in Hokkaido is unparalleled, and is a great place to visit for seafood-lovers. Nature enthusiasts, on the other hand, should visit Hokkaido for its landscapes, and to stop by Furano for its flower fields.
For its, The lavender fields in Furano, in particular, are amongst the region’s most popular flower fields, and is a great place to visit during the summer when the flowers are in bloom. Of course, Furano is known not just for its lavenders, but for other flower fields and farms as well – other flowers include poppies and lupins (that bloom in June), lilies (that bloom in July) and sunflowers and cosmos (that bloom from August to September).
Farm Tomita, Furano
One popular place to visit to check out the lavender fields is Farm Tomita, particularly because of the Tokachi mountain serving as a stunning backdrop. Farm Tomita helped revive the lavender cultivation in the Furano region, and helped establish lavender tourism – now, the farm attracts visitors from around the world. The farm is free to enter, and there are a number of café’s and shops that sell food and lavender products with lavender that is harvested from the farm.
Lavender East – Japan’s Largest Lavender Field
In 2008, Farm Tomita opened a second farm, Lavender East. The farm is about four kilometres from Farm Tomita, and is the largest lavender field in Japan – covering almost 14 hectares of farmland. The farm used to have rice paddies, which have been converted into lavender fields. Besides the flowers, the farm offers views of the Tokachi Mountains to the east, and the Yubari Range to the south, making it the perfect place for some stunning photos. The best part? The farm also offers 15-minute rides on the “Lavender Bus” through the lavender fields, for those who want a deeper trip into their lush fields but may not be able to walk the distance.
Lavender Farm Guest House, Franschhoek, South Africa
Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa, is also the second-most populous city, and is well-known for its harbour, and for landmarks, like Cape Point and Table Mountain. Visitors can spend the day visiting the Sanbi-Kirstenbosch Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the first botanical garden to be declared as a UNESCO site), complete with long, winding walking paths, gardens, and a few restaurants and a shop to relax, freshen up, and pick up some souvenirs to take back home.
The Lavender Farm Guest House in South Africa, is a guest house situated near Cape Town, encapsulated by a lavender field that covers 3 hectares, with a mountain range serving as the backdrop. The guest house is the perfect place for friends and families to spend a few nights away from the bright lights, and to get back in touch with Nature, while still living in a luxurious space. From spending nights in the garden to visiting one of the many restaurants, to wandering around the nearby lavender fields, there isn’t a dearth of things to do, and places to see. The lavender fields nearby are a great place to spend the day, and the best time to visit is over the summer, when the lavenders will be in full bloom.
Regardless of where you choose to go, there is a chance that the country you visit might have lavender fields in the area. If so, it’s a great idea to plan your itinerary, and squeeze a trip to these lavender fields – the vast sea of purple, underneath a clear blue sky, isn’t a sight you would want to miss.
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