Where to see lavender fields in the UK

It's this time of year again when all the Instagram feeds are turning purple and all the photographers are rushing to photograph lavender fields.

The good news is that you don't have to go to Provance as there are a few lavender fields in the UK!

British lavender field

Last week I visited The Hop Shop at Castle Farm in Kent. It's a working farm and lavender harvest has already started but you can still catch the blooms on a guided tour on the 26th, 29th and 30th July. On a tour you will also learn about different varieties of lavender and visit the distillery where aromatic oils are made. They also offer aromatherapy massages and picnics in the lavender fields. Sadly this years season is coming to an end but you can already start planning for next year! 

UK Lavender
lavender harvest
lavender harvesting UK
lavender picnic UK

All the items used for the picnic are available to buy in the farm shop (it's open all year round). I am planning to go back for pick your own apples and to stock on lavender honey that is absolutely delicious!

Another place I visited a few times over the years is Mayfield lavender farm in Surrey. This one is much more touristy (very little chances of being alone in the field) but is a bit easier to visit as there are no guided tours - you just pay the entry fee and can stay as much as you like. It is also available to visit later in August - best to check their website for details.

Mayfield lavender UK

Last year they installed a red phone booth on the field so it became an even bigger tourist attraction.

lavender phone booth
buy lavender

Other fields I have not yet visited but have heard of are Cotsfold LavenderHitchin Lavender, Somerset Lavender, Norfolk Lavender and Yorkshire Lavender.

Shere, a day trip from London

If you are looking for a day trip from London - Shere in Surrey is a perfect destination. For over 100 years, Shere village has been used as a movie location. Themost known movies filmed here are The Holiday, Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason, Four Weddings and a Funeral - just to name a few. It feels like you are stepping back in time when visiting the village.

I loved all the village shops and couldn't leave without buying a few new props.

All the cottages in the village are super pretty (and of course many are covered with wisteria) but sadly the Rose cottage where Kate Winslet's character stayed in the Holiday was just a movie set and doesn't exist. The pub from a movie is a real pub though and is called White Horse. I didn't take any pictures as there were cars parked next to is so it is a good a reason to come back in winter when the village will look even more like a scene from the HOliday. 

Below is the church that you may recognize from Bridget Jones movie.

Chelsea Flower Show

Every year RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes over Chelsea area's life and covers it all with flowers. The tickets to the show have now sold out (unless you are a member) so I wanted to give you a glimpse with some of the photos I took during the press view.

Even if you can't make it to the show or were not quick enough to buy the tickets it still makes sense to visit the area to admire Chelsea in Bloom - participating shops embracing this year's Floral Safari theme with the beautiful blooming displays.

After visiting all the shops in Chelsea take 15 minutes walk to Belgravia's Instagram famous pink Peggy Porschen Cakes with their gorgeous (obviously, pink) floral display.

Many thanks to @london, the RHS and Visit London for arranging my visit.

Best places to see Christmas decorations in London

London looks amazing any time of year but with all the Christmas decorations it is particularly charming! The decorations are put on very early, already in October, with most of the official lights switch on happening in mid November. London knows how to do Christmas well - so if you are thinking of visiting London in winter - think no further!

Here is a list of my favourite places:

Oxford Street and Regent Street if you are ready for the biggest crowds!

Bond Street where you will find festive Tiffany and Cartier and colourful Royal Arcade (not to forget that the lights over Bond Street are spectacular too)!

Another area that always looks great - Covent Garden. Go there for Covent Garden Market baubles and beautiful Christmas tree, huge mistletoes above the streets and charmingly decorated Seven Dials.

Liberty - check out their ever changing flower display and Nutcracker themed windows + Carnaby Street decorations inspired by V&A's exhibition 'You say you want a revolution?'.

Leadenhall market often gets overlooked as it's a bit more off the beaten track but for me that's one of the most beautiful places at Christmas time. The market itself is one of the oldest markets in London, dating from the 14th century, and it looks even more magical with a Christmas tree.

Don't forget about ice skating - rinks near Natural History Museum and Somerset house are the most beautiful ones.

Everything and everyone is just getting Christmassy, dog outfits included.

Don't forget to look at the doors as the colours of wreaths are really pretty too!