Despite its suburban, lilac setting and natural beauty, this floral fable commences with a cupcake. The late 90s saw a resurgence in popularity of these sweet treats, which had once been associated with housewives and grandmas. And my palate became rapturously involved. When a friend baked me a batch of lavender flavoured cupcakes, my interpretation of this flower went from indifferent to truly in favour. Pumpkin went as far as to judge me as being lavender-obsessed.I’ve never been to Provence, the idyllic countryside region in France famed for its stretches of lavender fields but as soon as I found out that Mayfield was just an hour’s drive from home, I knew I had to spare a Saturday in the summer to soak up these lustrous purple planes.
The Mayfield Lavender Fields
In the leafy village of Banstead, just a stone’s throw away from Croydon in South London, the fields are open to visitors daily between June and September whilst the flower is in bloom. I had barely put my foot out of the car door when the distinctive, all-pervasive fragrance made itself known to us.
It was difficult resisting the urge to dive straight into the swathes of purple. The stinging nettles tried to curtail my careless enthusiasm but I could not be dissuaded.
And so we meandered between the potently scented, linear boulevards, vying for space with the fuzzy but un-intrusive bees. It’s difficult not to regress into a childhood version of yourself here – we leaped above the colour and lay in the aromatic gap between bushes; we sniffed the powdery flowers and snapped away clumsily, trying to outdo each other’s pictures.
And when we were hungry (alright, we weren’t actually even that hungry,) we rewarded our silliness with a lavender cream tea, complete with lavender scones, cake and even lavender tea and bought some take away bags of the irresistibly, pocket sized bites of flapjack, shortbread and coconut ice. If you aren’t as much of a glutton then I am, then you might be investing your pennies in lower calorie souvenirs, such as essential oils, soaps and hand creams.
Contrary to popular belief, exciting London days out don’t always break the bank and after spending nearly half my life in this city, I’m always delighted to find ones that don’t. For just a few pounds each and a short drive from London, this is a perfect spot to beat the summer holiday dilemmas with the kids, to enjoy a stroll with the dog, to impress that new special someone with a quirky and romantic first date or just for those of us Londoners, who are constantly on the lookout for something new and unique.
It’s open till the end of this month and then you’ll have to wait a whole year – get your cameras charged and go go go!
- Entrance is free and the fields are open between 9.30am – 4pm (longer opening hours earlier in the summer)
- Parking is £2,which is redeemable against purchases in the shop or café of more than £5
- Toilet and café facilities are present
- The fields are most easily reached by car and there is ample parking but the fields can be reached by train to West Croydon and then a bus ride – more details here.
46 thoughts on “The Mayfield Lavender Fields, Surrey – A Purple Paradise near London”
Scrumptious, isn’t it!
The tea, scones or flowers?? But yes – the whole place was just lovely – glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Beautiful photos Shikha! Lavender-flavoured cupcakes, hmm, never had that. Looks like a fun outing and a great photo opportunity!
Thanks so much Frank! It’s definitely a great place to have fun with a camera! And yes, lavender cupcakes sound strange but try them if you ever get a chance – they’re delicious 🙂
Absolutely beautiful. I love lavender, both in colour and as a sleep remedy. A lavender cream tea is an experience I haven’t had but will have to put on the list. x
It’s funny – I had always been so indifferent to it till I first tried lavender in food! But if you like lavender, this place is a must do and so near London! Thanks so much for reading 🙂
This is so beautiful, I would love to visit these fields!
Thanks Becky! They are so pretty – it’s just such a great value and different London day out in the summer 🙂
The scenery is so breath-taking and I love your dress :)x
Thank you so much Agness – the fields are so pretty and we don’t get all too many sunny days in the year in England so may as well dress summery while I can 🙂
I love the lavender fields, they are popping up all around England and the smell is just so divine. Ohh never tried Lavender tea before, was it yummy? Loved all the cute photos of you on the post xx
Aww thank you Kelly 🙂 The tea itself was a bit mild for my liking but I really liked the lavender scones & flapjacks etc! This one isn’t too far from where I grew up so I really can’t believe I didn’t know about it for so long! X
i wish I could SMELL it!
I think the smell stretches for miles! The air just smelt of lavender for hours after the visit 🙂
I so want to go here after these recommendations from you. I’m not even a fan of lavendae but tv fields look so pretty (purple is my favourite colour!) and I’d quite like to try the lavendae cakes – out of pure curiousity of course. And that first pic of you is absolutely beautiful. Like seriously seriously lovely! You need to make that all your profile pics everywhere and blow it up big to put on the wall at home! 🙂
Ayla you’re far too kind!! I don’t often do silly pictures but it’s such a nice place for fun photos and it was a lovely sunny day! I can bake lavender cupcakes so if that’s all you’re after, then I can make those for you but otherwise the fields themselves are worth a visit 😀
This is so lovely! I want to go here but not sure the headache from the lavender would be worth it….maybe.
Haha, yes I remember you mentioning that lavender gives you a headache – it is quite strong though but very pretty – maybe some kind of makeshift peg on your nose?! 😀
That could work! It’s too pretty to miss.
SO SO gorgeous!! I LOVE lavender but I have never seen an entire field of them. I can only imagine how delicious it smells! I would be right there frolicking and jumping among the rows of flowers too. And oh, one of my favorite ice cream flavors is lavender honey. 🙂
Wow! I would LOVE to try that flavour of ice cream! These fields were beautiful so I can’t even imagine how pretty the huge lavender fields in Provence must be! Thanks so much for reading Anna 🙂
OMG – look at all that lovely lavender! This looks like a lovely London outing… We love lavender honey. On Hvar island in Croatia – known as the lavender island – the smell perfumes the air.
Thank you Janice and George! It was such a lovely day out – it was hard to believe it was only an hour away from the city! I’ve not tried lavender honey before but I’m going to try & get my hands on it! Great tip about Hvar – Croatia is somewhere I’m yet to visit so I’ll keep it in mind if I go 🙂
Who knew that this place existed and so close to London? I’d definitely visit it next time I’m in the UK, it looks amazing, I love the colours so much!
Well I certainly didn’t know till recently, that’s for sure! I’ll definitely take people here if they come to London and are looking for somewhere a bit different and not bad views for a free or very cheap day out! Thanks so much for reading Franca 🙂
It looks beautiful – amazing to think it’s so close to London! And I LOVE the idea of a lavender cream tea. Worth the journey down there just for that!
Yep it’s bizarre to think it’s just on the outskirts of London! After trying lavender scones and cakes, I came home really excited about trying my hand at baking all manner of lavender sweets myself! 🙂
Beautiful. I can’t believe that this is within striking distance of London. Maybe not this year but it’s on my list of places to go next year.
Thanks so much for reading Lisa 🙂 I only found out about the fields myself a year or so ago and couldn’t make it last year – it’s such a lovely idea for a really easy and cheap day out – it’s hard to think you’re not in the middle of the French countryside there! Hope you get a chance to go next year!
Awesome pics! I LOVE the smell of lavender, I would have brought back half the gift shop – haha.
Haha, Katie – I was so the same – I love the taste of lavender so came home with flapjacks, coconut ice, biscuits etc etc! But yes, if you like the smell, there were so many lovely freshly made cosmetic products that you would love! Thanks so much for reading 🙂
Great recommendation. I had no idea this place existed, but definitely want to visit so that I can get my own photos!
It’s really worth a visit and when you see it, you’ll find it hard to believe it’s just outside London 🙂
Hmm… Lavender fields near London. It is a luck for its citizens, they need not go to France for it.
Yes, we are quite lucky to have these fields so near London!! Although it would also be wonderful to see the huge fields in Provence one day as well but until then, these were just beautiful 🙂
You must smell so nice after spending so much time between lavenders… 🙂
I love lavender so this would be my paradise for the day. What a beautiful area and one I never would have expected close enough to London. Lavender scones and cakes are enough to make me hungry. Beautiful photos! I can just imagine how nice it smelled here.
Thanks so much Mary! If you like lavender, then this place would be right up your street! I myself couldn’t believe there was somewhere so natural and beautiful so near London! I have a bit of a soft spot for lavender in food like cakes and scones so I totally ended up pigging out a bit here 😀 Thanks for commenting!
That photo at the top is fantastic! I’ve never been into lavender products, but I bet they smell and taste better at a place like this, right by the source. I’d be tempted to try tea and shortbread.
Thanks so much Pola for the kind words 🙂 It’s funny – I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of the lavender scent when it comes to cosmetics etc but I seem to absolutely love it in food and especially the cupcakes – though the shortbread was great too! They’re very pretty though so worth a visit even if yuo’re not normally a lavender fan!
Beautiful! Learned something new, didn’t know of Lavender tea, cakes or ice cream – would love to taste them.
Thanks so much Rachael! Yes I only discovered lavender flavour food a couple of years ago and absolutely love it now! Hope you get a chance to try it one day! Thanks for commenting 🙂
This looks stunning. I was looking for a beautiful flower field to shoot some simple scenes for my music video. Do you think this would be possible there ? We wouldn’t have loud music. Was it really busy when u went?
Thanks in advance.
When we went, there was a pleasant number of people there but certainly not over crowded. I’m not sure what the rules are on that kind of thing but if you weren’t being too loud and there wasn’t too much disruption to other visitors, can’t imagine it would be too much of an issue but probably best to drop them an email or tweet to check. Good luck for your music video Jessica! Sounds exciting!