Cotswold Lavender Farm, Broadway, Worcestershire
In the heart of the beautiful Cotswold Hills overlooking Broadway and the Vale of Evesham, there’s a family farm where you’ll see over 140 miles of lavender growing and more than 500,000 plants.
Cotswold Lavender Farm Snowshill
For a taste of Provence in Britain, visit the Cotswold Lavender Farm at Snowshill when the flowers are in full bloom. Wear your best floaty dress and don’t forget to take your camera.
When I visited the lavender farm, which is open from June to early August, it was so picture-postcard pretty that a photographer from a glossy magazine was doing a fashion shoot.
You can go for a pleasant short-ish stroll among the lavender fields and smell the intoxicating scent. Follow it with a refreshing pot of tea and a slice of lavender-inspired cake in the tea shop before buying a ‘can’t live without’ lavender product in the shop.
The farm is just 2 miles south of the popular Cotwolds tourist village of Broadway. If you’re a National Trust member, it’s also worth taking time to visit Snowshill Manor and Gardens in the village while you’re there.
For a family day out with young children, I’d recommend combining Snowshill with a visit to Adam Henson’s nearby Cotswold Farm Park.
Visit A Lavender Farm in The Cotswolds
You may associate lavender with scented bath cubes, lavender sachets and your granny, but English lavender is undergoing a major revival. In the summer months when it’s flowering, English lavender fields start trending on instagram and twitter.
This must all delight the savvy Cotswold farmer who, back in 2000, planted lavender in the fields where wheat and barley once grew. With free draining limestone soils 1,000 feet above sea level, the conditions for growing it are ideal.
Visit the lavender farm today and you can see over 40 different varieties growing in rows. Once harvested, the lavender flowers are all steam-distilled on the farm to produce the high quality English lavender essential oil used in their lavender gifts and products.
In recent years, the Cotswold Lavender Farm has diversifed by growing camomile flowers. The flowers are used to produce a calming tea and an oil which is said to aid sleep.
Thank The Romans For Introducing Lavender to Britain
It’s thought that the Romans first brought lavender to England where they grew it commercially to provide supplies for their soldiers. They used it in bathing, as well as for perfume, cooking and early medicines.
As a member of the mint family, lavender is closely related to rosemary, sage and thyme. The Romans flavoured fish with it and medieval monks added the flower spikes to sweet puddings.
Enjoy A Lavender Cream Tea in The Tea Room
When you’ve had a walk around the farm and snapped all your instagram and facebook photos, sit down to a floral cream tea with lavender scones and clotted cream or dunk some lavender shortbread into your cuppa. The lemon and lavender sponge cake is also very popular.
How to Cook with Lavender
You’ll find that English lavender (L.angustifolia) has a sweeter fragrance than French (Stoechas) lavender which can be overpowering and bitter. Hidcote and Munstead are both good varieties to use for culinary purposes.
When making jam, try softening the tartness of acidic fruits with lavender, add a sprig to summer cocktails or use as a garnish to a chocolate dessert. In France, lavender is added to the famous Herbes de Provence mix.
Cotswold Lavender Farm Shop
In the Farm shop, you can buy everything you need to start cooking and baking with lavender from bottles of lavender essence, lavender grains and lavender-flavoured sugar. Other useful lavender products include room spray, candles and lavender and Earl Grey tea bags.
Foodie Travel Guide Tip: If you have difficulty sleeping, it’s worth trying the lavender slumber spray or gel although my personal favourite is This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (available from Amazon) which makes a perfect travelling companion on a flight or trip away.
- The best time to see the lavender is in early July. It’s harvested at its peak so do check ahead to see whether it’s still in flower
- Check the website to see when the farm, tearooms and gift shop open each year (it’s usually from mid June until early August)
- Visit The Cotswold Gin Distillery where they add Cotswold lavender along with a range of botanicals, to give their Cotswold Dry gin its unique flavour
Use lavender sparingly, too much of it and you can easily overpower a dish. Fresh lavender spikes can be used like rosemary with lamb, and are particularly good alongside fennel, sage and oregano.
Where To Stay in The Cotswolds
The Fish Hotel near Broadway is situated on a 400-acre country estate.
Stay here and you’ll find it’s an ideal base for exploring the Cotswolds. The Fish has a great range of stylish accommodation options from chic bedrooms to treehouses, so it’s appealing for couples looking for a romantic hideaway but also suits families and guests who like to travel with their dogs.
Ready to start planning a weekend break in the Cotswolds?
Check out these recommendations for the Best Places to Stay in The Cotswolds
I’m allowed to go for a walk with you around the lavender fields but I’m not welcome in the tea room (although there is seating outside).
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.