A sea of vivid purple flowers stretches out in front of you, with the sun shining in a bright blue sky and the smell of lavender filling the air… No you’ve not been transported to Provence, this is Cotswold Lavender, just a few miles from Broadway. Each summer their beautiful blooms draw in hordes of visitors – and bees – from miles around to visit the Cotswold lavender fields.
Cotswold Lavender is third-generation family farm which has been growing lavender since 1999. It turns out that lavender loves the hilltop limestone soils we have in the Cotswolds and the crop has thrived. Now the farm has over 35 different varieties of lavender, with 140 miles of rows and 500,000 plants. And a section is open to the public to explore during the summer months.
So if you’re planning a visit to the Cotswold Lavender fields, here’s everything you need to know, from how to get there and how much it costs, to what else to do and where to stay nearby.
Where are the Cotswold Lavender fields?
Cotswold Lavender is located just outside the small Cotswold village of Snowshill, around two miles south of Broadway. If you’re travelling by car, the address is Hill Barn Farm, Snowshill, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7JY, and the site is signposted from the main roads.
If you’re travelling by public transport, the nearest train station is in Moreton-in-Marsh. You can also reach Broadway on the 606 bus from Cheltenham or Rural 4 bus from Evesham. Or travel in style on the Gloucestershire–Warwickshire Steam Railway from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway via Winchcombe and Toddington (check timetables as services don’t run every day).
There’s no bus service out to the lavender fields, so you would need to book a taxi to get there (the farm also advise booking your return trip in advance as local taxis can get busy).
What is there to do at the lavender fields?
Cotswold Lavender’s ‘show fields’ are designated for visitors and aren’t harvested with the rest, so you can walk through the fields, smell the flowers and take photos without damaging the crops, and dogs are welcome. The lavender fields are a dream for photographers and a popular spot for a mini family or pet photo shoot (or you can hire a local professional for around £150).
A section of the Cotswold lavender fields shows off the different varieties of lavender available – the diversity is much more than you’d expect, from tall and wiry to small and bushy, and every shade of purple from indigo to white. And the scents vary too from subtle to strong. Though beware if you’re not a fan of bees and other flying creatures as they like lavender just as much as we do.
The lavender is distilled the same day as it is cut to extract the precious essential oils. You can watch the distillery in action during the harvest – it normally takes place for two weeks at the height of the summer in late July/early August, though exact dates will depend on the weather.
As well as the lavender there’s also a wildflower meadow full of colourful blooms which is a haven for bees and butterflies. And a Beechwood Trail through the woods which has a viewing area looking out over the Vale of Evesham. You can buy hot and cold drinks, cakes, snacks and ice creams in the Lavender Cabin in the display field, or bring your own picnic, with plenty of picnic benches.
You can also buy lavender products grown on the farm to take away with you. As well as soaps, toiletries and household fragrances made using their English Lavender Essential Oil, there’s also more unusual food and drink items like lavender chocolate, scones, ice cream and tea.
When’s the best time to visit?
The Cotswold lavender fields are only open for a limited time each summer, so make sure you don’t miss out. Exact timing depends on the weather but in a typical summer, the lavender starts to bloom in mid-June and reaches its peak in mid-July. As the lavender is a crop, peak bloom means its ready to harvest, which normally starts in late July and carries on into the start of August.
This year Cotswold Lavender is open daily from 10am until 5pm between 14 June and 6 August 2023. It’s a popular place so be prepared for crowds. If you want to avoid the busiest times, get there early before the coach parties, avoid weekends and the end of July when the crop’s at its best. The site is big though so you can usually find a quiet spot, even at busy times.
How much does it cost?
Ticket prices for the Cotswold Lavender fields depend on when you are visiting. In July, when the flowers are at their best, it costs £7.50 adults, £3.25 children aged 5–15 and free for under 5s. In June and August it’s slightly cheaper at £5.50 for adults and £2.75 for children.
If you’re planning on making a few trips to the lavender fields during the summer, you can also buy a season ticket for unlimited visits, which costs £18.75 for adults and £8 for children.
You can’t book tickets in advance (unless you’re a professional photographer in which case you need to buy a pass) and tickets are available on arrival, though they’re currently only taking card payments. There’s no time limit on your visit so you can spend as long in the fields as you like.
Tips for visiting Cotswold Lavender
- Dogs are welcome at no extra cost, but you’re asked to keep them on a short lead.
- There isn’t much shade around the fields so bring a hat and sunscreen on sunny days.
- Non-commercial photography is welcome, but drones aren’t permitted.
- Get there as soon as they open at 10am to avoid the crowds.
- There’s plenty of free parking.
- Visitor toilets are available (including an accessible toilet).
- The fields are technically wheelchair and pushchair friendly as there are mown grass paths around the edges, but they are on a slope so some people may struggle.
What else is near Cotswold Lavender?
Cotswold Lavender is less than a mile from the village of Snowshill, so it’s easy to combine a visit to both. Take a wander around Snowshill’s pretty streets and St Barnabas Church. Explore the eccentric collections at Snowshill Manor, a 16th-century house which was gifted to the National Trust by Charles Paget Wade along with over 202,000 objects which he’d collected over his lifetime.
Soak up the sun in the beer garden at the Snowshill Arms. Or hike the 6-mile Stanton, Snowshill and the Edge Cotswold Way circular walk for stunning views across the Severn Vale. It’s also only a 10-minute drive from the lavender fields to Broadway with its shops, restaurants, design museum and hilltop tower. Or 20 minutes’ drive to Winchcombe and the historic Sudeley Castle.
And if you’re a real flower field fan, you could combine a trip to the lavender fields with a visit to the Cotswold Confetti Fields, 15 miles away near Pershore, which are open in early July.
Where to stay near Cotswold Lavender
If you’re looking to make a weekend of visiting the Cotswold Lavender fields, there’s a good selection of places to stay nearby. The National Trust has four characterful stone cottages to rent located opposite Snowshill Manor and Gardens, which sleep from two to nine people.
Sheepscombe Byre* is a light and airy two-bedroom, two bathroom holiday cottage in a peaceful location on the edge of Snowshill, with views out over the Vale of Evesham.
Or splash out on a stay at Buckland Manor*, a 13th-century manor house turned luxurious Relais & Chateaux Hotel, two miles from Snowshill. It’s packed with period features like four-poster beds and antique furniture, with a fine dining restaurant, formal gardens, croquet pitch and tennis courts
There are also several places to stay – as well as a great range of places to eat, drink and shop – in nearby Broadway. The historic Lygon Arms* dates back to the 1300s and has a lovely pool, spa and gardens to relax in as well as a restaurant and bar. Or Russell’s* is a restaurant with rooms in the Cotswold stone former HQ of Arts and Crafts furniture designer Gordon Russell.
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