Can you be a tourist in your local area?! I hope so as I pretty much live in The Cotswolds, but I love it, so wanted to give a local’s low-down of a beautiful spot called Snowshill.
Snowshill Lavender Farm sits atop a craggy hill above the beautiful honey-coloured Cotswold-stone village of Snowshill, close to Chipping Norton. The farm is open to the public every summer, until they harvest the lavender crop, usually around mid-July. One recent Sunday, I went along with my mum and camera to admire the varieties of lavender they have here.
The farm is the biggest of its kind in the UK and upon entering it you are greeted with row upon neat row of lavender plants. They have a selection of different colours – white, pink, pale purple, rich purple – and nationalities, predominantly French and English, for visitors to admire. This is followed by some rough areas were wild meadow flowers have been allowed to grow to rest the soil, and finally the rows of the main crop. The main field open to the public has two types of crop lavender – one has a vibrant amethyst purple colour and the other is pale but gives off the most incredible scent.
As well as the blooming purple fields, you can also have a look around the distillery where they house the machinery used to crush the delicate flower heads and extract the highly prized lavender oil.
Over the road, there is a quaint tearoom and gift shop where you can purchase Cotswold Lavender cosmetics and products. Delicious lavender shortbread, lavender ice-cream or, my favourite – a slice of the lavender and lemon cake can all be sampled here as you daydream of quitting your job to take up the idyllic life of a lavender farmer like I did…
It really is a stunning location and made me imagine for a split second that I was in Provence for a long-weekend, before realising I really wasn’t and it was Monday morning back-to-work the next day. It is a wonderful thing to have on your back door!
Entry to Snowshill Lavender Farm is £3.50 per adult.
This is more of a day -trip from my home, but to make this into a weekend trip, you could also visit:
Snowshill Manor and Gardens – a National Trust property filled with hundreds of eclectic objects which dates back to 16th Century, located in Snowshill.
Snowshill Arms – a beautiful country pub with a friendly local atmosphere that has consistently high ratings on Google and TripAdvisor.
Broadway – just five-minute drive down the road is the Cotswold tourist town of Broadway, with historic churches and heritage railways, as well as restaurants, shopping, and other local amenities. You can even climb the Broadway Tower to get the best panoramic views of the countryside and villages this part of England is so famous for.