I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son.
I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Lovely Lavender Lands
Vibrant colours, wonderful scents, beautiful surroundings and the gentle buzzing of bees await you at Faulkland's Lavender Farm. Established in 2004, this peaceful place now cultivates over 20 different varieties of Lavender, and tends to over 50,000 individual plants. There is a Cafe and shop with tables overlooking an immaculately kept garden, and the constant cries of Swallows as they swoop over the fields. With its scented healing garden and nursery plant area, the Lavender Farm has a calming and healing effect on its visitors. They sell their products all year round, notably at the Bath Christmas Markets
The kind owners of this family business openly welcome their guests, and everybody is encouraged to walk the fields of lavender for a closer look at the marvellous plants. Access to the fields is via flat, well-kept paths and lawns, and takes visitors through a large herb and flower garden that has benches and chairs for all to enjoy. Once there, the wide border to the fields allows for a pleasant walk, and ample opportunity to photograph and smell the plants without disturbing the crop. The sight and sound of bees and butterflies is a lovely experience in itself, and although it can get busy, the site is large enough for it to always feel serene and peaceful.
The scent of the farm is incredible, and as their website says, there are definite individual qualities to each variety of lavender. Using their crop, the family now make lavender honey, oil, scented water and even shortbread, using vast copper distilling equipment. It is cottage industry at its best here, and makes me feel proud that Somerset still upholds its husbandry of the land with its ancient traditions. These include care for the land, and one of my favourite aspects of this place has to be the vibrancy of the wildlife and nature. It is the butterflies that steal the show for me, though.
A fascinating part of the farm is that the colour of the lavender itself is so unpredictable. It changes depending on the light and the weather, and can do so rapidly. During our visit, there was a dreamy haze to the crops, although when I have visited in the afternoon the plants take on a deep purple and almost smoky hue. A stroll through the fields is a photographer's dream, and most of the visitors seem to have a little play with capturing the colours and shapes. The farm makes me slip into a daydream as if I am looking into (or out of) an Impressionist painting or a nature poem. It makes me feel creative.
The shop and cafe offer lovely views across the farm itself, and are sheltered by a lichen-clad dry stone wall. Service there is relaxed and happy, and there are always staff on hand. The family themselves are deeply involved with every aspect of the farm, which is something that I love and respect. After some nourishing lavender-scented food and drinks, you can visit a retired farming silo containing the nursery area, offering all manner of healing plants. Another kiosk shop proudly displays the wares of the farm. Although calm and very peaceful, little ones and families are well catered for due to the space, and a fantastic growing labyrinth at the entrance to the fields. There is ample room to have a picnic, should that appeal.
All ages come to the farm to appreciate its beauty. The car park is large, and has what must be one of the most beautiful car park views in the world. It is also situated right next to the fields, for those seeking some quiet reflection or perhaps a photography challenge. Incredibly, the farm itself does not charge an entry fee, but there are several donation boxes should anybody wish to support the place. All proceeds go towards ensuring that the fields are in top condition. With another five acres of lavender soon to be planted, this would be a sound investment!