Located in Banstead, just South of Croydon and Sutton, dog-friendly Mayfield Lavender Farm is a certified organic farm and a chance to visit a lavender field with your four-legged within the M25 and have a stroll among bushes crowned by an explosion of scented purple flowers, breathing in all the fragrance.
A dog day out at Mayfield Lavender Farm
Unlike Hitchin Lavender in Hertfordshire and Castle Farm’s Kentish Lavender Field in Sevenoaks, which don’t welcome canines unless they are guide dogs, Mayfield Lavender Farm has a dog-friendly policy and allows pooches of all sizes to enter and enjoy the day with their humans without any limitations other than being on a lead at all times and, of course, people clean after their dogs.
A visit had been on our list for a while and we finally managed to go, probably among the last ones to have done so judging from the heavy featuring that Mayfield had in the press and on Instagram since Spring, when flowers weren’t even yet in bloom. The popularity of the spot definitely comes at a price: if you are thinking about a romantic stroll among the planted rows of lavender, with no humans in sight, forget about it… even visiting on a weekday early morning we found quite a few souls having had the same idea and soon it became pretty crowded. We loved that many visitors were mums with young children (by the way, children enter for free up to 16 years old), spending the morning outdoor and there were a few dogs as well. An almost equal number of visitors were girls dressed up in fancy dresses and hats, striking poses among the flowers, with photographer friends following them, presumably instagrammers.
Despite the crowd, both me and my husband (who was less impressed than me by the field), agreed that it is one to check out, as the field and flowers are beautiful. He’d set for allocating one hour for the visit, I’d say two so you can have some more stops and pop by the cafe and the Airstream to have a bite (more below). The field is 25 acres and has three different types of lavander.
The rows of lavender climp uphill and then downhill, which is nice, so you can have the illusion of a bit less people and possibly a cleaner shot when taking photos. The day we visited it was partially sunny, so it wasn’t too hot and we had a nice stroll. There were many busy bees and hornets flying from flower to flower, so we kept a close eye on Argo to ensure he didn’t disturb them and got stung (he luckily ignored them and as normal they did the same).
What to do at the farm with your dog
No picnics are allowed at the farm, however there is an Airstream Cafe’ selling drinks and snacks in the field, including lavender-based delicatessen like lavender scones.
You can also have a proper lunch or dessert at the Mayfield Farm Al Fresco Cafe near the entrance, which has tables under tents, so you and your dog can rest in the shade. The Mayfield Farm Cafe has an enviable menu, ranging from burgers, hot dogs, toasties and sandwiches to salads, lavender sweet treats, ice-cream and cakes and prices are honest. They also offer afternoon tea experiences. We had nachos with chicken and cheese and a burger, although my husband wasn’t too pleased with his burger as they finished the buns so brought him a sandwich he didn’t really like.
Visitors can’t pick the lavender, but you can buy bunches of it at the shop (for £4 a bunch, or 3 for £10). The shop also sells many products from soaps to drawer sachets, plants, home frangrances and more.
Apart from a stroll in the lavender field and a stop at one (or both) the cafes, there you can also:
- see the Wildflower Field: sunflowers, and other colourful flowers keep Mayfield bees busy and happy;
- hire one of the two gazebos in the field which sit up to 16 people for a private party;
- pose near the red phone booth: this is located in the field not far from the entrance; a bit of a touristic one for our taste, but nevertheless probably a classic if you are after a photo opportunity;
- go for a tractor ride: the tractor pulls a carriage with seats for a ride around the farm (price is £2 per person and it takes about 15-20 minute, no need to book).
Dog-friendly Mayfield Lavender Farm| Essential information
T I C K E T S
- £2.50 per person, children under 16 go free, dogs go free. Parking is free for ticket holders. Tickets come with a £2.50 voucher on the back, which you can redeem between 15th September and 31st May at the Mayfield Lavender Shop in Epsom (139 Reigate Road, KT17 3DW) or at their online shop to support the farm.
- Between 29th August and 2nd September entry to the farm is free, but remember that flowers may well be dry already.
D O G R U L E S
Well-behaved dogs are allowed on a lead. People are required to clean after their dogs.
W H E N T O V I S I T
Lavender normally blooms between the end of June and the end of August. As varies year to year, Mayfield Lavender Farm’s Facebook page provides updates onthe blooming of the flowers. We wanted to visit back in June, but the flowers were not yet fully open, and the full bloom this year was in mid July. At the moment the flowers are still open and very well purple with bees pollinating them, but especially in some parts of the field they are starting to dry out and fade, so we’d advise to hurry up visiting.
Opening times are 9am to 6pm daily from June to 2nd September 2019.
H O W T O G E T T H E R E
- By public transport: There are many options to get to the farm by public transport. These include:
- Southern Railway train from London Victoria to West Croydon + bus no. 166 to Oaks Park (stops in front of the farm)
- Overground train (any stop between Highbury & Islington and West Croydon) to West Croydon + bus no. 166 to Oaks Park: possibly the cheapest route and you can use your Oyster card
- Southern Railway train from London Victoria to Sutton + S1 bus to Banstead (Woolpack stop) + bus no. 166 (according to Mayfield Lavender Farm’s website, this is a “slightly faster route”)
- Train from London Victoria to Purley station + cross the road to the large Tesco + 166 bus to Oaks Park from the front of the store
- By car: Mayfield Lavender Farm is located in 1 Carshalton Road, Banstead, SM7 3JA. There is parking on site which is free for people who have paid the entrance fee.
T I P S
- Avoid weekends if possible and go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and overheating in case it is a sunny day
- Be careful with bees if your dog is prone to chasing flying insects and/or if you are allergic
- There are water bowls at the entrance and bar area (although the water didn’t seem particularly clean when we visited), but we’d recommend you bring your own, also for when you are walking in the field
- Apart from poo bags, a hiking poo bag carrier (there are a few brands out there, among which this one which has good reviews – Amazon affiliate link) can be useful, as you won’t find bins along your way in the field!
- Toilets: Please note that at the farm there are portaloos only.