Hill Barn Farm, the home of Cotswold Lavender, used to grow wheat and barley crops but took the decision to change to Lavender crops in 2000. Since then the planting area has increased and now contains 250,000 plants of 35 different varieties covering 70 miles of rows. Mix in numerous butterflies and bees and it really is a sight to behold.
Harvest time varies depending on when the crop is ready and the weather but its generally at the end of July and completed by the beginning of August. The harvested crop is then steam distilled on the farm before being made into products which can be purchased on-site. You are able to watch the harvesting and distilling whilst its being carried out.
Like most places today, there is a gift shop. The difference between this one and a lot of others is that it’s full of beautiful products made with the lavender grown on the farm and not abstract, unrelated items. It’s refreshing to know that the money you spend is going directly back into the farm.
Next to the gift shop is the tearoom. And what a cream tea it is – highly recommended and tasted delicious 🙂
They also have a fantastic website, Cotswold Lavender, which has a wealth of information about different types of lavender, advice on how to grow it and some lovely recipes using lavender in your cooking – the Lavender Shortbread is gorgeous.
I can’t wait to go back there again next year and hopefully will see the newly planted wild-flower meadow too.
If you are thinking about visiting check the website or social media for updates on when harvesting will start.
All images were taken on 24th July 2013.