Review of the largest organic lavender farm tour 2018. Based in Kent UK.
I really like the benefits of Lavender, so when the opportunity came up to go to an actual Lavender Farm I grabbed it.
Castle Farm is the largest Lavender Farm in the UK. It is a family owned farm and Lavender is only a part of what they do there.
This article is about our visit to the farm and what we thought of the farm visit.
You can find more in-depth information about the farm in my article about Castle Farm.
Why Did I Go To Lavender Farm?
I went to Castle Farm because they are the largest Lavender Farm in the UK and it was not that far from where I live, so it was a win, win.
I love all things natural and am really trying to live naturally as much as possible, so finding Castle Farm was like a gift.
Do you have to make a booking?
Yes you have to make a booking for the tour.
What are Castle Farms Contact Details?
Castle Farm, Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7UB
Tel: +44 (0) 1959 523219
Opening Times: Monday – Saturday 9am -5pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am – 5pm
The Lavender Season
Lavender plants are ready for sale from the shop from early May but the lavender season really gets underway in mid-June and the glorious scent and vibrant colour of the fields fill the valley until early August.
The first hint of colour appears in early June and we begin cutting the lavender for bunches just when the buds are ready to burst in the latter part of June. Harvesting for oil starts in mid July and continues until early August, progressing through the different varieties as they mature.
What Was the Journey like getting to Castle Farm?
Traveling from London we had options on how to get there, The Over ground train, Bus or Car.
I thought it would be nice to leave earlier and travel by bus because it was a beautiful day. I had the journey plan worked out so we were good to go. Well so I thought.
The First part of the bus journey was good. We saw some beautiful sights and because it was mid-morning the bus ride was comfortable with only a few people on it.
Then came the next part of our journey which was to get the other bus that would take us closer to the farm and then we could walk the rest to the farm.
Before getting on the bus I asked the bus driver if he could let us know when we got to Castle Farm.
He replied: “Castle what?”
My friends face dropped, I could see in her face that she was thinking, does this girl know where she is going.
I then asked him if he would let us know, when we have reached Jubilee Road. He replied “Jubilee What? I am going nowhere near there”
My Friend at this time is getting very anxious and letting me know this.
I explained to him that Google told me that I am to take this bus to Jubilee Road. He then replied “I do not know Castle Farm or Jubilee Road you will need another bus”
My friend at this time is telling me to get off the bus. I replied “We are staying on the bus because Google told me to take this bus and get off at Jubilee Road.
Anyway to cut a long story shorter. We stayed on the bus and I kept a look out for Jubilee Road. As we were talking and my friend was letting me know that she was losing all confidence that I knew where I was going. A lovely lady got up and said “Jubilee Road is in the next couple of stops”.
I thanked her. I really wanted to give her a big hug, but controlled myself.
The Lady got off the bus and then the bus driver started telling us that there was no Jubilee Road on this route. My friend Looked at me and I looked back and as if by magic. The Bus Talked. And the bus said “Jubilee Road next stop”.
I looked at my friend and she looked at the bus driver. Then the bus driver then looked at me and said “All my years of driving on the route I never hear her say that”. I said thank you as we got off the bus. The Bus driver the informed us to be careful walking along the path because there are no pavements. We thanked him.
Then we met a young man and I asked him which is the best way to get to Castle Farm, The Lavender Farm, he gave us directions and told us that it would be a about 40 minute walk.
Well the walk was interesting, it was longer than 40 minutes but the views were lovely.
We finally got to the Castle Farm and we both said that we were not going home the way we came.
As we approached the farm. The Views were beautiful the smell was wonderful. We were glad that we arrived from the direction we did because of the beautiful landscape views.
But I would not recommend this way of getting to Castle Farm.
We got a taxi from the farm to the station and that journey was a lot easier. In saying that I would not change the day because it was a lovely day out for me and my friend.
What was the tour like?
Castle Farm Tour
The tour of Castle Farm was very educational. And walking around with the smell of Lavender everywhere was amazing.
It started with us being taken to a field with what I thought was lavender but we were informed that it Lavendin.
What is Lavendin? Is looks and smells very similar to lavender but it benefits are the opposite. For example it is a stimulant not a relaxant.
You Will Find an article on the benefits of Lavender on this site
Whilst in the Lavendin field the tour guide, informed us of the history of the farm and how and why they started farming lavender.
The time of year that we got to farm, the lavender had already been harvested so we did not get to see the lavender field. The fields that we thought were lavender, were actual lavendin and the hybrid plant that looked like lavender and was called lavender by were a combination of two different types of lavender combined.
I must admit that bit really confused me. So I will not be able to explain it any better.
We also were shown the distillery where they make the lavender oil and lavender water.
The Extraction of the oils from the lavender was very important to me and seeing this in action was wonderful. To know that it was carried out on the farm. They have a steam distillery which separates the oil from the water. just brilliant to watch.
At the end of the tour we were give apple juice that was made on the farm and lavender shortbread biscuits. The apple juice was so refreshing and light. I have not tasted apple juice like that before it was beautiful.
The Hop Shop is a gift shop that sells all their products that they produce on the farm.
I would like to say at this point I am not being paid to write this article. I was originally just going to write about the lavender but then I thought, I would not be telling you the whole story.
How was the Tour Guide?
The tour was taken by Sarah. You can see a picture taken by my friend of Sarah and I.
Sarah was lovely and the tour was very informative. She was also funny which fits in with my personality.
What was the Farm Like?
Castle Farm is exactly that, a farm. There are no frills. The car park is good for the summer months without rain. Which is just like the foot paths.
It is a working farm so tractors are on the move, at this time of year due to harvesting.
What did I like about Castle Farm?
I liked the tour, I found it very informative and I learned a lot about lavender and what can be do with it.
We will be going back again next year for the massage in the Lavender Field.
One of the main things I really like was the way they harvest their crops. They employ pickers to maintain the purity of the plant.
The staff really know the products and appear passionate.
What didn’t Like about Castle Farm?
What I didn’t like about the farm. The farm itself, there was nothing that I didn’t like about it.
But the journey there was an experience I will not be re-doing it again any time soon. But that was our choice to travel that way.
It is better to drive to the farm. If you take the train, you will need to take a taxi from the train station to the farm and on return trip.
The Porto-loo and the lack of water to wash my hands.
Also it is better to call them rather than email. They are not very quick at getting back.
This was amazing day out and I am so glad that we did it. We wanted to do something different for our birthdays which are both in July. So was glad when my friend saw it on T.V.
I would recommend it to anyone who loves natural products. It is good to know the route source of products and where and how they are grown.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment. Also I would really appreciate a like before your leave.
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