Within the town of Faulkland resides one of North Somerset’s most charming destinations: the Somerset Lavender Farm. Chelsea Davies takes you on a wander through the purple fields and helps you escape the stresses of everyday life. Follow her while she dips her senses in the beauty of lavender and breathes in its healing properties.
The drive from Bath takes my sister Mollie and I through villages with names right out of a Sunday morning murder-mystery. It’s thirty minutes of rolling fields dampened by morning dew and grand country homes. Tall hedgerows trim the winding lanes and brambles stretch out to stroke the sides of the car as my sister navigates each rattle of the back road.
Arriving in Faulkland itself, I feel as though I have been transported to an era predating the smartphone that I’m itching to grab out of my pocket for an Instagram or Snapchat post. Ivy drapes on stone cottages like the silk of a lady’s dress; cobbled roads and Georgian architecture do nothing but add to the period-drama scene that is conjured before me. A well-weathered sign declares ‘right’ for lavender and we follow its painted sprigs into the farm’s car park.
It’s still early – 10.31am per the dashboard clock – when I exit the car. The scent of morning lingers and it wraps around me like a blanket; comforting in its heaviness. Since making the decision to remain in Bath over summer, adventures with Mollie have been few and far between. But right now, it’s as though I’ve never left home. Our gazes meet as we finally tear our eyes from the stunning view that unfolds ahead.
The skies are heavy with grey clouds, threatening rain. But below the gloom, a carpet of colour blooms. Stalks of lavender lie in orderly rows that, from a distance, resemble ocean waves – a sea of vibrant purple with crests of periwinkle and mauve. Each shift of the wind carries with it a heady aroma, and yellow bees bumble through the crop. The air is alive with the music of nature. For the first time in weeks, I feel myself relax.
Birds tweet, animals scuttle; I can hear the earth murmur. Yes, the sky is grey, but I can feel the warmth of the suppressed sun on my skin as we trail through blooming fields. Our fingers skim the tips of the bushes, talk of this and that while we walk unhurriedly through the lavender.
The Somerset Lavender Farm certainly caters for visitors seeking beauty and aesthetic views. In addition to two expansive fields of lavender, the farm also boasts a plot of sunflowers, a garden blooming with all manner of flora – trails of blood red roses, beds of golden marigolds – as well as a gift shop and café incorporating the produce it grows in all their products.
Hours can be spent here without awareness of any time passing. It’s a haven of calm and tranquillity. I overhear that early August is when the crop is at its most beautiful; full and bursting before its harvest. An ostentatious show before it hunkers down for winter, I think. I feel somewhat smug of our timing.
The morning moves to noon and yet I’m content to just watch this sea of lavender sway. But I have work and Mollie has visitors, so we begrudgingly make our way back through narrow trails to the car. I resist the urge to pull out my camera and take yet another shot. Instead, I simply look. The depth of colour, the gentle wavering, the sounds and the fragrance; I hold it all in my mind’s eye. I stand in a state of serenity for a heartbeat. Then I fall back into step with my sister, the shifting lavender almost waving us goodbye.
Words by Chelsea Davies
Chelsea Davies is a second year Creative Writing student, postcard enthusiast and pun-lover. Like all Davies’, she suffers from a serious case of wanderlust that her twin and herself are always indulging in. She’s a seeker of unexpected intrusions of beauty and hopes to capture her wonder through writing.