Let’s pretend it’s still summer, shall we? I know I was wearing a jumper yesterday when I had a hot chocolate with my sister, but it has been cold for just a few days and maybe it will get warmer again soon so yes, today I’ll pretend it is still summer. We are in August after all, aren’t we?
In this post, let me tell you about a new place we’ve discovered recently. It is part of a gorgeous park that is not too far from the city yet it couldn’t be more distant in terms of landscape and breathable air. Imagine the English countryside, paths where you can pick your blackberries, white cottages with amazing gardens and a tennis court: that’s where The Oaks Park is. And yes, you’ve guessed it, there is also a huge lavender farm next to it that stretches for miles, where you can walk freely and pretend you are actually in the south of sunny France – not in cold England anymore.
The farm is called Mayfield Lavender Farm and it’s located south of London. We decided to go there by bike, using the bicycles we borrowed from some friends of ours (as they were on holiday and kindly lent them to us). We did it because we thought we were very good cyclists, much better than how we discovered we actually are. It took us about two hours to get there (mainly because we got lost several times on the way) and one hour and 15 minutes to cycle back to the city.
Cycling all the way out of London was scary because there are cars and buses everywhere, although there is a cycling path along most main roads. L also had to adjust his pace so that I wouldn’t lose him at every turn or traffic light, as he is faster and braver than I am. That’s probably due to the fact that he grew up in a place where people mainly use bicycles to move around and are not exactly keen on following the rules! Anyway, we both managed to arrive safe and sound to our destination and the second half of the journey was actually relaxing as we cycled through the countryside.
While cycling, I wanted to use my Apple watch to keep track of our speed, just to see how many km an hour we were doing. I managed to start the workout app and selected the option for outdoor cycling. The Apple watch kept tracked our average speed until we stopped for a break. At that point, I put the watch on hold and forgot to press the play button again when we hit the road. Anyway, checking the data I have, I can say our average was 15.3 km per hour.
When we arrived at The Oaks Park, we had a nice picnic with L’s homemade bread and then slept on the grass for over an hour. The lavender field was pretty crowded when we arrived at about midday, it was a nice summer day and tourists were taking pictures or strolling around. The farm also sells products made with lavender such as honey, creams, perfumes, even biscuits, and there were people eating at their stands.
We, therefore, decided to walk around the park and taste the local smoothies instead. When we returned to the lavender field at about 6 pm, we took some lovely photos (which you can admire in this post, hehe). While we were there, we also found a couple of brides and grooms taking wedding shots and families with toddlers. I brought a huge, colourful dress with me that my mom bought for me in Italy and used it in most pictures. I’ve used that dress in the city as well and it’s really flattering. The best thing is that it’s quite wide so I can have all the slices of pizza I want if I use it for a dinner!
Before sunset, we walked back to our bicycles and then cycled back to the city, which didn’t take long and the road was mainly downhill. I don’t recall what we did that evening, but we must have gone to bed quite early.
Overall we spent a lovely day outdoors, immersed in nature, without checking our smartphones or computers and it was blissful! If you are in London for the summer and you have already visited “the usual” sightseeing places, I’d suggest checking out Mayfield Lavender farm. You don’t have to go there by bicycle, there is a train station nearby and we’ve seen plenty of taxis carrying tourists from and to the station all day.
We have a long list of other places we would like to visit in the UK, though at the moment we are pretty busy planning our wedding, daydreaming about the honeymoon and making sure my sister L doesn’t break our apartment. She’s currently here with us while she studies English and enjoys her time off school.
I hope you had a wonderful summer break and I’ll see you in my next post! And if you’ve been somewhere cool during the holidays, do let me know in the comments below!