A lavender farm in Surrey has become an unlikely hotspot for selfie-seeking Instagrammers – thanks to its beguiling purple haze when its in full bloom.
Mayfields lavender farm, in Banstead, Surrey – 15 miles from central London – is regularly inundated with tourists when its French and English varieties have flowered.
The farm, which charges £2.50 per person for unlimited access to its neatly laid-out rows of lavender – across 25 acres of farmland – has become so popular that its owners are now urging visitors looking for the perfect snap to avoid weekends for fear of over-crowding.
It comes amid reports that residents of areas such as Notting Hill and a stunning Cotswolds village are moving out because they’re so sick of selfie-seeking tourists hanging around their homes to get the perfect snap.
Purple patch! Mayfields lavender farm, in Barnstead, Surrey – 15 miles from central London – has seen tourism become a big revenue stream after Instagrammers began flocking to the site to walk through the purple haze
Selfie fans often travel for hours to reach the rural Surrey farm, with congestion around it heavy at weekends
When the lavender is in bloom, the farm urges visitors, desperate for their moment among the purple flowers, to arrive during the week
Striking a pose: The pastoral splendour of the lavender in flower promises a dreamy backdrop
Dogs are allowed as long as they’re well behaved, which means there’s a flurry of canine snaps that crop up under the #mayfieldslavender hashtag
A group of friends giggle as they gather amongst the English lavender
Let’s run! The rows inbetween the flowers make for a perfect doggy run
The phone to lavender bush ratio gets pretty high during peak times
The nearby London commuter station of Sutton sees extraordinary numbers looking for taxis to the farm as it’s recommended as the easiest way to reach the site.
Those who do make it in cars face long queues to park up in the thin mud-strip of land next to the fields.
The opportunity to wander amongst the purple pastoral splendour – and walk away with a smartphone full of Instagram stories – sees crowds gathering to get into the rural retreat at weekends.
At peak times, ensuring other camera-wielding photographers aren’t in shot might prove a trial, with the phone to lavender bush ratio pretty high.
From marriage proposals to high-fives, those who descend on Mayfields may go away with plenty of photos but they’re not allowed to pick the lavender
The farm charges £2.50 for adults to wander along the rows of lavender, with an Airstream caravan serving up lavender-laced treats
And proof of the hundreds of visitors descending daily is quickly uploaded onto social media.
The hashtag #mayfieldlavender is brimming with images of couples looking doe-eyed at each other, gaggles of family groups and even pose-happy pooches.
The farm, which has a small shop and cafe, serving plenty of lavender-laced treats including lavender tea and biscuits, doesn’t let those who visit pick the fragrant purple flowers – but you can buy a bunch in the shop for £4.
The colourful houses of Notting Hill are also being overrun by Instagram-lovers looking for their next picturesque setting to snap for social media, according to residents.
That’s not to mention the idyllic British villages and historical cities also seeing an increase of tourists desperate to take a selfie in winsome locations, such as Bibury, Gloucestershire.