Visit to a Lavender Farm, St.Helens
20 June, 2022
Growing and distilling crops for essential oils is fast becoming something of a rarity in the UK. I’m so lucky to have a lavender farm so close to where I live, just 13miles from Warrington. Inglenook Lavender farm lies in St Helens just off the East Lancs Road (A580) on the Rainford bypass (A570) towards Ormskirk. They very kindly open their farm up to visitors on the second Sunday of every month to coincide with a makers market they host inside one of their large barns.
There is plenty to see and do at the farm. The makers market has a good variety of quality food and craft stalls, the lavender fields are a joy to walk through, and there is plenty of space for picnicking either in the field or on the picnic tables outside the café and tearoom where you can buy ice creams and fresh coffee.
Outside in the courtyard, there are a few small permanent shops to wander around. Have a look at some flower arranging and wreath making at The Little Green Door Company. Not only can you pick up something beautiful for the home, but they also offer workshops where you can learn to put together your own flower designs. There is also Casa-Ancora, a furniture and homeware shop selling a large selection of furniture paint, perfect if you are looking for inspiration for a restoration project or even just to tart up some old chest of draws, you will certainly find plenty of ideas in this shop.
The farm welcomes dog owners and cyclists. Bicycle enthusiasts will love the very quaint Vintage Cycle Stable. Dog owners can buy treats and all the doggy stuff they need from The Dog Barn. There is even a new hydrotherapy and leisure pool just for dogs.
Inglenook farm grows and distils lavender and chamomile essential oil on-site and they are also the UK’s leading distiller of frankincense which they ship over from Somalia in its raw form to produce the heavenly scented oil. You can learn more about essential oils in the Essencia shop which sells the essential oils from the farm as well as a wider variety of quality oils and natural products. All essential oils sold in the shop have a little tester bottle so you can smell them before making a selection. It’s a great opportunity to discover and educate your nose on some of the higher-priced or unusual essential oils such as rose or vetivert.
Lavender blooms from May to July and is harvested at the end of the season from late July to August when the plants are at the peak of flowering. Both the flowers and leaves have a lovely herbal scent, although it’s only the flowers that are used in the production of the essential oil. These lavender plants are also sold alongside the fruit and veg in the farm shop.
Workshops & Events
The farm runs some interesting workshops and events. You can learn to make botanical reliefs, flower wreaths and arrangements, or enjoy the outdoors at the bushcraft festival or the dog festival. Find out more at their website here.
The market and farm are free entry, parking is £1 per car.