For years I’ve been meaning to get to more flower fields after going a couple of years ago to Cotswold Lavender. I’ve not managed to get to any until this summer, when I’ve had a spare day to book into Glebe Farm sunflowers.
I have a couple of options just over the border from us: Glebe Farm opened last year and continues this year, and Lodge Farm near Compton Verney which has been going a little longer. With Covid and size of the track to Glebe Farm, this year they’ve done booking to help control the traffic. The sunflower field track is just off the village high street so it worked really well. It also meant that it wasn’t too busy.
Being an early bird, I like to get out to places at opening time, and I was 3rd person through the gate. Glebe Farm is a small basic set up – plenty of sunflowers with different routes to walk, field car parking, a few benches to aid photography opportunities. They also have a coffee seller at weekends, and when I visited there was a local painter setting up a stand near the entrance.
When I visited, they were charging for a car – £7 per car with 6 stems included in that cost. Local walk-ins cost £6 with the same offer. You can cut and buy extra stems which you pay for on exit. There’s no toilets, but you can take picnics to eat. Disabled parking is just by the entrance while other parking is further up the field with a very short walk.
The sunflowers were looking really good with large ones and the view above looking over to the village church. Along the right hand walk the flowers were slightly smaller and I chose these for my bunch.
As with most sunflower fields, suitable shoes are needed – it had been mostly dry when I went, so any shoes were fine, but walkways can be muddy depending on when you go. The field to walk to the entrance is bumpy, and obviously it’s a field – buggies and wheelchairs could be manageable but bumpy around the edge of the sunflowers. The walkways are quite narrow and there’s a small slope so I’m not sure it would be comfortable..
I think I’ll be making this an annual visit to Glebe Farm, but I’ll be looking out for other local flower fields to visit around the year too for seasonal photography opportunities.
Tips for visiting sunflower fields
Always check websites or social media beforehand. As these are generally working farms, sunflowers might not be grown every year (or in the same location). The fields opening times all depend on the weather, with different fields opening any time from July through to September. Websites and (usually) Facebook will keep the public informed of when the blooms are ready to visit.
Pre-book tickets. Some fields say you can just turn up, but pre-booking is becoming more popular. Some is down to Covid, but as they become more popular, booking also helps control numbers. After all, most of us want to take photos without lots of people in the background. Don’t forget to take your tickets with you as they may be checked – usually on your mobile is fine.
Wear suitable footwear. You might want pretty clothes and sandals in your photos, but the ground can be muddy if it’s rained before.
Think about timings for photos. You don’t really want harsh midday sun for photos – you could end up with lots of shadows on faces when taking photos next to the flowers. So opt for a slightly cloudier day, or try early or sunset when the sun is lower.
Check the rules for photos and taking tripods. if you’re not a pro booking a photo shoot slot. I just took along my selfie stick as I went alone. I debated taking my tripod but it’s another thing to carry around and I didn’t know how busy it would be to get it set up, and not interrupt other people’s enjoyment of walking around.
Take secateurs (or sturdy scissors) as you’ll usually need to pick your own sunflowers.
Check out the facilities available before to book/visit. Some sunflower fields are just the field. Others are part of larger pick your own farms, so you can spend more time there picking your own fruit or veg, visit their cafes, or take part in other activities. Make sure you know what you want to spend beforehand if you’re taking children who might want to do all the extra paid for activities.
Leave the fields as you saw them. Take litter home, keep to the pathways, and try not to damage plants as you walk past, especially when it’s busy.
Make a day of it. For smaller set ups, opening up these fields is likely to be a way for the farms to diversify their usual income streams. They often bring in independent coffee sellers, or crafts people, so support them where you can.
If you’re doing a full day out, take some newspaper or towels to wet and wrap around your sunflowers to avoid them wilting too much after a day of being picked before you get them home.
I always keep an eye out for other sunflower fields around the country for if we’re out and about and in the area. Here’s some of the other sunflower fields that are open to the public.
Sunflower fields to visit in the UK
Millets Farm Centre, Frilford – not just pick your own, they have a farm shop, restaurant, garden centre, animals, and put on summer activities like a maze and more. This is definitely an all day outing.
Rectory Farm Stanton St John – this is a popular sunflower field, alongside full PYO and farm shop. They also put on other activities,
Glebe Farm, Brailes. Small set up, but well managed and friendly. Eat out at the pub opposite, and there’s a park nearby to let the children run around.
Lodge Farm, Kineton. 3 acres of sunflowers, only 50p a stem, Lodge Farm support charities each year from the sunflowers too . Nearly next to Compton Verney so make a day of it.
Malt Kiln Farm Stretton under Fosse with PYO and farm shop.
Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham – Get in free to the sunflowers with tickets to the farm park, or buy flower only tickets.
Garsons Farm, Esher – PYO with selection of crops to choose from, you just drive and park next to the crop you want to pick
Hitchin Lavender also have sunflowers usually from mid August, alongside their lavender.
PopUp Farm, St Albans – sunflower festival with date updates on their facebook page. This year, they’re also offering plant pot painting
Stoke Fruit Farm and Farm Shop, Hayling Island 0 combine with a trip to the beach!
Hill Farm PYO, Chesterton Peterborough, Hill Farm has various fruit and veg for PYO, with sunflowers,
Stanhill Farm Wilmington Dartford – 2 small plots of sunflowers rather than fields, but only £1 a stem
Vine House Farm, Deeping St Nicholas – booking only, join a sunflower walking tour during August. They do other farm walks through the year, depending on season.
Farmer Paul’s sunflowers, Aylesbury This is only open for a week (possibly into the second week depending on the weather/flowers). £2 entry, and the offer a scavenger trail for kids.
Sunflowers at The Patch Milton Keynes – activities for little ones like the barrel train, plus extra instagram photo opportunity settings.
Sopley Farm, Christchurch – sunflowers and gladioli are available on their PYO.
Rhossili Bay – a National Trust site where they’ve planted fields of sunflowers. It gets busy, but there’s free parking for National Trust members. Do check exact locations online first, as fields are rotated each year.
Cairnie Fruit Farm, Cairnie, Cupar Fife – a PYO with plenty of produce options as well as the sunflower fields. A mega maze is included in the ticket price.
Have you been to any sunflower fields this year yet? Where have I missed off the list?
Liked this post, try one of these