Attracting both bees and the inhabitants of the local care homes in equal quantities, Norfolk Lavender, based at Caley's Mill outside Heacham, is a good place to visit if you want to feel on the younger end of the demographic.
In addition to the Garden Centre and Tea Rooms, there is a shop selling every conceivable sort of lavender produce, including:
- Lavender Beer (actually quite nice as it uses lavender honey rather than the oil),
- Lavender Ice Cream (a once in a lifetime experience, in my view) and
- Lavender Fudge (inedible, despite my best endeavours).
Also on offer are guided tours of the site, with an interesting a knowledgeable guide who will tell you possibly slightly more than you ever wanted to know about lavender.
As well as seeing the first purpose built Lavender Cutter that they used from 1971 to 2002, you also get to see the Lavender Still. It is interesting to see huge quantity of lavender they have to pack into the retort vessels in order to produce a small vial of lavender oil.
One slight disappointment; although there are some lavender beds on the site, the majority of their fields are scattered around the surrounding area.
I can't believe that I just complained that there wasn't enough lavender.