One of the World's Loveliest Lavender Farms Is Just Outside of London

Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Mayfield Lavender in Banstead, UK, an hour outside London, is just as much a treat for the olfactory system as it is for the eyes. The English lavender farm features rolling fields of fragrant plants, and according to Condé Nast Traveler, the site is open to visitors when the flowers are in bloom from June to September.

Originally a Victorian lavender field, the farm was revived in the 2000s by Brendan Maye, who was working in the fine fragrance division of Wella UK at the time. He convinced the company to grow lavender as a marketing stunt, and when the business was acquired by Proctor & Gamble in 2005, he bought the farm and incorporated it under his own name. With help from his wife Lorna, he transformed Mayfield Lavender into a tourist attraction.

The lavender farm opens to the public every year on June 1, with the flowers reaching peak bloom from late June to early September. For £2.50 (about $3.17), guests can wander the 25-acre farm, taking in the sights and scents. When the attraction closes on September 2, visitors can tour the Mayfield nursery and shop in Epsom that's open all year.

If you can't make it to England this lavender season, you can seek out the flowers in the U.S. The town of Shelby, Michigan is home to a massive lavender labyrinth that's visible on Google Earth.

English lavender field.
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

English lavender field.
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

English lavender field.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

English lavender field.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

Chernobyl Creator Craig Mazin Urges Visitors to Treat the Exclusion Zone With Respect

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Following the success of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, one tour company reported that bookings to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone located in Ukraine rose 35 percent. Now, series creator Craig Mazin is imploring the new wave of tourists to be respectful when snapping selfies at Chernobyl, Gizmodo reports.

A 2500-square-kilometer exclusion zone was established around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant shortly after its reactor exploded in 1986 and flooded the area with harmful radiation. The abandoned towns are still too radioactive for people to live there safely, but they have been deemed safe to visit temporarily with the supervision of a guide.

Chernobyl has supported a dark tourism industry for years, but thanks to the miniseries, photographs taken there are gaining new levels of attention online. News of influencers posing for irreverent selfies at the site of the nuclear disaster quickly went viral. Mazin tweeted:

Regardless of why people are visiting the site, being respectful in the presence of tragedy is always a good idea. It's also smart to resist leaving a tour group to snap the perfect selfie in some abandoned building: Tour companies warn that breaking rules and wandering off approved paths can lead to dangerous radiation exposure.

[h/t Gizmodo]

A Traveling Harry Potter Beer Festival Is Coming to Several U.S. Cities

If you’ve ever wondered what the alcoholic version of a butterbeer would taste like, you’ll soon have the chance to find out. A series of ongoing Harry Potter-inspired beer festivals are coming to cities across the U.S. in the next couple of months.

According to Rock Star Beer Festivals, which is organizing the event, Muggles and wizards alike will get unlimited samples of 20-plus beers. There will be plenty of adult butterbeer to go around, and for more daring souls, there’s Snape’s Lair of Secret Cider Potions. Is it actually cider, or could it be a polyjuice potion? Attendees will soon find out.

In June, the festival will be coming to Fresno, California on June 21 and New Orleans on June 29. In July, it will head to Philadelphia (July 13) and Boston (July 20). Tickets to the festivals can be purchased through Eventbrite or booked on Rock Star Beer Festivals’ Facebook page under the Events tab. Act fast, though, because tickets—which generally sell for $40 to $45 apiece—regularly sell out.

What else can you expect to see at such a magical event? Rock Star Beer Festivals says the venues hosting the festival will be “transformed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” with guests being transported to the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and, of course, the Leaky Cauldron. You’ll also get to snap photos with Hagrid and dance to music by the Sorceress Sisters and DJ Dumbledore. Just be careful not to drink and do magic, or you could end up having an accident à la Neville Longbottom.

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