Westonbirt Arboretum: Going for gold, my favourite autumn walk

Red and Yellow leaves

Westonbirt Arboretum

Autumn Colours. The picture shows red and orange trees.
The acers showing beautiful Autumn colours in my photo.

One of my favourite local places to visit at this time of year is Westonbirt Arboretum, which is in Gloucestershire about four miles from Tetbury.  An Arboretum is a word for a collection of trees and Westonbirt has 15,000 of them including 2,500 different types.   The collection was started in 1850 by Robert Holford, a rich Victorian Landlord who owned the estate.

Visitors walking through the trees.
Visitors enjoying the Autumn colours.

It is now owned by the forestry commission and has 17 miles of accessible trails. The forestry commission have also been busy planting wild flower meadows.    They are even carrying out experiments to find out how different varieties of tree will cope with possible climate change.  Local naturalists have also identified over 1,000 different types of fungi. Many of the trees were planted during an exciting period of plant hunting when trees and shrubs from all over the globe were introduced to Britain. Unlike other arboreta the landscape was laid out aesthetically  rather than putting trees in botanic groups which adds to its beauty.

The Stihl treetop walkway which was recently opened allows you to look down on the trees and it is fully wheelchair accessible. A lift takes disabled visitors to the top.   Electric scooters are available for hire but need to be pre booked.   Dogs on leads are allowed in the silk wood area.

Children’s activities

The Gruffulo A large wooden gruffulo has been placed in the wood.
The Gruffulo is hiding in the dark wood.

There are a lot of activities for children including a chance to spot the Gruffulo and several play zones  so children can  climb and scramble. There is also an outdoor classroom which can be used by schools and a bird hide. A large gift shop sells a wide range of countryside books, gifts and toys. From 1st  of December 2019 until February 29th 2020 there will be a Shaun the sheep Glow trail.

Food and Drink

Westonbirt  has a good restaurant which serves hot and cold food, a snack bar with outdoor seating and  a  picnic area with benches and tables for people to bring their own food.

Autumn is my favourite time to visit when the woods are full of reds and yellows.  The foresters waymark a special Autumn tints trail so you won’t miss the most colourful trees particularly the Acers.

Christmas activities

However there are activities throughout the year including Christmas when  the staff decorate some of the trees  with fairy lights and children can meet Father Christmas.  The woodsmen also hose down the trunks of the silver birches to give the woods a magical feel and Christmas gifts are on sale.

In  summer  the woods are full of colourful azaleas and rhodedendrons.

Admission is £10.00 for adults and £4.00 for children.

More details can be found here:Westonbirt arboretum

The site also has a guide to download in French, German or Japanese.

If you enjoyed this post you might like Two National Trust Properties to visit near Bath.

Author: Anne Fraser

Hi, I am Anne, I am a retired nurse from Bristol in South West England. I am married with five grown up children, four boys and a girl , a grandson and a cat. I like History, travel and reading. I hope to connect with other people with similar interests.

17 thoughts on “Westonbirt Arboretum: Going for gold, my favourite autumn walk”

  1. Aw I’ve often thought of going as it’s really not overly far for me but I never have, perhaps the price puts me off a little to be honest but it does look like a lovely day out. Thanks for sharing – Will have to add this to my list of places to visit for this year! 🙂
    Caz x

  2. Westonbirt Arboretum is my favourite place in the UK for autumn. Every year we’d go at the beginning of November and capture some amazing pictures. I really do miss it now we’re no longer in the uk.

  3. I cannot wait for Kian to start university in Bristol as we will be going to visit him and will go to these sorts of places for days out

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