Botanical Wonderland

We visited the fabulous National Arboretum at Westonbirt, located in Gloucestershire near to the village of Tetbury.

The arboretum has been around for nearly 200 years, starting in the Victorian era when a wealthy landowner Robert Holford wanted to create a botanical wonderland. It was extended further following his death by son, George and later by George’s nephew, the 4th Earl of Morley.

In 1956, it was handed over to Forestry England, who still maintain it today.

So, what exactly is an arboretum?

Official dictionary definition: “a place where trees or shrubs are cultivated for their scientific or educational interest”.

This place (Westonbirt) is 600 acres in size! Lots and lots of trees and shrubs!

Neither of us had been before and it was a bit of discovery on our part.

It turned out to be a lovely walk through forests and trees (although we had no idea what they all were!) with the odd Gruffalo and other wood carvings thrown in for good measure.

There is a coffee kiosk at the main entrance and restaurant, gift shop and information centre further into the Arboretum.

Try following the Gruffalo Trail – based on characters from the much-loved children’s book by Julia Donaldson. (Adults love this as much as children do…I know I did!)

The Treetop walkway is also a great way of seeing the trees from a different (and higher) perspective.

Forestry England still operate an entry booking system found here. There are also guided walks on offer – you need to book these along with your entry tickets.

At the time of writing, entry cost £11 per adult. The guided walks were an additional £1 per person.

All in all,  it was just a nice day out, admiring nature and getting away from the digital world!

Plus, the lemon drizzle cake at the restaurant was particularly good 🙂

Links included are for information only and aren’t affiliate links. Opinions expressed are our own based on personal experience.

All images used are personal photographs taken during a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum in September 2021.

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