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Buckland Court

Cotswolds, England

Autumn in the Cotswolds: visit Westonbirt National Arboretum for a good day out

Posted by Luci Ackers on Oct 09, 2015
Westonbirt National Arboretum - Cotswolds
Westonbirt National Arboretum - Cotswolds
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  • Westonbirt National Arboretum - Cotswolds
  • Autumn in the Cotswolds: visit Westonbirt National Arboretum for a good day out
  • Autumn in the Cotswolds: visit Westonbirt National Arboretum for a good day out
  • Autumn in the Cotswolds: visit Westonbirt National Arboretum for a good day out

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Near the historic market town of Tetbury is the National Arboretum Westonbirt. This is a large botanical collection of trees and shrubs which welcomes over 350,000 visitors per year who enjoy wandering its green expanses.

Now managed by the Forestry Commission, the arboretum was established in the 19th century by Robert Stayner Holford who created a charming Victorian environment to showcase his inherited wealth. The arboretum's 15,000 labelled trees come from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and a whole host of other climates; many of the species you can see here today survive from Holford's era and the plant-hunting expeditions that took place overseas at the time.

Planting first started in the 1850s, and now the estate has an incredible 17 miles of accessible pathways to explore, 600 acres of land and five national collections! There are roughly 3,000 different types of tree altogether with a vast amount in major groups such as Maples, Oaks, Limes, Pines, Rhododendrons. The collection of rare trees includes those that are extinct in the wild or critically endangered and the propagation unit ensures the maintenance of the collection's diversity.

In June 2014 the Duchess of Cornwall opened a new Welcome Building at the Arboretum, planting a sapling to mark its completion. The new building is much more welcoming than the previous and provides a launch pad for visitors, it is equipped with visitor facilities and an information centre to enjoy before setting off into the grounds.

Stunning at all times, though particularly wonderful in autumn, the Arboretum is open year round so you can really discover the changing seasons amongst the leaves and branches. There is a range of things to keep you busy and different activities taking place continuously such as autumn trails, guided walks, winter activities, and summer fun!

Take a look at opening times and prices here.

And see the events guide here.

FIND OUT HOW YOU TOO CAN STAY HERE
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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.


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