22. Two Amazing Arboreta - Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, and Batsford Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum in all its autumn glory. Picture by Rob Fraser, courtesy Cotswolds Conservation Board.
Japanese blossoming cherry trees at Batsford Arboretum.As if the Cotswolds landscape isn't beautiful enough to attract visitors from all over the world, the area is also home to two wonderful arboreta.

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, is located three miles from the market town of Tetbury in the south Cotswolds. The historic, Victorian picturesque landscape and internationally important tree and shrub collection is managed by the Forestry Commission and supported by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum.
The 14,902 labelled trees (representing about 2,500 different types of tree) come from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates. Planting started in the 1850s by Robert Holford, a rich Victorian landowner to whom the Westonbirt estate belonged.

With 17 miles of accessible paths and five national collections, Westonbirt enables children to become young adventurers and adultsSpectacular autumn colours at Westonbirt. to connect with trees through guided walks, workshops, self-led trails or volunteering.
Westonbirt attracts over 350,000 visitors per year and is known worldwide for its spectacular autumn colour and the spring rhododendron, azalea and magnolia displays.

The arboretum is popular for groups, individuals and educational visits. Popular events include the Forest Live concerts programme, Treefest and the Enchanted Christmas illuminated trail.

Among the many satisfied visitors to Westonbirt in recent years is James Keitley from Chipping Campden, who described it as a "truly a wonderful place".

"My wife Dawn and I walked and talked there during our very early courting days - it was very romantic," he said.

Up in the northern part of the Cotswolds, Batsford Arboretum & Garden Centre, a mile or so outside Moreton-in-Marsh, is home to one of the finest botanical collections in the country and is run by the charitable trust, The Batsford Foundation.

At 56 acres in size, Batsford is an intimate and romantic place to visit, with interest all year round from the first snowdrops of spring, right through to the outstanding autumn colours.

Batsford is also home to a beautiful new wooden visitor centre where you'll find the Garden Terrace Café, gift and garden shop and the plant centre.

The arboretum, which is open to the public daily throughout most of the year, contains about 2,900 trees, with a large collection of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines.

More information

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum
Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QS
01666 880220

Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre
Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9QB
01386 701441 

© Loving The Cotswolds. 2021.