Award-winning Batsford Arboretum is home to the largest private collection of trees and shrubs in the country and is famous for plants collected from China and Japan. The collection includes many plants that are now extinct in the wild. Batsford was landscaped by Lord Redesdale, grandfather of the Mitford sisters, who lived here during the First World War, and is now managed by the Batsford Foundation, a charity set up in 1983 to promote the conservation of arboreta, gardens and historic landscapes.
The woodland walks are beautiful all year round, with dazzling autumn leaf colour, carpets of snowdrops in February, magnolias and bluebells in the spring and wild flowers in summer. The Garden Shop and Plant Centre stock everything the keen gardener needs. Just next door the Cotswold Falconry Centre offers visitors the chance to get close to falcons, hawks and owls.
After your walk, enjoy some refreshments at the Garden Terrace Cafe where delicious hot lunch, snacks or tea with home-baked cakes are served daily. The chefs use locally-sourced fresh produce whenever possible.
Batsford Arboretum is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays.
Westonbirt Arboretum is home to a globally-important collection of trees and shrubs. It was created in the 19th century by Robert Stayner Holford, who commissioned plant hunters such as David Douglas to collect plants from the remotest corners of the British Empire.
Westonbirt boasts 5 national collections and 17 miles of paths, including the famous “Gruffalo” trail that is very popular with younger visitors. There are three main areas to explore: the Old Arboretum (dog-free), Silk Wood, an ancient woodland and the Downs. Many paths are wheelchair accessible and Westonbirt has been awarded the Access for All tourism award.
Dogs are welcome in Silk Wood, where you can enjoy the stunning Cherry Collection and the Japanese Maple collection, and on the Downs, where wild flowers grow in profusion during the summer.
Year-round special events include live concerts and the Enchanted Christmas illuminated trail.
Open 9am – 5am every day except Christmas Day.