Yes, its beautiful here!
18 reviews of Westonbirt Arboretum in English
In the October sun this place ignites with the colours of red and yellow scattered across the sky making autumn feel so much more magical. Walking through Westonbirt Arboretum felt like being in some sort of fairytale where all the leaves glitter like jewels and the comforting sound of crunching leaves beneath your feet, it made me feel excited that Autumn was here. Information is provided for each section of trees giving the name and age and interesting facts leaving you almost bewildered how something we see everyday can then become so magical. There is a tea room located at the start of the Arboretum which is pleasant for a hot up of tea or some autumn soup after visiting.
The Arboretum also hold special events around Halloween where lights are placed in the trees and a guided tour at night takes you around the site to experience the trees in a different way once again. Ignited with fairylights instead of the sun the trees are still the star of the show.
I have not visited in summer, but I am sure it would still be a pleasurable experience to see the trees in full bloom and to picnic on the site, but this place will always be kept for Autumn in my eyes.
I love Westonbirt so much I got an annual membership for both myself and my husband. We take our dog walking there about once a month and always go off the beaten track to find the more peaceful and wilder areas of the arboretum.
The other reviews have covered all the facilities there, but it’s not just for tourists, it’s a fantastic place for more local people to go and just take in the peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings.
the concerts that are held here in the summer are fab and really bring the arboretums trees to life. This offers a lot of scope for an indulgent open air dinner and a true experience. Not just the summer and the concerts though, it is a mgaical place to picnic in at any time of the year.
Take junction 18 off the M4 and head towards Stroud and Gloucester. A few minutes along the A46 turn right onto the A433 and look out for the signs for the arboretum. Take junction 18 off the M4 and head towards Stroud and Gloucester.
As soon as you turn your engine off you are enveloped in the total peace that only a forest can bring.
Choose your path and let the trees guide you on. They are grouped in species up to a point, but each area has enough variety and contrast to hold your attention, and interest.
We have visited in spring and autumn, and it is debatable which gives the most uplifting experience; the fresh green of new shoots, or the absolute blaze and range of colours of autumn. The maples provide a high percent of the awesome paintbox that spreads before you in every direction.
Follow the paths and soak up the whole atmosphere. Here you will appreciate the meaning of the conservationists’ plea; “Take nothing but photographs; leave nothing but footprints”.
The arboretum is part of the Forestry Commission’s aim to preserve and propogate old and new trees and plants and, although some areas seem untouched, they are scientifically controlled, even down to the height and depth of the hedge and grass to suit the different flowers. Some of the open grassland is grazed by cattle…Nature and man are working hard together; never is this truer than here.
Even if you are not an “outdoor” person I believe this place will leave you glad you went.
I visited the westonbirt arboretum last winter ( just before christmas ) with my toddler and husband. Its a beautiful place to visit around christmas especially if you have young children ( or you are young at heart) or generally love trees. During The christmas season, The trees are lit for special effects with some animal like noises ( e.g. owls, bush babies cries) reverberating throughout the forest. The cocktail of beautiful lighting ( which makes the trees shimmer and glow) together with the almost real animalistic sounds at night gave the arboretum a very enchanted forest like quality. My toddler enjoyed the time out at the arboretum because santa claus also took time out to take some pictures with her and give her some goodies back at the centre. There was also a choir present to sing christmas carols to those visiting the arboretum. The reason for the 3 stars is only because it was a tad costly especially during the christmas season. You get a discount for your child if they are 6yrs old or less or if you hold a student ID card. There was not enough time to walk the whole length of the arboretum before the arboretum closed up for the night. Please do wear your wellies ( if you plan to visit around christmas) as it gets VERY VERY muddy on a wet day otherwise you ruin altogether a good pair of shoes which is what i did when i visited as i was not aware it was so muddy and did not have any wellies!
The first thing I’d emphasise about Westonbirt is that it is expensive. I may be a bit unromantic but I was pretty unimpressed at how much the admission charge is when all it gives you is the chance to go and walk around some paths and look at some trees- after all, our local council uses our taxes to keep some green areas with trees in and they don’t charge us £8 every time we want to go and see them. (Incidentally the admission prices vary widely in different months, check the web site.)
The trees are of course spectacular. Timing is key- autumn is definitely the best (and most expensive) time to go and see the trees, but that’ll be when the colours are at their most vibrant and photogenic. In December it’s very cheap to go and look at cold stumps.
Timing is also important because it’s better to go when it’s not busy, if you can. If you’re looking for a romantic and gentle stroll in the trees, best to do it when there aren’t too many other people (and their dogs) about. At times it gets almost embarrassingly crowded.
The cafe is also overpriced- the menu is an attempt at proper organic and home-cooked authentic fayre but somehow it’s not quite up to the job and ends up being a bit either over- or under-boiled and under-flavoured. The gift shop is nice enough but sells all the usual nonsense (a bar of unbranded orange chocolate with a Westonbirt label on it for £2, anyone?)
Westonbirt Arboretum is brilliant. The enchanted trail is possibly my favourite christmas event. You walk through the trees which are all lit up with different coloured lights. It might not sound like much but you get a really good sense of atmosphere when you are there. They have food and drinks stalls and last year some entertainers if I remember rightly - man on stilts I think. The shop is open late when they have the enchanted trail on. Here you can buy lots of nice food and christmas goodies… We got our christmas tree here too.
I have also been to a gorgeous wedding at Westonbirt, which was a fantastic setting for such an occassion. Really beautiful surroundings, and the day ran wonderfully smoothly.
Westonbirt Arboretum is the setting for some summertime concerts - they have seen the likes of Jules Holland and many more. Always a good evening out, even if it’s raining.
I would say that parking and entry is a bit pricey but is worth a visit all the same.
Maybe only one downside a bit pricey. But the christmas lights are fantastic great food too. Autumn is especially stunning and spectacular. We have had fantastic evenings here, they have very good acts during the summer months great bands just take a picnic and a blanket a bottle of wine and enjoy
Westonbirt makes for a fantastic day out at any time of the year. As the Arboretum and it’s trees constantly changes with the seasons you can go repeatedly and see something new. I personally love going to the organised Festival of the Tree every August and seeing all the amazing crafts that can be made out of wood and of course watch the chainsaw artists carving their designs ready for them to be auctioned on the Monday.
Great in the autumn, the trees changing colour are beautiful. Lots of walks to suit all ages and an outside cafe with snack foods. Sometimes has exhibitions indoors and out and are worth a trip to see. very busy at weekends during the autumn - lots of queues. The shop is quite big and caters for all pockets. Garden centre on the way out has good plants but can be pricey. Dog friendly too
Westonbirt Arboretum is a fantastic place for people of all ages.
Their Autumn Colours are amazing - there’s nothing better than a leisurely walk through the forest on a dry Autumn day, with leaves of red and gold and purple on the trees. In my experience, late October is the time to go to see the best of the colours, but it does vary from year to year. You can telephone their information line to hear how the Autumn colours are progressing.
My personal favourite is their Enchanted Trail, which I have taken my children to every year since my eldest was four months old. The trees look magical at night when they are all lit up, and the light displays are very impressive. My daughter likes to believe that fairies live there, and we try and find the Faraway Tree! I am yet to meet someone who doesn’t think the Enchanted Trail is a fantastic and magical evening out. A cup of hot chocolate while the carol singers perform is the perfect end to a lovely evening. I would recommend this walk to anyone.
The ground is pushchair friendly, although prone to mud in wet weather.
There are two particularly good times to see Westonbirt. One is during the autumn when the red and golden leaves are stunning. Another is to take an evening walk in the winter when the trees are illuminated by floodlights. Infact though Westonbirt is worth a walk around at any time of year.
Westonbirt Arboretum is a must at any time of year. Watch out for the crowds in the Autumn - gets very busy at the weekend.
May seem a little pricey for just one day - but you can easily spend the whole day there. As we live close enough we invested in friends of membership which was around £40 for the whole year.
The restaurant is good too, has a nice home cooked feel about everything.
If you love trees then this is the place to be. If you don’t understand what’s so special about trees then this is the place to find out.
Obviously spring and autumn are the most spectacular times of year but it’s worrth a visit any time. The old arboretum is more formal and more manageable if you can’t walk far and in the Silk Wood there are tarmac paths for buggies but you can also wander off along the green paths - just make sure you get a map from the shop first!
There are often special interest days so it’s worth checking out what’s on. There’s also a garden centre where you can start your own collection of trees.
Comment 1 comment on this review
bluesofty, 18 August 2008:
If I had to sum this place up in a quick sound bite, I’d say that it was Kew goes country. There’s definite parallels: both have wonderful trees, both have special events, both have excellent facilities. Of course there are also differences. Westonbirt lives up to the ‘arboretum’ part of the name and is definitely focused on the trees. Its facilities are also less than Kew’s and concentrated in one area.
So what has it got… well the attraction is the trees of course. I visited in autumn, a peak time for them as they have a fine selection of maples. I heard the comment that you don’t need to go to Main in the USA to see fall colours! They actually breed the maples for colour, and have some that are simply amazing brilliant reds. Of course there’s more than maples and there’s many other colours and some amazing seedpods on show. The trees are all labelled (though hunt the label can be a fun game sometimes), and there’s signs by the path for ones of special interest.
Back at the centre, they have an excellent gift shop. There’s a children’s area (and when I was there a willow maze that kids were having a great time playing chase round: I believe it was built at a previous event). They also have a very good restaurant, where you can get a sandwich or a choice of a few different dishes. I had trout with pine nuts and capers: a combination I thought might be overpowering but actually worked really well. The vegetable were al dente to the point of being uncooked though. The sweets were very rich: you might want to share one between two people!
Anyway, a lovely place to visit. I wish we’d had more time to walk round. In spite of the packed car park, it was not crowded, and a walk in the woods is always nice.
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