Westonbirt Arborteum

Westonbirt Arboretum 

Overview: 

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is a gorgeous collection of historical trees, around 3 miles southwest of Tetbury, and around 10 minutes drive from juncton 18 of the M4.  It is managed by Forestry England, it is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom.  There are two sections of the arboretum, which are divided by the cafe, shop, play area and conference centre.

 

Review by Charlotte: 

Westonbirt arboretum is a lovely spacious outdoor day out. Since the renovation project there is now a visitors centre which my son loves to go into at the beginning as it has those great head phone systems telling them information about the arboretum (he definitely doesn’t take it all in but loves listening to the lady talking). This is a place which is great to go to blow away the cobwebs and have a good run around. The venue allows dogs (and many dog walkers go) but the Old Arboretum which is to the right of the cafe doesn’t allow dogs with the exception of guide dogs.

 

The car park is really spacious and they use the grass areas as overflow if it’s really busy. The main entrance has a set of toilets, information centre and coffee hut. If you’re tempted to join on the day (daily tickets aren’t that much cheaper compared to an annual membership) you can still have one of the adults as a carer and in effect only get a one adult membership with children. Also, in the summer they offer all children to go for free which is great and could potentially be a free day.

Charlie likes the route over the bridge and there a few interactive things for children to get involved in such as climbing the crows nest tower. If you follow the seasonal trail there is a little wooden park craved from tree trunks and a couple of benches so a nice place for a snack. There are lots of things to do on this side including den building, an enclosed wooden/tree play area, the “what’s the time Mr Wolf” feature, and lots more. Last summer on a hot day we found this lovely tree shaded area where we ended up having our picnic but the kids couldn’t wait and we also knew the main play area would be busy.

 

The café and play area can get very busy during school holidays and sunny days so might be better to visit either early in the morning or later in the day. The café offers children’s lunch boxes and lots of lovely cakes. Again, it gets busy inside so we tend to avoid and bring a picnic and grab a coffee and treat from the outside kiosk next to the play area. There is a water fountain, picnic benches and a covered area if it’s drizzly or too sunny, and there are loads of picnic benches and places to sit dotted around the whole venue. The play area is pretty much enclosed;by this I mean the area along the side of the park has a wooden bench wall so children could jump across. Also, for families they always have seasonal trails and for 2019 they have devised a trail based on the book Zog by Julia Donaldson; trails and information can be gathered from the main reception and information centre.

The old arboretum is a lovely walk for families and there are tyres to climb, den building and wooden house building which everyone enjoys. I like this area of the arboretum as its lovely and shaded, there are places to sit and watch the world go by and it just feels calmer.  I have some friends whose children do not like dogs and this is a dog free area.  However, I know this is also annoying for all the dog lovers. The paths are gravelled so might be more challenging for some. The visitors centre offers electric scooters to visitors which can be pre booked.

We love Westonbirt Arboretum and what I adore is how it changes so much during the seasons. Also, I love coming after school in the summer, for a Sunday morning run about or a full day meeting friends. Definitely bring wellies as the paths get muddy and there’s plenty of places to explore.
I would highly recommend joining as for around £35 for 1 adult 1 carer and the kids I would say that’s pretty great value!

Parking: There is a lot of disabled parking which then is a walk down a slope but all paved and easy access for wheelchairs. On busy occasions you might get directed to the overflow area which is further to walk across a field.

Toilets: There are toilets (including a disabled toilet and baby changing area) at the entrance and café area so if you are taking the walk across the wooden bridge it might take between 30 minutes and an hour to get the next available toilet. The disabled toilets next to the park,shop and cafe area have a full hoist and changing area.

Video clips: https://www.youtube.com/user/WestonbirtArboretum
Prices:

Carer passes: They do not state it on the website BUT they do offer FREE CARER PASSES.

Photos by @titchtetleyphotography