Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, is based in Gloucestershire and located three miles from the traditional Cotswolds market town of Tetbury. 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 (around 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; the rich Victorian landowner to whom the Westonbirt estate belonged.
Within the 17 miles of accessible paths and five national collections, children become young adventurers, adults connect with trees through guided walks, workshops, self-led trails or volunteering.
Westonbirt Arboretum consists of three main areas. The Old Arboretum (a dog free area) is a carefully designed landscape dating from the 1850s offering beautiful vistas, stately avenues and trees from around the world. Silk Wood is an ancient, semi-natural woodland which has exotic plantings throughout its landscape, whilst the Grade I registered Downs hosts species-rich grassland and is a great picnicking location. Download the map to plan your route around.
As of Spring 2016 the arboretum has opened a treetop walkway with interactive hotspots and bird’s nest viewing platforms; and without a stairway or any obstacles the walkways is accessible to anyone.
Westonbirt attracts over 350,000 visits 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.