Westonbirt Arboretum

Run wild in the woods, saunter under blossom trees, adventure with the Gruffalo and take a journey through the tree canopy.  Westonbirt Arboretum is wonderful family day out for every season in Gloucestershire.

Home to a staggering 2,500 species from across the world there’s a lot to explore.  We were kindly invited by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum to spend the day here and had a fantastic time.

@redkitedays AD Gifted WESTONBIRT ARBORETUM Run wild in the woods, saunter under blossom trees, adventure with the Gruffalo and take a journey through the tree canopy. A big thank you to Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum for inviting us visit the arboretum in the Easter holidays. Have you been to Westonbirt Arboretum – Forestry England before? Just over an hour from most places around Oxford, it’s absolutely worth the drive and the perfect place to go to see the changing of the seasons. Is is just trees? Well yes there are a lot of trees but it’s so much more than that and really is a great family day out. I’m often frazzled after a big day out with my boys (they do love to niggle each other) but felt very chilled out here. 🌳 We loved the walkway through the tree canopy 🌸 There are blossoms everywhere from the ground to the trees and I absolutely have to go back for the Autumn, it will be stunning. 👣 There’s a great Gruffalo Party trail for younger kids – did you know the Gruffalo is 25 years old this year! Lots of pathways meandering everywhere so you can adventure further afield too. 🛝 There’s a small children’s playground next to the cafe area but to be honest the place is like one massive natural outdoors playground. 🪱Keep an eye out to see if they’re running any free educational activities. We loved the drop in sessions that were running in the Easter holidays, particularly looking at mini beasts under the microscope My youngest was determined to climb every tree – imagine how long that takes in an Arboretum with 2,500 species from around the world. 🎫 The membership is one the best value I’ve seen – £42 for an adult and you can bring up to 4 kids with you! We ended up exploring most of Westonbirt Arboretum and part of that was because I took us on a massive 1.5 hour detour by mistake having not followed the map very well! Usually this would have stressed me out but my boys were having such a lovely time racing around and just being outdoors in nature. I passed a sign that said being active in forests has many health boosting effects. Trees lower our blood pressure, strenthen our immune system and enhance our mental health. What better place to go than Westonbirt Arboretum! #westonbirtarboretum #friendsofwestonbirtarboretum #arboretum #familydaysout #WellbeingWednesday #exploretheoutdoorswithus #treetopwalkway #blossoms #blossomtree #gruffalotrail #daysoutwithkidsuk #cotswolds #cotswoldslife #gloucestershiregems ♬ original sound – Red Kite Days

We visited during the Easter holidays and the blossoms were spectacular.  With such a variety of trees, this is the perfect place to see the changing of each season and the membership is great value at £42 for an adult and you can bring up to 4 children with you!

Tree Top Walkway

There are lots of pathways and variety to discover at Westonbirt Arboretum and one of our highlights was journeying up into the canopy on the STIHL Tree Top Walkway.  Rising gently from ground level it seems to flow through the trees allowing you to be up close and at the same time get great views.

If you have a head for heights, there are viewpoints leading up from or out of the walkway.  You’ll find information boards along the way too so it’s a great way for kids to learn and enjoy themselves at the same time.

Gruffalo Fun

Now if you want to a life sized Gruffalo this is the place to go.

Fans of Julia Donaldson’s book the Gruffalo will love this area.  Nestled in woods you can find the Gruffalo and friends all carved from wood.

New for 2024 is the Gruffalo Party Trail, celebrating the Gruffalo’s 25th birthday!  It’s perfect for younger kids.  We picked up our party pack from reception which had the activity sheet, crayons and stickers.  Along the way you’ll find challenges to complete and there’s a little metal plaque at each station to do a rubbing on your sheet.

I love hands on activities like this and it means the kids are having fun and you get the chance to relax and enjoy the grounds.

Westonbirt Arboretum Playground

Next to the cafe area you’ll find a small children’s playground.  There’s lots of picnic tables dotted around so you can grab a coffee and relax.  However, the whole of Westonbirt Arboretum feels like one massive natural playground adventure and you’ll find wooden sculptures and even a tree log slide as you explore the wider grounds.

Westonbirt Arboretum Family Walk

The Gruffalo Party Trail is perfect for younger kids but there’s so much more to explore with a variety of paths both gravelled, paved and grassy.  With 600 acres you could easily take a different route each time.

There’s also a map you can pick up to find nine of Westonbirt’s nature superheroes and learn about their superpowers.

We spotted an interesting sculpture on our walk called the Westonbirt Wishes Bronze.  In the summer of 2003, the sculptor, John Newling created a work of art that would capture the wishes of visitors to the arboretum.  People passing by this area were invited to write their wishes – happy, sad, funny and serious – on ribbons that were then wrapped onto a brand of a nearby tree. The wishes grew to form a large ball that was later cut free and cast in bronze.  Wonderful to see 4,000 wishes preserved.

We ended up exploring most of Westonbirt Arboretum and part of that was because I took us on a massive 1.5 hour detour by mistake having not followed the map very well!  Usually this would have stressed me out but my boys were having such a lovely time racing around and just being outdoors in nature.

I passed a sign that said being active in forests has many health boosting effects.  Trees lower our blood pressure, strenthen our immune system and enhance our mental health.  What better place to go than Westonbirt Arboretum!

Westonbirth Arboretum Seasonal Top Tips

Spring – Cherry Glade for delicate cherry blossoms and the Savill Glade for a feast of magnolia, camellias and rhododenrons.

Summer – Lime Avenue is one of only two formal tree avenues at the arboretum or head to The Downs for bees, butterflies and wildflowers.

Autumn – Acer Glad and the Maple Loop are the place to go fo a riot of autumnal colours.

Winter – Find a giant redwood to stand beneath and take in the scents of festive conifers.

Free Educational Activities

While were visiting during the Easter holidays, they were running some great free children’s activities indoors next to the cafe area.  If you’re visiting it’s definitely worth checking out if any are running as we loved the drop insession.  There were a variety of activities but the absolute favourite was inspecting moving mini beasts under a microscope.

Westonbirt Arboretum Westonbirt’s Kitchen, Pantry, and Smokehouse

You could easily bring a picnic on a sunny day with plenty of space to relax but there are also food and drink options too.  We had lunch in the Westonbirt Kitchen was was fantastic.  It’s got a lovely vibe but if you want something more casual there’s the smokehouse with burgers next door and the panty for takeaway options.

If you’re looking to escape the everyday then dive into a day out at Westonbirt Arboretum.

BUSINESS DETAILS

Business Name: Westonbirt Arboretum

Address: Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QS

Our partners