Westonbirt Aboretum

Malmesbury, Wiltshire

Enjoy this South Cotswolds gem of an arboretum.

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In a nutshell, Westonbirt is one of the UK’s largest and most spectacular tree collections. There are over 16,000 trees here, covering a whopping 3,000 different species and scattered across 600 acres of beautifully landscaped South Cotswolds countryside. Imagine what it’s like when that lot decides to blossom.

The arboretum was founded by wealthy land-owner Robert Holford in 1839, during a period when Victorian plant-hunters were bringing back exotic species from the far corners of the British Empire. It’s now in the safe hands of the people from the Forestry Commission, who took over in 1956 and have meticulously mapped, catalogued, labelled and grown the entire collection.

Whatever time of year you come, there’s always something new to see, with self-guided trails, leafy nooks and crannies – and a café selling great local ice cream. There are also photography, arts and crafts, carpentry workshops, play areas, art installations and orienteering courses – and regular outdoor concerts throughout the summer.

For more local tourist information:

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Lat: 51.605014, Long: -2.209063
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