Magical Westonbirt Arboretum

‘I’m an introvert…I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at trees, flowers, the sky’ 

 Audrey Hepburn 

Trees…… Something perhaps we take for granted, or at least I know that I do. My husband loves them and doesn’t at all. He’s transfixed by them .. By the sizes, shapes and most of all by their colours. No surprise then that on one of his famous ‘magical mystery tours’ last Sunday included a trip to see the Autumnal delights at Westonbirt Arboretum.

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It’s around an hour from us in Broadway just past Cirencester and through the village of Tetbury, who’s most notable resident of course is Prince Charles at his own delightful Highgrove, a place which is deserved of a post of its own, soon I hope.   IMG_3470

Arriving at Westonbirt had Hawk all of a flutter but actually to give him his due and, for one not known for her love of trees one can’t help be amazed at the sheer size and variety at Westonbirt. It’s so mesmerizing and peaceful all at once and I can’t even decide which photos to use to convey the colours and varieties as I took far too many! But here’s a few…

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It’s all very well laid out here.  A new entrance invites one in to open fields and trees beyond ..

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It was packed with people probably because the weather was abnormally glorious for October but, by nature of the fact you are within a huge area of woodland you don’t really notice anyone else anyway while your eyes rise to the sky …and the tips of the trees and the sky beyond. ..

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Our first stop, the obligatory coffee stop.. It passed my test and then we could continue, coffees in hand, wearing completely the wrong footwear (hunters recommended) rather than my cute lemon soles,

but they’re new and I can’t relinquish them yet while the sun’s shining.

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There’s two easily set paths to take here in Autumn. Take the Silk Wood Autumn trail or the Old Arboretum path, either way you must do them both however, if you are accompanied by canines do note that the latter is a ‘dog free’ zone. The Silk Wood Trail is on the other hand teaming with very happy Hooches living the dream . Equally it’s the perfect place for kids, there were lots of families roaming around.

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Walking around this Kingdom of trees makes you think quite a lot about life. Trees are life. Without them what would we be and its easy to start thinking about how small a spec we are comparatively to these majestic and towering beauties. They have been here so many, many years and still live to tell the tale as it were, some with their height and depth and some with their dangled branches and thick, deep bark. Hawk stood next to this one and to give you the kind of idea I took this pic….he looks rather small even at his lofty height and that was one of the smaller ones!

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We particularly loved the fact that these trees are here thanks mainly to the Forestry Commission but also due to the kind sponsorship of normal people like you and I. If you wish you can adopt a tree and as you walk around you see the plaques on every specimen which are there due to the kind sponsorship of people who care so much about these that they pay for their upkeep.

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 ‘I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes’

E. E. Cummings

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Of course, no mystery tour of Hawk’s would be complete without a stop of for nourishment. On the way home is conveniently located one of our favourite Cotswold hotspots The Inn at Fossebridge which we discovered shortly after arriving is under new ownership. We go there with the gang after a worthy walk for a rewarding pint and chips and Mouse particularly likes the two Roses, both French, which is a rare find and a welcome treat. As always we had a great snack and a warm welcome, we love this place and will look forward to seeing what the new ownership brings but, they couldn’t have done more to help us so it bodes well!

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A fab place for a whole day’s jaunt, a picnic, a post lunch walk or a place to learn to ride a bike .. There was all of this occurring. Everyone completely relaxed it seemed. No screams or squabbles at all!

All in all a visit to Westonbirt Arboretum is a lovely day out and I would definitely recommend a visit to see the Autumnal trees in all of their splendour! So if you are stuck for something to do this weekend, do this!

Ohhhh and I forgot to mention there’s a woodland walkway in the sky coming soon!! I will be back to report on this in a different season 🙂

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“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.  Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all.  But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.”

–  William Blake, 1799, The Letters    

   

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