Westonbirt Arboretum | Kidadl

Westonbirt Arboretum

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  • Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is a unique place that holds a beautiful collection of 15,000 tree specimens, including 142 champions.   
  • There are plenty of trails that you and your family can enjoy.
  • Try plant hunting, or take on the Nature Play trail and have your young adventurers learn to build a den.  
  • Download The National Arboretum’s play booklets, which are jam-packed full of fun fun activities for the family and kids to do in the great outdoors. 
  • Don’t miss out on the play area which is full of logs, dens, and play just waiting to happen; you might even see a Gruffalo while you're there. 

Westonbirt Arboretum, located in Tetbury, managed by the Forestry Commission, is a magical tree garden of 600 acres, where you can explore trees from all over the globe. As one of the finest arboretums in the world, it is a great day out for the whole family and offering an escape from daily life.

In the formal arboretum, Westonbirt contains an array of fine specimens that include most of the rhododendrons and magnolias. The maple trees look wonderful in spring with their paler colours, just as the older and more mature trees are rich with vibrant green colours. Similarly, in autumn the arboretum is awash with bright tones of orange and red, and the perfect spot for some leaf-crunching!

Head to Silk Wood in the spring and see the masses of bluebells that appear around late April and May. Surrounded by vibrant hues of blue and purple, this is a photo opportunity just waiting to happen. Following this, the trees are in full leaf by June with an array of wild flowers blooming, located just on the slopes that approach the wood. There is a welcome freshness on a hot summer day in the woods, and it’s almost like being by the sea.

There’s plenty of fun things for the kids and the family to do at the arboretum, like the treetop walkway, activities and Westonbirt events. At the Planters Academy, you can have some fun and test out your skills with the Plant Hunters Academy packs.

A family took a stroll through the deep dark wood... and found a Gruffalo! See if you can spot the Gruffalo, the Gruffalo's child and other characters from the popular books on the arboretum's sculpture trail. If you've got your canine friend with you, please note that with the exception of the Gruffalo's child, which is in Silk Wood, most of the sculptures are located in dog-free areas.

Make sure to stop off at the natural play trail, which is absolutely delightful for the little ones of any age. Here they can construct dens, let their imaginations run wild  in the woods and discover the fun that the great outdoors can offer. They can clamber over logs, find their way through tyre tunnels and even find a mystical troll bridge.

Don’t miss out on the Christmas Enchanted Forest at Westonbirt, offering a stunning light display and themed activities that life to the magical forest fairies that roam the woods! Activities include family arts and crafts, Christmas choirs and carols, with bands performing seasonal favourites, or warming up with some mulled wine and festive food.

What to know before you go

  • There are toilets on site, and toilets for visitors with a disability can be found in the Welcome Building.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome at Westonbirt Arboretum.
  • All dogs are able to roam off lead in Silk Wood, the dog-friendly area, but must be on a lead in the Old Arboretum.
  • Many of the trails are on hard paths and are suitable for wheelchairs, prams and buggies. 
  • There is a restaurant and kiosk on site, serving hot food, drinks and snacks, pastries, kid-friendly meals and more.
  • There is plenty of space on site to have a picnic if you'd prefer to bring your own food. 

Getting there

  • Westonbirt is located in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
  • By car, it’s around 20 minutes from the M4 and M5. From the M4 you need to exit at Junction 18 and then use the A46 north in the direction of Stroud. If coming via the M5, exit at Junction 13 and take the A419 towards Stroud.
  • There is on-site parking.
  • If travelling by bus, take bus route 69, which is operated by Stagecoach, and runs from Stroud to Tetbury. It stops off at Westonbirt Arboretum on some of its services.   
  • Kemble and Yate stations are the closest, but are both around a 15-minute drive away from Westonbirt Arboretum. As this is quite a distance, you can get a taxi from the station, but it's recommended you drive the whole way instead.
  • You can travel by bicycle too, though visitors should lock their bikes up at the racks provided as bikes larger than 70cm in height are not permitted in the arboretum itself. If your younger children have bikes under 70cm, these are permitted.

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