Wow for Westonbirt.

We have had the most wonderful visit to Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, a few days ago, to experience all the fantastic autumn tints that they have at this time of year, and I have just got to share the photos with you. There are not many places that I have been to that have stopped me in my tracks because the “wow” factor has been so great, but believe me, there was a “wow” round every corner at Westonbirt.

Main Drive Acers


This woodland was originally planted at the height of Victorian plant hunting era in the mid nineteenth century.

Main Drive Acers

Today Westonbirt is one of the finest tree collections in the world, ( according to their leaflet) laid out within a Grade 1 listed landscape.


Their collection of Acers is absolutely amazing, but what shows them to their best advantage, are all the huge conifers and evergreens.


Some of the colours were so subtle, absolutely beautiful. I felt it was quite useful to include other members of the public in the photos to show the scale of the trees.

Acer leaves

Autumn is obviously the highlight of Westonbirt’s year with Spindles,Chestnuts,Birches and of course the stars of the show, all the different Acers with their red, orange and yellow leaves.


I don’t think I need to add anything to this one, it speaks for itself.

Acer glade

Getting inside all the branches gives a different perspective and seems to make the colours glow.

Acer glade

The official Acer glade is what everyone has come to see and it certainly lived up to its reputation, fantastic colours.

Acer glade

Everyone seems to fall silent as they enter Acer glade, as if they are overcome by the beauty of the place, it really is a magnificent kaleidoscope of colour.

Red acer

Is this what they mean by retina searing red?


The dark trunk and branches give a japanese look to the tree and contrast with the glowing leaves.


More gentle colours further round in the woodland.


Round every corner, there was something special waiting for you.

Edge of woodland

Even at the edge of the woodland special trees have been planted, all these tall trees date back 150 yrs, some of them are even “champion” trees. This means that they are either the tallest of their variety growing in the UK or the oldest or the one with the widest girth around the trunk.

Lime avenue

Lime avenue, not the fruiting lime which we eat but Tilia europaea which grows to 150ft. I mention this one specially because lime wood is the wood given to students when they start carving as it is the softest of the hard woods and therefore easy to carve. Where will students get their wood in the future, nobody is planting lime avenues anymore?

Red carpet

This tree put out the red carpet for us.


Had to wait a long time to get this photo without too many people in it, they were all wanting to photograph the view, can’t blame them. I hope you agree, it was worth the wait.

Acer leaves

This is a close up of one of the above trees, I thought they were such a pretty combination of colours with the pink, yellow and green.


As you walk along you can’t help but feel dwarfed by such ancient trees, magnificent.

Last Acer

Our last look at the beautiful colours in the Old Arboretum.   Silk Wood, at the other side of the Arboretum, is very different, there are plenty of new exotic plantings, but at its heart it is a traditional working woodland dating back as far as 13th Century.


We made our way back to the visitor centre and look what I found – a carving for me to photograph! This was carved out of the base of a tree with a chainsaw-fantastic.

I hope you have enjoyed your wander with me around Westonbirt and have been as amazed as I was at all the colour everywhere, with hopefully a little wow or two along the way .  I really enjoyed our time spent there, came home exhausted, but it was soooooo worth it, I hope you think so too!

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14 Responses to Wow for Westonbirt.

  1. catmint says:

    at the risk of sounding like a dog, and trying to outdo Karen: Wow wow!

  2. debsgarden says:

    Amazing, fabulous, stunning! I can only dream of seeing this place in person. Thank you for giving this tree lover a glimpse.

  3. These photos of Westonbirt are “Wow” . I saw it on Autumnwatch and thought it was a stunning place with wonderful Autmn colour. Great photos.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Janet, yes, it is a stunning place, you could spend all day here and still not see it all. It is so huge – a tree huggers paradise.

  4. Tim says:

    What a fabulous Arboretum Pauline. All the colours are breathtaking to look at. The property looks to be quit large from your photographs. Certainly would be a place to give one a sore neck from all the craning of the neck looking up, way up. Thank you for taking us all on this virtual tour with you. I for one had a great time.

    • Pauline says:

      I agree, it is a super place Tim – all 600 acres of it ! Glad you enjoyed your virtual visit – the old trees are huge, they made us feel so tiny and insignificent – just think of all the changes they have seen in the world.

  5. wellywoman says:

    Great photos. We went to Westonbirt about 4 weeks ago now and it looked good then but not as good as your photos. It really is a spectacular place.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, Wellywoman, it is spectacular isn’t it, and somewhere we love to go to – not necessarily every year and not to the same part each time – must try it in spring for a change. We watched the colours developing on the Westonbirt website and then, when lots of rain and strong winds were forecast for later last week, we decided last Tuesday, that it was now or never for our visit this year, I think we chose the right day!

  6. Jean Hooper says:

    Yet another treat for us . Pauline thanks so much. The amazing Autumn colours at Westonburt are truly spectacular. You certainly chose the right day to visit . Your photography is first class as usual.

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