Britain’s best spring arboreta

Put a spring in your step through the countryside's finest collections of trees and shrubs

Bluebells, Westonbirt Arboretum, The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, UK

Guide to five of the best British arboreta to visit this spring.

1

Thorp Perrow Arboretum, Bedale, North Yorkshire

Ash tree in spring
Ash tree in spring ©Getty

Among the 85 acres of woodland walks Thorp Perrow holds one of the largest and rarest collections of trees and shrubs in the north of England, including five national collections – Ash, Lime, Walnut, Laburnum and Cotinus. Spring is Daffodil time, followed by Blossom and carpets of Bluebells. The Arboretum is also home to a Falconry Centre, a captive breeding and conservation park. Find out more.

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Elder tree

2

Arley Arboretum, Arley, Worcestershire

Pink azaleas flowering in spring
Pink azaleas flowering in spring ©Getty

Nestling in the beautiful countryside of the Severn Valley, Arley is one of the oldest Arboretums in Great Britain. Boasting more than 300 species, the collection includes many rare, domestic and exotic trees. Highlights include the stunning Magnolia garden and the Azaleas and Rhododendrons in full bloom. Find out more.

3

Stone Lane Gardens Arboretum, Chagford, Newton Abbot, Devon

Birch tree in the springtime
In spring, birch tree catkins give way to leaves ©Getty

Stone Lane Gardens is a five-acre arboretum nestled within the Dartmoor National Park. But don’t let its small size deter you. Stone Lane holds a national collection of Birch and Alder trees in a landscaped and water setting. Find out more.

4

Bedgebury National Pinetum, Goudhurst, Cranbrook, Kent

Scots pine needles
Scots pine needles ©Getty

Host to a world-class collection of conifers, Bedgebury is a beautiful and peaceful place to walk in all seasons. The 2,000 acres of Bedgebury Forest also offer miles of cycling, mountain-biking, riding and walking for all ages and abilities. Find out more.

5

Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire

bluebell
Unlike the invasive Spanish variety, native bluebells have a strong, sweet smell ©Getty
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Perhaps the most well known of the UK’s arboretums is The National Arboretum, Westonbirt. Created in 1829, Westonbirt is set in 600 acres of glorious Cotswold countryside with seventeen miles of paths along which to stroll and admire more than 18,000 trees. Find out more.