The Yorkshire Arboretum, Yorkshire
Yorkshire Arboretum in Autumn ©Alamy
A 120-acre arboretum set among beautiful, mature trees on the Castle Howard Estate near York. Planting for this new collection of diverse species began in the 1970s – with specimens sent in from expeditions to all corners of the world – and opened to the public in 1999.
Open daily until 30 November. £7. yorkshirearboretum.org
Hafod Uchtryd, Ceredigion
Hafod Uchtryd ©Rudi Winter
This picturesque landscape in the Ystwyth Valley lies 12 miles south-east of Aberystwyth in west Wales. Explore Hafod Uchtryd’s 500 acres of silver firs, spruces and natural oaks on foot during one of five walks and discover some of the UK’s earliest managed forestry planting.
Open all year with no admission fee. hafod.org
Dawyck Botanic Garden, Scottish borders
The Swiss Bridge in Scrape Glen at Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo, Scottish Borders, Scotland ©Alamy
This 65-acre garden and arboretum, eight miles from Peebles, has one of the finest collections of trees in Britain. A number of the specimens were planted in 1680, including the European silver fir, giant Sierra redwood and Douglas fir. The arboretum boasts highlights for every season, particularly birches and rhododendrons.
Open daily until 31 October. £6.50.rbge.org.uk/visit
Howick Arboretum, Northumberland
Aerial image of Howick Hall and Arboretum in Northumberland ©Alamy
Not far from Alnwick, this vast arboreal collection, planted out geographically with over 12,500 specimens, is known as the United Nations for trees and shrubs. The trees are grown from seeds collected from all corners of the temperate world, from China to Tasmania.
Open daily until 11 November. £7.70. howickhallgardens.com
Batsford Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Autumn at Batsford Arboretum, Gloucestershire ©Getty
Set in the heart of the Cotswolds, Batsford Arboretum ingeniously makes use of the surrounding land to show off its impressive display of over 2,850 tree specimens, including the national Japanese flowering cherry collection. Visit in autumn when the maples are at their most striking.
Open daily all year round. £7.95. batsarb.co.uk
Castlewellan, County Down
Castlewellan Arboretum, just north of Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains, contains over 3,000 species of rare plants. Notable examples include giant redwoods, monkey puzzles, rhododendrons and the golden Leyland cypress, or ‘Castlewellan Gold’.
£5 per car. castlewellancastle.org
Words: Tony Kirkham, head of the Arboretum and Gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Main image ©Alamy