Batsford Arboretum Review
Our Rating & Facilities summary:
Batsford Arboretum Review: What’s Special?
- A spectacular 95 acre botanical garden, home to the country’s largest private collection of trees & shrubs, with over 3000 trees
- Something special to experience in every season – snowdrops in Spring, wild flowers in the Summer, a riot of leaf colours in Autumn & a transformation into a Winter wonderland
- Careful conservation has meant the arboretum is home to hundreds of different species of animals & insects.
- All generations really enjoyed the visit & gave it a definite ‘thumbs up’ from Sophie’s Nursery!
Links to our themes:
- ‘Round & Round the Garden’ activities for babies
- ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’ pre-schooler garden themed activities
We have been doing lots of activities over the Spring & Summer based on gardening, plants & flowers. Visiting an arboretum sounded like the perfect way to complement our theme!
We arrived at the arboretum mid-morning & parked in the free car park. To reach the arboretum you go through the garden centre building to the designated entrance. As we walked through we could smell lunch cooking in the cafe – we were certainly looking forward to trying it out later!
At the arboretum desk, the very friendly staff gave us our tickets and provided a map. This was really handy as the arboretum is quite large & the map handily points out all of the areas of interest.
Going through the double doors, you are transported into a magical, natural world. The sheer number, variation & height of the trees is incredible. Each one has it’s own label with information about the species.
The sun was shining as we went for a leisurely walk, visiting the different points of interest as we went. The paths are a mixture of tarmac & gravel (wellies advised in winter) with some steeper gradients to navigate. During my visit, I was in the early stages of pregnancy & couldn’t walk very far without getting out of breath. Fortunately, the arboretum has numerous benches strategically placed for people to rest or enjoy the views.
It’s so tranquil & quiet!! Yes, even with little ones, it’s very peaceful in the arboretum with some amazing trees, shrubs & scenery. Sophie’s highlight was playing hide & seek under the tree canopies & behind rocks & tree trunks.
Toddler attractions!! There is a children’s playground in the garden centre that Sophie loved. The wooden structures have a variety of slides, climbing walls, ladders & tunnels to explore. At the back of the play area is a HUGE under-cover sandpit with loads of toys for little ones to build & dig with.
Events!! The arboretum runs regular events during the school holidays & we were lucky enough to be visiting when the bug hunt was on! Large, plastic bugs had been hidden throughout the arboretum for little ones to try & find. A great way to learn insect names, entertain the children & everyone who took part got a small prize at the end!
Food!! The garden centre has a lovely cafe with seating both indoors & outdoors. The outdoor area is on a decked terrace with gorgeous views over the surrounding countryside. The restaurant is partially self serve & has a range of hot & cold food to choose from. They also have children’s meals available.
Although not part of the arboretum, or directly accessible, the impressive Cotswold stone estate house, small church & some charming cottages can be viewed from the walkways.
The visitor centre is home to 3 retail outlets, plus the large, well-stocked garden centre which was our favourite. There is also a gift shop & antique shop available to explore.
With its mixture of winding streams, spectacular hiding places, stunning trees & wildlife to spot, Sophie (& the rest of us!) loved the arboretum. Sophie kept telling us we were ‘In the Night Garden’ – luckily she had taken a ‘Tombliboo’ with her on this visit!
Location: Batsford, Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9AD
Opening hours: 9.00 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Sunday. Open year round, except Christmas Day!
Admission for the Arboretum: With ‘Gift Aid’ donation included: Adults £7.95; Concessions* £6.95; Children: under 4 years free; 4-15 years old £3.50; Families (2 adults and 2 children(4-15)) £19.95.
Without Gift Aid prices are approximately 10% less.
No admission needed for the Plant Centre, Café, Gift Shop or Children’s Play Area.
Facilities: Food & drinks served at the Garden Terrace Café.
Facilities for the disabled & baby changing/toilets. Paths in the arboretum were mostly accessible with a pushchair – although some steep slopes & some steps depending on routes taken. Wheelchair users would be more limited in exploring the whole arboretum, but would have some access. The Plant Centre, café etc. were all accessible by wheelchair.
Gift Shop & Plant Centre.
Secure Children’s Play Area – large sandpit, slides etc.
Car Parking: Free on site parking.
**We received 2 free adult admission tickets to review Batsford Arboretum – Sophie was free. 4 adults visited & all contributed to this review – all opinions are our own.