101 places to go – Westonbirt Arboretum

It’s National Tree Week this week. During this time The Tree Council are advising everyone who cares about their environment to plant a tree in the ground. Not only will planting a tree help to offset carbon emissions but they also help to limit environmental damage from flash floods and wind. And well, trees are just nice to sit under and admire. So with that in mind we’ve chosen Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, for this week’s recommended destination.

Westonbirt Arboretum is comprised of 16,000 trees from approximately 3,000 different specimens. There are native specimens, along with trees from North America, Japan, China, Chile and other temperate climates – all of which you can admire as you make your way around 17 miles of accessible paths. But perhaps Westonbirt’s biggest selling point is its status as a unique all-year round attraction. Visit in autumn (our favourite time, incidentally!) and you’ll enjoy a completely different experience than in the warmer months: the leaves turn a vibrant red hue, with the maples in particular offering a myriad of enchanting colours.

Westonbirt’s unique environment makes it the perfect place to enjoy a host of seasonal activities. Here are a few upcoming events…

The Enchanted Christmas returns this year with a number of festive events. There’s a Children’s winter wonderland in the Education Centre, Santa will be dropping in with his reindeer; there will be Christmas trees for sale and much food available for eating!

Treefest is the highlight of the summer months. Westonbirt’s signature summer event includes camping, woodcraft demonstrations, archery, workshops, tree climbing, exhibitors, family activities, local live music and much more!

• Westonbirt also offers a number of unique music concerts with more planned for 2012. They haven’t revealed any names yet but previous acts have included David Gray, Erasure, JLS, Status Quo, James Morrison and Sophie Ellis Bextor so it’s one to keep an eye on!

Find out more on the website. If you’d like somewhere to stay then take a look at our holiday cottages in the Cotswolds.

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