AU­TUMN ARBORETA – TOP SIX

Countryfile Magazine - - Great Days Out -

Na­tion­wide,

1 THE YORK­SHIRE AR­BORE­TUM, YORK­SHIRE

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

2 HAFOD UCHTRYD, CEREDI­GION

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

3 DAWYCK BOTANIC GAR­DEN, SCOT­TISH BOR­DERS

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/

4 HOW­ICK AR­BORE­TUM, NORTHUM­BER­LAND

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

5 BATSFORD AR­BORE­TUM, GLOUCES­TER­SHIRE

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

6 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

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Tony Kirkham is head of the Ar­bore­tum and Gar­dens at the Royal Botanic Gar­dens, Kew.

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