It certainly did feel like a secret garden when we visited Batsford Arboretum. It was lovely and quiet and rather magical as we encountered the other-worldly ‘Handkerchief Tree’ along with wonderful little grottos, statues and a Hermit’s Cave.
The arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh was created in the 1800s by Lord Redesdale who was heavily influenced by the Far East. The Davidia, ‘Handkerchief Tree’ is from China and there are Japanese Maples and a lovely Japanese Rest House tucked away among the trees. The arboretum is now run by a charity called the Batsford Foundation and all profits go towards conserving the trees, shrubs and bamboos.
We have visited before when we took the main route through the arboretum past Batsford House. This time we turned left up the hill and enjoyed a wonderful peaceful amble beside streams and pools (one into which Ed fell into – luckily, we had a change of clothes!) You also encounter little bridges and oriental inspired statues along the way.
It’s definitely somewhere you could keep returning to and finding new parts to explore. There is also something to see all year round, at the moment – the spectacular Handkerchief Tree, wildflower areas in the summer, the annual explosion of autumn colour while in the winter the arboretum is transformed into a frosty wonderland.
There are also loads of events and activities at the arboretum including family fun photography workshops, half term plant pot-making fun and a teddy bear’s picnic and storytelling amongst the trees! See the website for more details.
We can’t wait to return!