Westonbirt National Arboretum, Tetbury
First things first, what’s an arboretum? Well, an arboretum is a botanical garden dedicated particularly to trees, and this one is truly mega. Managed by Forestry England, Westonbirt near Tetbury in Gloucestershire is the national arboretum too, which means that it is quite possibly the most important arboretum in the United Kingdom – playing host to over 2,500 different species. With the changing seasons, Westonbirt is a riot of colour at this time of year, with reds, golds and greens crackling in the crisp autumn sunshine.
Battersea Park, London
Dig began just around the corner from Battersea Park and so we wouldn’t be staying true to our roots if we didn’t give Battersea Park a prominent mention. For starters, like all of London’s fantastic parks, Battersea is completely free to visit. It’s right on the river Thames and has wide, sheltered, treelined roads meandering throughout. You can lose hours in Battersea Park. In fact, it’s where two of our founders, Henry and Ed, met in person for the first time after the 2020 lockdowns to talk about taking Dig from a dream to reality. Enough about the infrastructure and personal history though, Battersea Park is bursting with trees of all shapes and sizes and therefore abounding with beautiful colours during the autumn months.
Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire
Acres of natural woodland surround award-winning formal gardens in this spectacular estate. The beautiful classically styled gardens have been planted with colour, structure, and height-variation that will inspire any budding gardener – and, on top of that, as the seasons change the colours in the garden will match the changing colours in the surrounding woodlands. Trentham also plays host to a small shopping village too, plus lots of activities so this one is a real family day out.
Isabella Plantation, Richmond
Set within the equally spectacular surrounds of Richmond Park, sits the Isabella Plantation – 40 acres of garden predominantly focusing on trees. Run on organic principles and managed with nature at its core, the Isabella Plantation is not only a spectacular garden to visit for its colour, but also a remarkable example of how garden design can happily coexist with local wildlife and run comfortably on eco-friendly practices. With ponds and streams to wander around too, you will have the additional joy of seeing the remarkable autumn colours reflected in the pools beneath them.
Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
Located in the Surrey Hills, Winkworth Arboretum is another spectacular tree collection to visit at this time of year. With burnt reds and oranges lighting up this magnificent display of over 1,000 species of plant in an internationally recognised site of special significance for trees, it’s hard to think of many better examples of autumnal displays across a picturesque landscape. Booking is essential for visiting this National Trust site in autumn – so do ensure to look ahead when planning your visit.