Waitrose's top 10 arboretum gardens for autumn

These 10 arboretums are open to the public this autumn, featuring seasonal colour, which are particularly vivid this year, thanks to sunny spells in the spring and September and some rain in the summer.

Duchess of Cornwall at Westonbirt (Johnny Hathaway)
Duchess of Cornwall at Westonbirt (Johnny Hathaway)

Many of the gardens are ticket-only and have autumn events such as pumpkin and Halloween family spotter trails. 

Two royal occasions at arboretums have also taken place this week.

Top 10:

Arley Arboretum & Gardens, Worcestershire

Batsford Arboretum, Gloucestershire

Bluebell Arboretum & Nursery, Derbyshire

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire

Marks Hall Estate, Essex

Thenford Arboretum, Northamptonshire

Thorp Perrow Arboretum, North Yorkshire

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire: Enchanted Christmas Journey to the West Pole light trail opens on 28 November.

National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire

The Duchess of Cornwall, royal patron of the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum charity, has visited Forestry England’s Westonbirt, The National Arboretum. The Duchess took in the autumn colour display and found out more about the arboretum’s work and activities in conservation, education and participation.
This was her first official visit to the arboretum since opening the Biffa Award Welcome Building in 2014.
The Duchess then walked along the arboretum’s STIHL Treetop Walkway, which opened in May 2016. 
A tour gave the Duchess insight into the arboretum’s plans for a new community shelter. She met with community shelter development officer Graham Anstey, who explained the work of the arboretum’s Community Programme. Since its foundation in 2014, thanks to support from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the programme has worked with 7,228 individuals from hard to reach audiences, empowering them to visit the arboretum. A new shelter that will provide a dedicated space for these groups during their visits to the arboretum has been designed by participants of the programme, overseen by architect Piers Taylor. 
Meanwhile, an exhibition by the Duchess of Cambridge showing 100 images of life in lockdown has been unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum, shown digitally outdoors at the memorial in Alrewas, Staffordshire, until 6 December. More than 31,000 photos were submitted to the project, launched by the Duchess in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery.

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