Arley Arboretum & Gardens

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Early November is the perfect time to visit Arley Arboretum near Bewdley in Worcestershire, with the glorious autumn colours of red,gold and rich browns. This was our first visit and it was a real treat – so beautiful and peaceful, with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. We took a trip via the Severn Valley steam train from Bridgnorth – the most comfortable way to travel. A short walk from the station takes you past the Harbour Inn in Lower Arley, across the river via footbridge, then up an incline to the Arboretum. However, if you are travelling by car, take the Kidderminster/Bridgnorth A442 Road to Upper Arley (sat nav DY12 1XJ) there is ample car parking at the Arboretum. It cost us £6 each and we also bought a delicious afternoon tea. Opening times are 11am-5pm, Wednesdays to Sundays from March 16th to 13th November. We are planning to return in spring to see the magnolias, azaleas, rhododendrons and bluebells. It is one of the oldest arboretums in Great Britain with morethan 300 species of trees in formal and informal plantings. The collection includes many rare and spectacular domestic and exotic trees. There is the Italian garden with an impressive fountain, the magnolia garden and a maze. There is a dedicated team of gardeners and volunteers. The arboretum has flagstone pathways around the perimeter of the walled gaden and the rest is mown grass. There is a disabled toilet and the tearoom is accessible for wheelchair users. The Arley Estate and Arboretum is owned and managed by the R.D. Turner Charitable Trust. When Mr Turner, a Midlands industrialist, died in 1999, he left his entire estate to the Trust.It comprises most of the village, the Post Office, the Public House, many outlying properties, farms, smallholdings and Eymore wood, togetther with some 3 miles of the River Severn, the whole extending to over 1600 acres. I can fully recommend Arley for a pleasant day out.

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