The last blowsy dahlias might be nodding their heads in the wind, and swathes of brave rudbeckias will be holding their own against the encroaching Atlantic storms blowing in this week, but really October and November are all about trees. Red trees, gold trees, coppery-leaved trees. The ‘fall’ has arrived!

As chlorophyll begins to break down, its green pigment fades, leaving behind only red and yellow pigments and fiery autumn colours in our woodlands. Combined with the low-level autumn and early winter light, the changing colours of the trees makes for one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the year.

So put on your wellies, dig out your over-coat and head off to one of the beautiful arboretums dotted across our region; you won’t regret it.

Winkworth Arboretum

Located just outside Godalming in Surrey, this unique National Trust managed arboretum sits nestled in a bowl-shaped valley, brimming with Japanese acers, beeches and liquidambars. At this time of year on a bright day the whole place positively glows!

For more information on opening times and entry costs see the website. National Trust members gain free entry.


Sir Harold Hillier Gardens & Arboretum

This extensive 180 acre garden has so much to offer the autumn visiter. Throughout the garden cotoneaster, hawthorn, holly and sorbus are reaching their autumn peak, but in addition to this the extensive collection of trees is also changing colour. As if this wasn’t enough to tempt you to visit, the gardens also boast a new area, called the ‘Valley of Fire’, which has been planted up exclusively with North American maple, liquidambar and cherry to create an intensely colourful autumn area near to the visitor pavillion. A real treat – not to be missed!

For further information on the garden, autumn highlights, entry fees and opening times please visit the website.


If visiting one of the above garden gems whets your appetite, then further afield you might want to visit…

The National Arboretum at Westonbirt

With over 15,000 trees, from all parts of the globe, you can’t miss out on a visit to Westonbirt this autumn, as there will always be something looking wonderful.

Westonbirt takes its ‘autumn colour watch’ seriously and provides a brilliant update on its website about the best time to visit and the colours of the leaves that are currently sweeping through the garden. October and November are the best months to see the most vibrant tones, and Westonbirt provides a host of activities to help you get the most out of your visit.

For further information on opening times, entry fees and events, see the website.