Having recently visited Polesden Lacey, we’re exploring another National Trust gem. Located in Godalming in Surrey, Winkworth Arboretum is described as being far more than a walk in the woods. With twisting paths leading to secret glades and hidden views, it’s a dramatic location.
The wooded valley and lakes were purchased by Dr Wilfrid Fox in 1937 and given to the National Trust in 1952. Winkworth now consists of 46 hectares of wonderful colours including massed plantings of species such as Japanese, American and Norway Maples. Each was planted with their Autumnal impact in mind creating a beauty that blends in with the valley.
Much of the Arboretum is planted on steep slopes but there are ‘access all areas’ paths which enable visitors to make the most of their visit. This was great for us given we had a buggy laden with ‘stuff’ and a toddler.
The peak time to visit the Autumnal display at Winkworth is probably a couple of weeks away. We decided to visit slightly earlier so we could take in the wonder of it all. This had its advantages in that we had the viewing platform all to ourselves. POD found it a hugely exciting experience. It was a fabulous introduction to Winkworth given a few trees had already turned from green to yellow. As you’d expect, the views are incredible.
The Magnolia Wood was originally planted by Dr Fox. There are some fine specimens to be found including a rare Ginko tree. We spent a fair amount of time there as POD discovered different coloured leaves, acorns and twigs. We also found a wooden owl bench which she absolutely loved. It was a great location for views of the lake and pulling faces!
As we were minus Daddy and we had the buggy, the ornamental Boat House and surrounding lake was the only area we didn’t get to visit. The Azalea steps that connect the lake to the upper arboretum looked incredible as well. They were already ablaze with colour.
In the Badgers bowl you can see American Sweet Gum, native to the warm temperature areas of eastern North America and tropical montane regions of Mexico and Central America. There is also a splendid display of Sorrell Trees, Maple, Acer and the Katsura tree which is native to Japan and China.
The paths that lead down to Sorbus Hill provided the most stunning views. Not only were the trees displaying reds and oranges but clusters of bright berries were also visible. Such an amazing sight.
Also at Winkworth is a Holly wood which contains numerous kinds of Holly and a Winter garden. We can’t wait until Spring when Winkworth will be a carpet of bluebells although I’m certain we’ll be back before then. It’s a beautiful location whatever the time of year.
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