Shades of Autumn
No matter where you are in Britain, there is always a multiplicity of beautiful things to see and exciting things to do, and all within easy reach. As we roll into autumn the colours of the trees all around us are a particular attraction. One of the best places to see these glorious colours is Westonbirt Arboretum in the Cotswolds (other arboreta are available!).
The diversity and vibrancy of leaf colours to be found at Westonbirt are unsurpassed, creating a botanical experience like no other. With a massive 2500 different tree species, that's hardly surprising. The walking trails through the woods take in not just the trees but hundreds of different fungi too, that also put on a special show in the autumn. For an unusual view of the woodland there is the Treetop Walkway, while young children will be enchanted by the Gruffalo sculptures.
In the same area is Newark Park, a National Trust property. The 725 acre estate is ideal for taking in some spectacular views on a long walk, though you may be all walked-out after Westonbirt. Instead stroll around the house and learn how it gradually grew from a Tudor hunting lodge to a substantial country house lived in until very recently.
The nearest Little Hotel to Westonbirt and Newark is Oak House No 1 in Tetbury. This would make an ideal stopover, being an exclusive little B&B with sumptuous interiors, concierge service and designer furnishings.
The honey-coloured stone of the Cotswolds is the raw material for a host of pretty towns and villages throughout the area. A long weekend could easily take in such places as Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Broadway. A second night in The Old Stocks Inn (Stow), Russell's (Broadway) or Buckland Manor (near Broadway) would be the perfect way to see this northern part of the Cotswolds.
Following the Fosse Way Roman road north from Tetbury, it's only a short deviation to the fantastically well-preserved Roman villa at Chedworth; well worth a visit.
Other places around the Broadway area worthy of a visitor's time would include the remarkable Sezincote House, reminiscent of an Indian Mogul palace, Snowshill Manor (another National Trust property) and Broadway Tower, a spectacular Georgian Folly with a cold war nuclear bunker!
12 Oct 2022, 12:54