Autumn colours at Winkworth Arboretum – 25 October 2014
We decided to pay a visit to Winkworth Arboretum to look at some of the autumn colours and took mum along for the day as well.
Once we’d finally negotiated our way successfully through Guildford, we arrived soon after 12pm.
The tone was slightly set by the greeter in the car park who advised us to ‘Follow the car in front and try and find somewhere to park!’. We managed to carry out his instructions and walked off towards the entrance.
The tea room is the first building that greets visitors on their arrival and here they can enjoy a selection of sandwiches, soup and cakes.
Tea room is perhaps a grand title for what turned out to be a wooden structure serving food – especially given that most of the seating was at tables outside! That said, the lunch was nice and the weather just about warm enough to eat al fresco.
Once we’d finished our lunch, we made our way through the entrance and set out on one of the many footpaths at Winkworth. The routes are all well signposted and the paths are generally well maintained.
At one point there is a wooden viewing platform which affords good views out across the valley.
This is reached by ascending a number of steps and the whole platform has a certain ‘movement’ which adds to the experience.
There are a number of benches, where visitors can pause and enjoy the scenery.
Eventually, we made our way to the lake and ended up at the boathouse, with its view out overlooking the lake.
From the boathouse we took the Azalea Steps which lead up the side of the valley.
At the top of the steps, a steep path leads on up the slope. This was less well maintained than the other paths that we had encountered on our visit and was clearly suffering from erosion.
At the top of the path we were cheered by the sight of the Owl Bench – which the girls particularly enjoyed.
Holly enjoyed seeing some of the forty different varieties of holly which have been planted in the Holly Wood.
As we walked back towards the entrance we found a wooden play area which included a ‘tent’ made of wood and partially protected from the elements.
It had been an enjoyable afternoon with the family, exploring the woods and seeing the colours of the season.
Personally, I felt that Winkworth could do with a little more love from the National Trust. There are obviously lots of visitors – particularly at this time of year – and some money invested in expanding the car park, a purpose-built modern tea room with enhanced toilets and perhaps a small shop, would help to make the visit even more enjoyable.