Westonbirt Aboretum - any good?

(22 Posts)
missingink Fri 01-Nov-13 12:29:56

Hi, I've seen this on TV and it looks really lovely. Is it any good in real life/ in pouring rain? Is it worth a 1.5 hr drive each way? I have a 6 year old who knows the sordid truth about FC so visiting 'him' will have lost a bit of spark, this seems something different.

gallicgirl Fri 01-Nov-13 12:31:25

Not been at Christmas but I have been in pouring rain and it was very pretty despite the ridiculously muddy car park.
Wellies and waterproofs advisable.

missingink Fri 01-Nov-13 12:33:54

Can imagine. We are used to a bit of 'weather', we have a dog, not that she can come of course.

i live quite close to it and to be honest, I wouldn't drive and hour and a half to see it! It's expensive to get in (£10 for adults, £5 for children for the Christmas Enchanted Forest!!) and our kids have had as much fun going to the local woods.

Sorry to be a killjoy, that is just our experience!

missingink Fri 01-Nov-13 14:11:21

No, that's helpful -it's why I asked the question. All experiences welcome

missingink Sat 02-Nov-13 08:37:16

shameless bump

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Sat 02-Nov-13 08:46:07

I love Westonbirt, especially in the autumn. Some of the trees are amazing and you can take your dogs to some parts. The cafe is decent and the kids play area is good. Have never been in the winter although I would think they would really go to town making it special, they seem quite good at events.

tallulah Sat 02-Nov-13 08:57:43

We've been to the Xmas special several years running. Not quite so much fun in the rain but when it is dry and cold it is quite lovely. All the trees are lit up in different colours and they have different lighting effects through the forest (last year there was an area where the louder you sang the more lights came on). My 6 yo loves it.

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Sat 02-Nov-13 09:16:19

Whereabouts are you OP? Kew Gardens are doing an illuminated Christmas Walk this year with Christmas market.

missingink Sat 02-Nov-13 09:22:25

Ooh, thank you all. Oranges, it looked to me like you can't take dogs in the places where children would most want to be? Future, we are in Oxfordshire. Kew sounds nice but a bit of a faff with the trains.

IrisWildthyme Sat 02-Nov-13 09:22:33

It's nice but not worth the entrance fee. Approx £2.50 of what you pay to get in is the actual value of the experience. The rest is a barrier fee to make sure that you don't have to share the space with any nasty common people who don't have plenty of spare cash to throw away.

twinklytoes Sat 02-Nov-13 09:36:06

we're in oxfordshire and favourite places to see FC are Hatton Country World and Waddesdon Manor. Hatton for the children and Waddesdon for the adults!

missingink Sat 02-Nov-13 09:54:35

It's not really about seeing FC as she knows he's not real. Waddesdon is great and we go there several times a year. Don't know Hatton, will investigate.

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Sat 02-Nov-13 10:03:26

Harcourt Arboretum in South Oxfordshire is very nice but I'm not sure if they have anything Christmassy going on.

missingink Sat 02-Nov-13 10:10:18

Have been there -very persistent peacocks! They have a one-off make a wreath thing, but that's about it. I think DD would particularly like being out in the dark as she would think it was grown up. But it (WB)is a bit of a trip, I suppose I'm wondering if she/DH will think I'm mad for suggesting driving all that way to look at 'some trees'.

givemeaclue Sat 02-Nov-13 10:15:35

I am afraid it us just looking at some trees, with some pretty lights in some of them.

Ecuador Sat 02-Nov-13 10:19:37

Iris that is a bit chippy?!

I love Westonbirt at any time of year as the trees are stunning but not been for any actual events <helpful not>

TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Sat 02-Nov-13 10:21:32
TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Sat 02-Nov-13 10:24:06
TheFutureSupremeRulersMum Sat 02-Nov-13 10:27:12

lantern parade friday 22nd November

missingink Sat 02-Nov-13 10:35:21

Future, yes good reminder about Blenheim. Will be going as we have a one year ticket.

Bakingtins Sat 02-Nov-13 17:39:27

We have annual membership of Westonbirt and always go to the Enchanted Forest, but they have members days so we get in free. It is lovely, and they tend to have carol singers, chestnuts roasting, FC in his green (?) coat. I'm not sure I would drive 3 hours or pay £££ to see it though.
The one off entrance prices are v high, the annual membership is v reasonable and also gets you into all the RHS gardens. We got into Kew free which would have cost more than our family membership.
You can only take dogs in half of the site, and not on the side where they do enchanted forest. There is more for kids on the non-dog side, but ours like both.

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