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It is frustrating that it appears that the policy has now changed that children are able to visit on their bikes.

Ben, 28/Apr/2018

Hi, Thanks for getting in touch. Our policy on this point has not changed. We only allow children under the age of 5 to bring bikes into the arboretum, so long as those bikes measure 75cm (30 inches) or less from the ground to the top of the handle bars. If you see older children or large bikes onsite please alert a member of staff at the Welcome Building as soon as you are able.

Forestry Commission Response

I saw query from someone asking if public can use caf etc without entrance fee. I saw no reply. Can you clarify this query please.

Jean Colebourne, 22/Apr/2018

Thanks for getting in touch. As the café and other facilities are inside the arboretum, visitors must either purchase a ticket or use their membership card to gain access to them.

Forestry Commission Response

Hello

My husband and I have senior membership (1 each) of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Does this entitle us to free entry to your arboretum?

Pauline Newit, 17/Apr/2018

Yes, members of Birmingham Botanical Gardens can enter the arboretum for free. Enjoy your visit.

Forestry Commission Response

I cannot see anywhere on this website admission prices: its very frustrating:

David, 9/Apr/2018

Admission prices can be found under 'plan your visit.' https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6xcmk2 Thanks for sending us your feedback and we will endeavour to make this clearer for visitors to the website in the future.

Forestry Commission Response

We will be walking nearby. Is it possible to visit the restaurant without paying and going into the arboretum?

Neil, 29/Mar/2018
5 Stars 5 Stars

Such a great place to explore. Cafe and gift shop are both excellent. The variety of walks, trees, shrubbs, events, views and wildlife make this a top place to visit. And you can do so frequently to enjoy the changing seasons. Even day to day the variety and differences are a real pleasure to be appreciated.

Mark Hunt, 18/Mar/2018

So glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to us. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Forestry Commission Response

Is there a charge? it does not say anywhere what the cost is - nor does it say it is free...?

jo, 6/Mar/2018

Hi, From March - November we charge an entrance fee of £10 for adults and £4 for children. We also offer a membership option for £38 per year for a single membership - this gives you access to the arboretum all year round. Full details of our pricing can be found here: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6xcmk2

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Did the highway rat trail with my granddaughter she loved it so much I took my grandson a few days later. A brilliant way to get kids out of the house and interested in nature.

Ngel, 4/Mar/2018

I visit Wetonbirt daily with my dog. I consider us both so lucky to have such an amazing place to walk. The care of the staff and volunteers is a joy. It is so unusual to find acres of beautiful grounds and stunning trees so impeccably kept. Every day is a new discovery, every season a different kind of beauty. Thank you for making my life better Westonbirt.

J.Stewart, 4/Mar/2018

Thanks for taking the time to send us your wonderful review! We're so glad you enjoyed your visit

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Had a great morning wandering the paths through the trees. Feel like we have so much more still to see. Will definitely be back.

Anonymous, 22/Feb/2018
4 Stars 4 Stars

We brought our 2 grandsons to visit today, they had a wonderful time in the old arboretum hunting for the gruffalo and friends and loved the highway rat trail, all in all a very good day spent, highly recommended. We are members, very worthwhile

Lynda Harris, 15/Feb/2018

Thanks so much for your lovely review! Thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the Highway Rat and Gruffalo trail

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

Box office staff very unhelpful when trying to book tickets. Refused to help me on the phone when I had a computer problem and could not book on line. Very bad service.

Anonymous, 1/Feb/2018
5 Stars 5 Stars

We had an amazing day out at Westonbirt with our 2 little one (3.5 and almost 2). Our 3.5 year old cycled up and down hills, enjoying spotting the Gruffalo and friends. Our little one scooted to her hearts content, especially enjoying the stretches of downhill. The playground was great fun, the cafe had delicious food and the toilet facilities were absolutely spotless.

We would love to make a return visit at a different time of year, what an incredible hidden gem.

Anonymous, 29/Jan/2018

Thanks for taking the time to send us your lovely feedback. We're so glad to hear that you and your family enjoyed your visit to us. Do come back and see us again soon - spring and autumn are two especially beautiful times to visit

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

Disappointed yesterday with the cafe. Its was cluttered with dirty plates and cutlery. The floor understandably was muddy with the footfall but the floor was covered with food debris. The choice of cakes and biscuits was non existant. Every cake dome was empty except for a tiny piece of lemon drizzle cake siting forlornly by itself for £2.75. Even the dog biscuit jar was empty. Service was polite and prompt but the cafe was uninvitng. My husband and I are regular visitors and are members of the Arboretum.

Carol Buley, 29/Jan/2018

We're so sorry to hear that you had a bad experience when visiting the café at Westonbirt. The staff work hard to ensure that there are a variety of cakes etc., and to keep the place clean and inviting for visitors. We have passed your comments onto the restaurant.

Forestry Commission Response

Having been to your Christmas spectacular some years ago and remembering its magic, I brought the family again in December. It was so disappointing. Several of the displays were malfunctioning and the magic was missing. It was feet e pensive and just did not merit the outlay or journey and queues!

Jackie, 11/Jan/2018

Thanks for taking the time to send us your feedback on Enchanted Christmas, and we're sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your visit. We do our very best to ensure that the different spectacles along the trail work smoothly, and have staff walking the trail throughout the evening, who alert the engineers if anything has malfunctioned so that it is fixed as soon as possible. Enchanted Christmas is a very popular event and as such some queuing is inevitable. However, we do our utmost to ensure that queuing is kept to a minimum, for instance by introducing time-slotted entry to ensure that there are never too many people along the trail at once.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Myself and my children visited the Enchanted Christmas recently. We absolutely loved it. What a fantastic display. We loved all the different areas and the fact that you could get a hot chocolate part way around. As a member the ticket was good value for money. The staff were friendly and happy despite being one of the coldest evenings of the year! I would happily recommend this event and will be returning next year

Cathryn, 8/Jan/2018

So glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Enchanted Christmas this year! We look forward to seeing you again this December

Forestry Commission Response

As a member I continue to be saddened by the often vitriolic posts about dogs. Despite being a fully paid up member as a dog owner I can only access Silk Wood which I totally accept. I wish others were as tolerant. I don't necessarily want to listen to screaming children but I realise that in a shared world I can't have it all my own way. May I suggest clearer signage that pre-warns those less tolerant that Silk Wood is dog friendly and for a dog free experience they may prefer the Old Arboretum.

Anonymous, 30/Dec/2017

Thanks for taking the time to send us your feedback - we do our best to ensure that Westonbirt provides something for both dog walkers and non dog walkers by keeping the Old Arboretum dog free but by welcoming dogs into Silk Wood. Your comments regarding clearer signage on this policy onsite have been passed onto the team and will be taken on board going forward.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

We visited the Enchanted Christmas last weekend, I was quite disappointed. It was very similar to the year before last. Its quite expensive for what it is

we arrived at 3pm to have a little look around the grounds, the door staff were most unpleasant and wouldnt let us in. We weren't even permitted to go to the coffee shop!

Would not recommend it due to this.

On a normal day it is a lovely place but too expensive, considering they have a gift shop and cafe they make money from.

Caroline , 21/Dec/2017

Hi, Thanks for taking the time to send us your comments - we are always looking for ways to improve and your comments will be taken on board going forward. In order to allow us time to set up for the event, we do close general entry admission to the site at 2pm on Enchanted Christmas days. This is to allow staff time to set up for the event so we can ensure that the evening is a success. We made every effort to communicate this clearly to visitors on the website and social media. In order to continue to care for the many rare and remarkable trees we have here at the arboretum, we do charge a fee of £7 per adult in the winter, and £10 per adult in spring, summer and autumn. We are completely not for profit and all entrance fees go back into caring for the nation's trees and forests. We ensure that we offer excellent value for money by providing a wide range of activities and events onsite free after admission, such as family events in the school holidays, the seasonal trail, seasonal family trail, TreeQuest App, STIHL Treetop Walkway and more.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Have been wanting to visit for a long time and now family have moved nearby we did so. What is not clear, and you also do not cover in your answers to comments people have made about entrance prices, is that there is an annual membership which also allows entrance to the botanical gardens at Kew, Cardiff, Edinburgh and other places! We arrived and were discussing the costs of entry and said to the cashier about the annual fee and was then verbally told about the joint access to other gardens with the annual membership. We have the Edinburgh membership so then said we had it but didnt realise so hadnt got our tickets with us. After checking in the car we returned and was told you have no method of checking if we hold membership so we decided we had to pay the full admission. If you advertise the annual membership and how good it is with admission to other gardens you would probably get a whole lot of people buying it and then dropping by for short visits and a meal, rather than feeling it is so expensive you have to make a day of it. Also we did enjoy our (expensive) visit. The idea of climbing a hill isnt that appealing but the very clever walkway up into the trees is not a climb yet suddenly we were up in the treetops, a very clever design. We enjoyed a cup of tea in the cafe designed like a tree house and lots of people were having full meals very happily. Thinking of buying family the annual membership but will have to research which is the best to buy, for instance, yours which allows access to Kew, or Kew which allows acces to you. They are different prices I think ...

Sarah, 20/Dec/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Came to the enchanted christmas tonight. Fantastic. Better than last year. Can't wait for next year's event

Mary, 16/Dec/2017

Thanks for taking the time to send us such a lovely review. We're so glad that you enjoyed your visit to us and hope you enjoyed the rest of the festive season!

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

Very disappointed to call up at 4.15 on a Thursday afternoon to buy tickets for the Enchanted Christmas event that evening, only to be told that even though it hasn't sold out they can't sell us tickets because it's after 3pm. Given the doors don't open until 5pm, and we were hoping to attend the 7pm slot, this seems a bit silly. Grumpiness/unhelpfulness by the person on the phone wasn't appreciated either.

Danny, 7/Dec/2017

Thanks for taking the time to get in touch with us. We are unable to process any ticket requests after 3pm on the day of the event. This is to give the box office time to collect together the list of all our guests for the evening and send over to the event managers ahead of the start of the event. This is so we have an accurate list of all guests for the evening. We try to make this policy as clear as possible, by having it on the website and promotional materials.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Well I went to the Christmas event last night and it absolutely blew my mind. I have booked to go again twice! Have been to the arboretum many times it is absolutely fantastic. The facilities are great and it lacks the tacky nature that some similar places take on. It is peaceful and serene but still plenty for all of the family. If you have not seen the Christmas light up, do! Its spectacular.

Sal , 3/Dec/2017

That's so lovely to hear! Thanks for taking the time to send us your review! Have a great Christmas and we look forward to seeing you again at Enchanted Christmas.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We love it here, its 40min drive but we try to come a couple of times a month with the dogs to get the most of the membership. You feel like you are in a little bubble walking around the trees. You can always find somewhere quiet even on a sunny Sat afternoon. Its beautiful, my favourite place in the area. Thank you for keeping it going :-)

Anonymous, 29/Nov/2017

We're so glad you enjoy your visits to us, and thanks so much for taking the time to post your review here! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

Do not visit during half term. Far too many cars, people, children, push chairs and DOGS. More like a theme park. Entrance fee too much. No peace and quiet.

I visited some years ago and it was wonderful. Not this time. Restaurant poor, tea in a paper cup.

Marianne, 28/Nov/2017

Thanks for taking the time to send us your feedback. October half term is our busiest time of year, and we receive a large number of visits to the site. Though the main entrance and restaurant facilities can be crowded during this time, with 600 acres to explore it is possible to get away from the crowds and enjoy a tranquil walk even at our busiest times. We are aware that dog lovers and non dog owners like to come and enjoy the trees here at the arboretum, and we think that our solution of allowing dogs in Silk Wood but keeping the Old Arboretum a dog free zone provides something for all our visitors. In order to care for the many rare and precious trees we care for here, we do charge a fee of £10 per adult in the autumn, spring and summer and £7 per adult in the winter. We are not for profit and all entrance fees go back into caring for the nation's trees and forests.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

As usual a wonderful place to walk round, de-stress, talk about all sorts from nothings to serious stuff, enjoy a hot drink and cake and marvel at the trees in all seasons. We think the "hanging" poems are remarkable; can we get them in a leaflet or booklet? I'd be happy to pay good money to have them to read at home.

Sally Wilson, 23/Nov/2017

Thanks for taking the time to send us your lovely feedback, it's always great to hear when people have enjoyed their time onsite. Yes, a book of the poems will be available shortly, and you can pre-order a copy at Marchant's website: https://marchantbarronwords.org/book/

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

First ever visit yesterday and loved every minute - confirmed totally that trees are good for the soul - and poetry can be too.....

Anonymous, 18/Nov/2017
1 Star 1 Star

Totally disgusted with the 10 entrance charge per person and the fact that the shop cafe and toilets where past the entrance so not even a option to use I have in the past visited westernbirt and was able to walk in part of the forests and look in the shop as only the old arboretum access was charged for!!

Anonymous, 15/Nov/2017

Thanks for taking the time to send us your comments, and we're sorry that you did not enjoy your visit. In order to take care of the many rare and remarkable trees we have here, we do charge a fee of £10 per visitor for adults. We are completely not for profit, and all the money goes back into caring for the nation's forests. We believe that the entrance fee provides great value for money, with a wide variety of activities and sights available within the arboretum, such as seasonal trails, the STIHL Tree Top Walkway, family activities in the school holidays, the Gruffalo Sculpture trail, and much more.

Forestry Commission Response

We are planning to visit Westonbert arboretum on Thursday,

Is it still worth to visit for colour change?

Nil, 14/Nov/2017

Thanks for getting in touch, there is still some late autumn colour about, but the peak of the colour is now over. The best time for the Autumn colour is around mid October (though this does change every year, dependent on the weather), so if you aim for then next year you should see autumn at its best.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

Lovely place to walk around with some beautiful trees, but as many others have said - extremely poor signage, overpriced and staff not very friendly or welcoming.

Anonymous, 13/Nov/2017

Hi, We're so sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your visit to us. We have passed your comments onto the team. Regarding signage, we try to make this as clear as possible while still preserving the tranquility and feel of the arboretum. However, it is important that all visitors are able to find their way round site easily, and your comments will be taken on board going forward. In order to care for the many rare and remarkable trees we have here, we do charge an entrance fee £10 for adults. However, we feel we do provide excellent value for money, by having a range of activities on site, which are all free after admission. These include the STIHL treetop Walkway, our seasonal trail, family trail, booklet of threatened trees, family events in the school holidays and much more. All our staff receive regular training, and it is important to us that all visitors receive a friendly welcome. Your comment regarding the staff will be passed onto the team and we will issue a reminder to staff of the importance of making all our visitors feel welcome when they arrive onsite.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Lovely place for all ages , each season so different and inspiring. Lots of activities for young and nibble older ones. The buggy hire was invaluable when I had cancer and such fun. Nice to see the dogs enjoying the environment. The restaurant and outdoor eating area are very nice. Lovely gifts in the visitors shop, easily spend a whole day here.

Bee, 13/Nov/2017
3 Stars 3 Stars

Im disappointed again to read numerous comments about people complaining about dogs at Westonbirt...with someone even complaining about people owning two or three dogs, obviously not a dog lover as they would realise dogs are pack animals who love another dog to live with!!!! Us dog lovers who are also members who

helped keep Westonbirt going in the days before it became like a theme park are being made to feel even more unwelcome!!! We see the disapproving looks towards our dogs even though they are well behaved and kept on leads in the busy areas. Numerous times we've nearly been run over by kids on bikes or scooters and kids expecting elderly people to jump out of the way with not a word from the parents.. Come on Westonbirt you really need to get the balance right or youre going to lose some loyal members, but maybe youre not bothered as were not your target market anymore.

Samanrha, 12/Nov/2017

We're sorry to hear that you have been unhappy with your recent visits, and in particular that you feel that dog owners are now unwelcome. Please rest assured that we value our loyal customers, and work hard to ensure that all our visitors feel welcome when on site. As we have many dog lovers and non-dog owners amongst visitors, we feel that the fairest way is to make the Silk Wood (which encompasses two thirds of the arboretum) dog friendly, but to keep the Old Arboretum a dog free zone. Dogs are also welcome to be off the lead in Silk Wood as long as they are kept under control.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Booked a buggy for my Mum to use during visit but I was so impressed with the kindness of the lady who made sure that Mum had a blanket and gloves to keep her warm when out and about. The trees were gorgeous and we could have kept going all day long, such a wonderful day out with great staff to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. Thank you.

Sue Elliott, 10/Nov/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Very very good. We haven't been for a couple of years so the spectacular Stihl bridge was new to us. A very dog friendly place. Well staffed (quick service in the restaurant). A couple of complaints though...Gruffaloes everywhere, some on leads, some off leads, couldn't avoid them. They're wild animals you know, with teeth and and claws and stuff. Think of the Elf and Safety! Not to mention Gruffalophobes. And there weren't enough dogs. If you had more dogs off the lead they might be able to hunt down the Gruffaloes.

Seriously though, not so keen on the poetry (upmarket litter).

Jon, 6/Nov/2017

Thanks for taking the time to send us your feedback, and we're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit. We are constantly on the look out for ways to connect people with the incredible trees we care for here. The Conversations with Trees trail, is designed to express the feelings inspired in many by the trees. It is a temporary feature and will leave us on the 1st December.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

Visited yesterday with my 2 month old and 15 month old. The autumn colours were fabulous and the new skywalk is amazing. A big negative for us were the other visitors' dogs. There were hundreds of them, mostly off the lead. I was constantly having to stop them coming up to my toddler. One jumped up on the pram and got muddy footprints on it. The owners completely ignored me when I asked them to stop their dog. I think all dogs should be kept on leads as sooner or later something serious is going to happen. It has put me off visiting again.

Anonymous, 6/Nov/2017

Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback. We are aware that we have many dog owners and non-dog owners amongst our visitors, and work hard to ensure that we provide a pleasant experience for everyone. We feel that the fairest way to achieve this is to allow dogs in the Silk Wood, but to keep the Old Arboretum a dog free zone. Dogs are allowed off the lead in the Silk Wood, but under the condition that they are kept under control. If you feel that anyone is behaving irresponsibly regarding dogs, please report it to a member of staff in the Welcome Building.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Beautiful colours, as always. We loved the poems - inspirational! We met several people who were enjoying them, but hadnt seen the intro on the map/guide. Ill be spreading the word about Marchant Barrons incredible poems along the Silkwood trail. Will there be a book of the poems?

Liz Miles, 5/Nov/2017

Thanks so much for taking the time to write us such a lovely review, we're so glad you enjoyed your visit and liked the 'Conversations with Trees' poetry trail. Yes, a book of the poems will be made available shortly. You can pre-order a copy from Marchant's website: https://marchantbarronwords.org/book/

Forestry Commission Response

I'm unhappy with the website my daughter really wats to go here and she can see no pictures she wants to see pictures before she decides if she wants to visit

Bruce, 4/Nov/2017

Hi, Thanks for sending us your feedback. We do have some seasonal pictures on the sliders at the top of the page, but the best place to see photos of what the arboretum currently looks like is our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Charming. Magical. Well organised. Great staff and great food...the poem banners were aptly moving and a wonderful addition to the experience. Definitely coming again.

Mrs Julie M Kabouya, 2/Nov/2017
5 Stars 5 Stars

Came for our first visit on a windy morning as Storm Brian approached. Had excellent info from a guide in the visitor's centre - took the The Silk Wood Trail and thoroughly enjoyed our walk through the woods. The poetry banners enhanced our experience -though we did not know the poet. Autumnwatch explained all with their excellent piece on the woodland and Marchant Barron. Congratulations the writer, the installer and the Forestry Commission for making our visit so special.

Harry & Melinda, 30/Oct/2017
3 Stars 3 Stars

The weather was beautiful today which made the walks well worth the visit. Shame about the cafe. It was my birthday too! We ordered the soup, 35 minutes later we were still waiting. We then realised that they'd given us the wrong table number. We asked for a refund which we got for our soup, We then thought we'd get a snack and walk round. Queues were so long, we had to buy a pack of biscuits from shop and eat that. When it's busy take your own food or be prepared to wait a long time.

Sue, 30/Oct/2017

We're sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your experience in the restaurant, and we apologise for the mistake. We have sent your comments onto the restaurant team.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Amazing day out! We (four adults) arrived on 29th October having forgotten it was half term. We were dismayed to see all the cars and people, but Westonbirt were well prepared and we didnt ever have to queue long for toilets or food. Food and drink was reasonably priced and good quality and everyone disappeared onto the trails so it was never too crowded. Loved the trees and information - great day out. We'll be back

Linda, Andrew, Richard and Claire, 30/Oct/2017

So happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit to us - come back and see us again soon.

Forestry Commission Response

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.