Autumn Colours Weekend to Westonbirt Arboretum & Forest of Dean
Organiser – Gary Box
Where – The Fountain Lodge, Fountain Way, Parkend, Nr Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 4JD
When – 25th-27th October 2013 (Fri-Sun)
Cost – £71.00 (includes 2 nights accommodation, guided walks and entry to Westonbirt Arboretum)
Autumn is a beautiful time of year in the UK though it can be a short season. For many what makes autumn special is the vibrant colours of the trees and the smell. The best place to see autumn colours in the UK is generally agreed to be Westonbirt Arboretum. For this weekend trip we will visit Westonbirt Arboretum as well as the Forest of Dean which is another great place to be in autumn.
We will leave London Friday evening and drive to our accommodation in the heart of the Forest of Dean (approx 2 1/2 hour drive). We have sole use of Fountain Lodge which has bunk rooms, showers / toilets, self catering kitchen etc. It’s situated next to the pub which would be an ideal place to book a table for Saturday night meal and I’m told they have a live band on that night too.
On Saturday we will drive the short distance to Symonds Yat where our 8 mile (13km) walk will start from. Symonds Yat provides a great cliff top viewpoint of the winding River Wye below and should be looking at its best in autumn with the trees on the riverbank. It’s also a popular place for bird watchers and the RSPB are stationed there because of the peregrine falcons that nest here. The walk follows the river and we will pass the Gosling Ash, the largest broadleaf tree in the forest at 33m (108ft). After leaving the river we pass the interesting rock formations of Near Harkening Rock and the Suck Stone before reaching Staunton where we can stop for a drink at the pub. The route back to the start goes via the Motiva Ropes Course.
For those that want alternative options on Saturday you can cycle in the forest or take part in either Go Ape or Motiva Ropes Course.
On Sunday we will drive in the direction of home stopping at Westonbirt to enjoy the autumn spectacle. Entry is normally £9.00 but is included in this trip price. You really must bring your camera to catch the colours. I’m looking forward to photographing and filming this weekend.
What to bring
- Hiking boots and clothes
- Sleeping bag (pillow provided)
- Towel and toiletries
- Camera for amazing autumn colours