Harcourt Arboretum

Parkland view in Harcournt Arboretum

Harcourt Arboretum is home to numerous rare trees from around the world, including some of the oldest redwoods in the UK. Experts travel the globe to find rare trees, collect their seeds and return to grow them in the Arboretum.

parkland at Harcourt Arboretum

As well as rare trees Harcourt Arboretum boasts sprawling wildlife meadows and woodlands as well as 2 ponds. There are a number of trails to follow which are marked on the map.

walking away along grass path in wildflower meadow

Highlights throughout the year include the bluebell woods and spring daffodils. In Autumn the colours of trees are spectacular as their leaves turn orange and red.

pine cones on floor

For families the pigs and peacocks are entertaining to watch. There are also butterfly spotter sheets to complete. We spotted plenty of wildlife including frogs, grasshopers, ladybirds, etc

There are also plenty of places to explore and trees to climb.

child sat high in twisted tree branches

If you are a keen photographer then you’re bound to get some great shots here!

Kids sat in tall pine tree

This place is a bit of marmite one I think, you’ll either love it or hate it. Some will say its boring and not worth a visit. At first impressions this was how I felt. We set off walking round the meadow first and I thought to myself I can walk somewhere like this pretty much anywhere without paying for it. But then we entered the parkland or ‘Old Arboretum’ where the collection of trees are and I have to say I fell in love with the place a little bit. There was something enchanting about the amazing collection of different trees. The size of some of them was incredible and I couldn’t help but be in awe. We took some stunning photos and had such a lovely afternoon. We spent 3 hours at Harcourt Arboretum in total and felt like we’d really enjoyed ourselves.

very tall redwood at Harcourt Arboretum

I understand that often during school holidays and weekends there are events held at the Arboretum. These include children’s trails, bug hunts, bird of prey displays, seasonal festivals and more. Children under 16 get in free and adult annual passes are a reasonable price. If you live local it’s worth getting an annual pass so you can enjoy all the events.

The Verdict

Like I said, this is one place that people will either love or hate. Personally we had a great afternoon and really enjoyed exploring. It’s simply trees and wildflower meadows but lovely to look round. I think maybe adding a sculpture trail would make it more interesting for visitors. There is one sculpture among some palm trees but the addition of some more would be great. If you don’t like it, adult tickets are only just over a fiver so it’s not like you’ve wasted a load of money. Give it a try and see what you think!

Stone sculpture among palm trees at Harcourt Arboretum

Facilities Checklist

  • Toilets / Disabled Toilet Yes
  • Pushchair / Wheelchair Friendly Yes although the meadow areas are longer grass with slopes so a bit trickier and paths are uneven surfaces as most are wood chip or packed earth.
  • Disabled Access Blue badge parking.
  • Dog Friendly  No dogs except assistance dogs
  • Refreshments available Hot drinks stall there during our visit but not guaranteed.
  • Car Park Yes free parking on site
  • Gift Shop  No
  • Baby facilities Baby changing in toilets

Address: Oxford Lodge Peacock Gate, Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire, OX44 9PX

Price Band: £

Website: https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/visit-arboretum

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