Batsford Arboretum; Trees, Bees and Grandeur

Batsford Arboretum; Trees, Bees and Grandeur | Vagabond BakingBatsford Arboretum is hidden up a lane off the ancient {yet still a main road} roman Fosse Way near Moreton in Marsh.

This pretty Cotswold market town is not far from Stratford upon Avon and Oxford making it an easy day trip.

Tuesdays are the day to go, it’s market day and the town comes to life. We drove slowly through the town – the Fosse Way slows to a crawl when the market is on – and took the signposted turn for the Arboretum.

With its unique collection of trees and plants, Batsford Arboretum is a joy to wander around at any time of year.

I would guess that spring is probably the perfect time as they have the national collection of flowering Japanese cherry trees. It would be blossom heaven!

By high summer the blossom is gone and the Arboretum is a green, shady place to wander on a hot day.

The Arboretum has a distinctly oriental feel with Japanese bridges and a Japanese Rest House hidden among the trees.

A wonderful bronze Buddha watches over you, as well as other far eastern statues dotted around the grounds.

The Arboretum used to be part of a huge country estate, Batsford Park. The oriental styling comes from the 1st Lord Redesdale, Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford who inherited the estate at the beginning of the 20th century.

He had travelled extensively in Asia working for the Foreign Office and had become a bit of an authority on Japanese and Chinese culture.

Batsford Arboretum; Trees, Bees and Grandeur | Vagabond Baking

We were visiting the Arboretum with friends, here you can see Izzy with the Buddha statue, this had been imported to the estate from the Orient by Mitford in 1900.

Apparently he had converted to Buddhism. He built the beautiful Cotswold stone house the stands in the grounds today {private}.

This gloriously grand house was the childhood home of writer, and bright young thing, Nancy Mitford. She is believed to have based the early part of ‘Love In A Cold Climate’ on growing up at Batsford House.

Nancy was a daughter of the 2nd Lord Redesdale, David Mitford.

Batsford House. Batsford Arboretum; Trees, Bees and Grandeur | Vagabond BakingA few hours were spent walking round the Arboretum, looking out for the curiosities like the Buddha, the marvellously named Foo Dog { a statue of a mythical eastern beast} and the hermit’s cave.

We took a picnic with us and enjoyed it in the sunshine but there is a lovely cafe too with hot drinks, homemade cakes and lunch fare.

We came upon these bright yellow flowers on the walk round, I have never seen so many bees together.

The flowers were buzzing with them, and so many varieties; from big fuzzy bumblebees to mini ones as well as some honeybees too.

In this time of bee-concern it was great to see such a number.

So many bees

We wandered out of the Arboretum at one point and found ourselves in the tiny Batsford village.

It had a pretty little church which we had a look inside.

Close up detail of Batsford Church

Cutest little cottage in Batsford

Batsford and Moreton in Marsh are a beautiful corner of the Cotswolds to spend a day exploring, and the Arboretum is a dog-friendly place too {so long as pooch is on best behaviour, and on a lead}.

Batsford Arboretum

A short history of Batsford Arboretum

Moreton in Marsh Tourist Information

Stick around, have a read of these:

I Went To A Birding Festival And It Was Awesome! Hanging out with the bird-loving community.

Let Me Show You Why I Love Birmingham a little walking tour of my favourite spots in Brum.

Kew Gardens in Autumn a blissful green escape from the city

Lincoln, Just Wow! This old city is stunning!

Romantic Ruins in the Heart of England Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire


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By Rachel Davis

4 Responses

  1. This looks lovely, I’d love to visit somewhere which reminds me of Japan. The first photo of the statue is beautiful x

    • aw, thank you. That statue, of Daphne becoming a tree {apparently} is one of the few that isn’t oriental. It is a recent one. I loved wandering around re-imaging travels in Japan 🙂