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Things to see and do at Winkworth Arboretum

Steps have been carved into the verdant hillside between trees on Bluebell Hill at Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey. It's a bright sunny day and some bluebells are flowering amongst long, bright green grass.
Steps leading to Bluebell Hill at Winkworth Arboretum | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

For peace and tranquillity visit Winkworth Arboretum’s beautiful lake. To explore the woods and take in views of the landscape’s myriad of colours, choose from a range of walks for all abilities. The arboretum is home to a variety of wildlife, and any visit is accompanied by a chorus of gentle birdsong. If you're quiet enough, you might even encounter a roe deer.

Highlights this Spring at Winkworth Arboretum

As the days lengthen, the warming sunlight gradually awakens a miscellany of flowering plants across the hillside. Spring arrives at Winkworth with first a pop, then an explosion of colour: rhododendrons and daffodils herald the new season, then bluebells spread glorious purple carpets across the woodland floor.


One of the first to colour in the wintry landscape, great clusters of rhododendrons greet you at the kiosk in early spring. A wide variety of cultivars provide pops of pink, white, orange and purple from January through April, seen near the entrance to the arboretum and on the Spring Walk.

Cherry Blossom

Stroll along Cherry Avenue to enjoy the delicate blossom on the trees. Watch as the petals float through the air as they make their journey to the ground.


A beguiling collection of camellias bring a touch of class to the Upper Arboretum. Perfectly formed red, pink, white and even striped varieties can be seen in flower from March.


Dazzling swathes of daffodils brighten the paths in February and March. Find the best displays as you take the main path into the arboretum, then keep following them by turning right into the Winter Garden and along the banks of Sorbus Hill.


For flowering trees as tall as your house, head to Magnolia Wood and the lower banks of Sorbus Hill. A great range of varieties provide huge, showy blooms in pinks, whites and purples. As temperamental as they are beautiful, magnolias flower in different weeks every year depending on weather conditions - keep an eye out on our social media pages for the best times to see them.

Visitors sitting on a bench at Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey with pink blossom nearby
Take a seat and admire the view at Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey | © National Trust Images/John Milla


Wander through the arboretum at the right time and you'll be hard-pressed not to come across a pretty patch of purple. For the best views, follow the Spring Walk and you'll head right into Bluebell Wood, where the most spectacular swathes await. This route also takes you through Magnolia Wood, which - if the weather is right - may be in bloom at the same time.

Keep an eye on when they're at their best by following the regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Bluebell season is hugely popular, to make sure the purple swathes return every year, it's crucial to look after them as best we can. Trampling on bluebell leaves impedes their ability to create energy and reproduce, reducing their chances of reappearing in subsequent years. You can help by avoiding walking through the bluebells, taking photos standing in the bluebells and keeping to designated pathways.


Each spring the Azalea Steps take the spotlight in a blaze of colour. With almost every hue on display, you can see them at their best in May, on the path down to the boathouse.

Magnolia tree in blossom at Dyffryn Gardens, Wales
Explore the Magnolia at Winkworth Arboretum | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Waymarked walks

There are three routes to help you find your way: a blue 'Access for All' walk, a yellow 'Taste of Winkworth' walk and a red 'Challenging' walk. Just look out for the colour-coded posts as you explore.

Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome all year round but we ask that you kindly clear up after your pet.

Guided walks

It’s business as usual all year round at Winkworth, whatever the weather, and there’s as much to explore on a grey day as under a blue sky. Put on a warm coat or waterproof, pull on your wellies and head for adventure. Throughout the year we host a variety of guided walked showcasing Winkworth's seasonal highlights. See our what's on page to find out more.

Come on an audio exploration

Explore Winkworth with Arboriculturalist Simon Toomer and Head Gardener, Graham Alderton, with our audio guide. Discover the history of tree species at the arboretum as you are led though the woodland, meadows and wetland. Ask as the kiosk for the map that accompanies this guide. Mobile reception is limited at Winkworth Arboretum but our free WIFI is available at in Arbor Tearoom so best to download the audio trail in advance.

Download in advance

More to explore

Visit the Boathouse

Featured in many well-known film and TV series, the Boathouse on Rowe’s Flashe Lake is the perfect place to relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Explore the wetlands

Once another lake, we've allowed these wetlands to redevelop naturally and they are now thriving with plant life. Keep your feet dry by enjoying the area from the bridge, made completely from recycled plastic bottles.

Discover Badgers Bowl

In the midst of Dr Fox's masterpiece planting is this peaceful glade, perfect for a family picnic or to simply sit and take in the atmosphere.

The Azalea Steps

The Azalea Steps tend to look at their best during mid May, planted with Kurume hybrid azaleas which were introduced from Japan in the 1920s by E.H. Wilson. They give a stunning display of colour in late spring as the colours seem to tumble down the hillside toward the lake.

The steps are also planted with acers, magnolias and clerodendrum as a backdrop and a bench given to Dr Fox for his 70th birthday in 1955 can still be seen at the top of the steps.

Carved benches

We have two unique chainsaw-carved benches in the Upper Arboretum. The owl bench has looked down over an amazing view for years, and there's now a second bench adorned with fox figures in honour of Winkworth's creator, Dr Wilfrid Fox.

Natural play area and Tree Adventure

Nestled among birch trees is the natural play area. With fun features for all ages, it's a brilliant way to stimulate children's imaginations and encourage enjoyment of the natural environment. Older children will love exploring the Tree Adventure complete with a rope tunnel, mini climbing wall and a firefighter’s pole.

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