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Things to see and do at Winkworth Arboretum

View over the lake on a winter's day at Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey
View over the lake on a winter's day at Winkworth Arboretum | © National Trust Images/John Miller

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 at Winkworth this winter

Laced with frost and dotted with unusual winter blooms, Winkworth Arboretum becomes a secret haven of botanical beauty during the colder months.

Just a stone's throw from the kiosk, the Winter Garden is a joy to wander through and a great place to start your visit. This bright corner of the arboretum banishes the doom and gloom of winter with a myriad of colourful, scented flowers. Spot bright splashes of winter colour, with camellias, mahonias and delicate witch hazel all flowering during the winter months.

If you're feeling intrepid, make your way down winding paths to the lake. Winkworth is seldom more atmospheric than on a wintry day down at the Boathouse. Take a moment at this beautiful viewpoint and let the calm stillness of the lake soothe your spirits.


If you're looking for snowdrops but want to avoid the crowds, Winkworth is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful seasonal beauty. Hundreds of snowdrops appear around the arboretum from early February onwards, or earlier in mild winters, a sure sign that spring is on its way.

The best displays can be found outside the tea-room, where you can see a lawn of common snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), and along the Upper Arboretum and Spring Walk. Many of them have been seeded by our wonderful team of volunteers, who provide invaluable support to the gardening team here at Winkworth.

A close-up photo of snowdrops with their heads drooping towards the grass below
Snowdrops at Sizergh | © National Trust Images/Chris McEvoy

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.

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

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.

Rainy days

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.

Should the weather become a little bit too unpredictable, the Boathouse provides a great shelter of historical interest, against wind, rain and sun all year round. From here you can watch the lake take on the character of the season.

After you’ve braved the elements, reward yourself by going inside to get cosy. Even the most determined explorer needs a rest and Winkworth’s warm, inviting tea-room has a delicious array of snacks and reviving hot food and drinks.

Pair of ducks swimming in the Upper Pond at dusk in the park at Petworth House and Park, West Sussex


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