Nows it's autumn 🍂, wanted to make sure I capture it’s colour, something I've always wanted (but never had the time) to do.
Throughout my life autumn has been my favourite season. It symbolises new beginnings for me as I always wished to reinvent myself and begin afresh on my return to school for another year.
Far more than just a walk in the woods
I arrived at Winkworth Arboretum to find a moderately full unpaved car park and an overcast sky. Greeted by a welcoming lady at the ticket booth, I was given the option to pay a ‘gift-aid’ entry fee of £9. I had hoped to go on the guided tour in order to learn something about trees (my knowledge is non-existent, but having misread the start time, arrived too late.
Provided with a map, I determined the most epic walk would be the longest ‘challenging walk’, way-pointed in red. Armed with my 70D SLR, with my dog ‘Nova’ tethered to my camera bag, we set off.
The National Trust characteristic colour coded walk waypoint markers guides you through the trees very effectively. I found it very easy to follow the route.
Walking the route clockwise, our first stop was the ‘Spring walk’. Almost immediately came across a viewpoint overlooking ‘Badgers Bowl’ - a picturesque clearing, surrounded by trees on the brink of turning.
Through the ‘bluebell wood’ and on to the ‘Phillimore Wetlands’ via the ‘Wetland walk’
Now quite deep into the woods, the autumn colours began to show themselves.
Nova very much enjoyed his brief time in the river.
Upon leaving the woods, we arrived at ‘Rowe’s Flashe Meadow’; a large clearing bordered by a vast lake and a variety of wildlife. The view overlooks ‘The Bowl’ and this is where the beauty of the arboretum really showed itself off.
On to the boathouse via very well maintained paths and up the ‘Azalea steps’. Turning around at the top of the steps gifted us a tremendous view of the autumn colours.
The walk through ‘The Bowl’ is quite wondrous with many kinds of tree. I’ve only been to one other arboretum in my life ‘Westernbert’ about 10 years ago. My appreciation has grown immensely, but my knowledge of horticulture remains such of an ignorant teenager. And my brother has a degree in it…
‘Sorbus Hill’ provided further epic views onto the Surrey hills, farmland and terminus autumn colours - as promised.
Children's Holly Wood
Finally, making our way back to the entrance through the ‘Holly Wood’, we stumbled upon a children’s play area.
Nova made quick work of the apparatus despite having run out of energy on our two hour walk.
Arbor Tea Room
Back at the entrance, we didn’t stop for tea at the ‘Arbor Tea Room’ but it was enticing.
With 'challenging walk' complete, Nova and I headed back to the car. Suitably exercised by the hills as warned, we enjoyed a delightful 2 hour trawl around the M25 to get home. This did however allow me to reflect on my time at Winkworth.
My walk once again illuminated the beauty England has to offer. Thank you to the National Trust for all their great work in preserving and improving beautiful places like Winkworth.
Further photos from my visit to Winkworth Arboretum
Thank you for reading my blog on Winkworth Arboretum.
Please visit my online shop if you are interested in purchasing a print of one of my photographs.
Jack Elliott Hobbs is a lighting, camera and sound specialist, hailing from a large family of film-makers, artists and musicians. His passion is in telling the stories about creative people, portrayed in bespoke style, clarity and vision.