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Oxfordshire & The Cotswolds Outdoor Pursuits
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Hillside Riding Academy

         
Longhope Gloucestershire England
Description : 

We aim to provide affordable riding for all ages and abilities. As well as giving a high level of instruction and a very happy and fun environment.

 


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Vintage and Classic Car Hire

         
Melksham Wiltshire England
Description : 

Drive your Dream !

 


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Cotswold Farm Park

         
Cheltenham Gloucestershire England
Description : 

Adam Henson
The Nation's Favourite Farmer 


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WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre

         
Slimbridge Gloucestershire England
Description : 

Set against a spectacular Severn Estuary backdrop, Slimbridge's mosaic of pools lagoons, reed beds, marshes, woodlands and meadows provides a haven for diverse wetland creatures including otters, plus some of the world's most spectacular ducks, geese and swans.


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Batsford Arboretum

         
Moreton-in-Marsh Gloucestershire England
Description : 

Batsford Arboretum in the heart of the north Cotswolds, is home to a unique collection of some of the world's most beautiful and rare trees, shrubs and bamboos.


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Batsford is home to one of the finest botanical collections in the country and is run by the charitable trust, The Batsford Foundation.

The Arboretum is planted on a south facing slope which means visitors get to see our magnificent tree and plant collections from an unusual angle, as well as the stunning views of the Evenlode Valley beyond.

At 56 acres in size, Batsford is an intimate and romantic place to visit, with interest all year round from the first snowdrops of spring, right through to the outstanding autumn colour in October and November.

Batsford is also home to a beautiful new wooden visitor centre where you'll find the Garden Terrace Café, Gift and Garden Shop and the Plant Centre within the walls of the Victorian kitchen garden.
The Visitor Centre

Officially opened in 2011, the beautiful Visitor Centre at Batsford offers our visitors a comfortable and relaxed environment in which to enjoy a meal or some retail therapy. Less well-known is how much effort we took creating an environmentally sound building which fits in with the surrounding landscape.

The beautiful wooden building at Batsford is made from sustainably grown and FSC sourced timber and is both a triumph of sustainable architecture and a wonderful example of a sustainable building meeting 21st century needs.

The wooden building has a low profile roof which minimises its visual impact on the landscape and also reduces our energy consumption. A ground source heat pump provides under floor heating in winter and all grey water is recycled to supply the plant centre. The whole building is also insulated with wool from rare breed sheep.

Equally important though is the fact it offers our visitors a comfortable place to warm up after a winter walk and more space to browse the wonderful range of gardening sundries and gifts we have on offer.

History

The earliest verifiable recorded history of Batsford Park which includes the arboretum dates back to the early part of the 17th Century. We know a substantial house existed on the site at that time which went on to be altered and extended over the next two hundred years. In common with most gardens of the time, the land was laid out in a formal style, gradually evolving into the more relaxed natural style you see today in the late 19th century.

Much of the landscaping you see today in the arboretum is thanks to Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford (Bertie) - later the 1st Lord Redesdale and grandfather to the infamous Mitford sisters who lived at Batsford Park during World War I.

The 20th Century saw the greatest development of the Arboretum at Batsford, first under the new owner Gilbert Alan Hamilton Wills – later the 1st Lord Dulverton and then by his son, the 2nd Lord Dulverton Frederic Anthony Hamilton Wills who was himself a great plantsman and who worked with Head Forester Ken Hope to restore the neglected gardens.

Arboretum

The 56 acre arboretum at Batsford is home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country, providing something of interest throughout the year and famed for trees which originate in Japan and China.

The collection includes a number of Red Data species which are extinct in the wild and several UK champion trees, famed for their size.

The arboretum is managed by the Batsford Foundation, a charity set up by the 2nd Lord Dulverton in 1983 to promote education, conservation and research into gardens, arboreta and historic landscapes.

The arboretum has a fascinating history, much of which is reflected in the planting and design you see today.

As with all natural environments, Batsford Arboretum is a work in progress, just on a much bigger scale than most! It will always be protected by the Batsford Foundation but we're keen to develop it in a sympathetic way, completely in keeping with our charitable remit but making it an even more interesting, informative and special place to visit.

Shopping

No day out at Batsford is complete without leaving plenty of time for a spot of retail therapy. You're spoilt for choice here too - with the Arboretum Gift Shop providing unusual gift ideas to suit every pocket - crammed full of present ideas you won't find on the High Street.

If upcycling is more your style, pay a visit to the Applestore at Batsford - home to fabulous shabby chic vintage furniture and gifts.

And don't miss the Garden Shop and Plant Centre - home to a huge range of quality plants and quality sundries to suit every garden and allotment. Also on site falconry centre, Cotswold archery and wood turner.

Eating

Batsford is home to the Garden Terrace Café where you'll find a fabulous range of home baked cakes, afternoon teas and hot lunches served each day. All produce is locally sourced where possible and, when the weather allows, you can enjoy your meal on the beautiful terrace overlooking the plant centre.

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