The Yorkshire Arboretum

Opposite the entrance to Castle Howard is a little known oasis known as The Yorkshire Arboretum.

The dictionary lists an ’arboretum’ is a botanical garden devoted to trees…. this does not do this place any justice in my opinion. When visiting for the first time I really didn’t know what to expect and if I’m honest my expectations were pretty low as I thought it would just be trees!

I couldn’t have been more wrong, it is 120 acres of the most peaceful gardens, parkland and lakes with the most abundant array of wildlife I’ve experienced. I just love dragonflies, they are one of my favourite animals and there were so many hovering and flying around the main lake, I could have sat there and watched them all day.

We lost count of the different butterflies we saw too and the kids loved all the damselflies (that just look like bright blue, mini dragonfly) that were everywhere, even landing on Izzy at one point.

There’s no play area as such for the kids but there is space, plenty of it, for them to run and be free and with it being a lot quieter that it’s neighbour Castle Howard its great for a relaxing picnic. Although they do have a lovely on-site cafe too with a veranda overlooking the arboretum.

There’s not enough here for a full day out but as an add on to a visit to Castle Howard, Yorkshire Lavender or Piglets Adventure Farm which are all fairly close, it’s perfect.

I have an RHS membership and the arboretum is one of their partner gardens so it entitles me to free entry which was a bonus.

Normal admission fees are £9 for Adults, £4.50 for juniors age 12-16 and under 12’s are free.

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