Audrey and I visited the Batsford Arboretum in early March 2018, while staying at The Manor House hotel. I paid £7.95 entry fee for the Arboretum. Entry to the garden centre, gift shop and cafe is free.
- Dog Friendly: 10/10
- Blog On A Dog Approval score: 8/10
- Value for Money: 6/10 (I visited out of season, would be better value in summer).
Just over a mile and a half north west of Moreton-in-Marsh, Batsford Arboretum is home to the UK’s largest private collection of trees and shrubs. Batsford House is on the site, though not open to the public.
Unfortunately, Audrey and I visited on the day of the big melt from the ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorm. The Arboretum had been closed for a few days, a victim of the large accumulation of snow that affected most parts of the country. We were lucky that it had re-opened, however the plants and flowers were obviously not at their best.
Conditions underfoot can best be described as ‘slushy’, so my plan to take lots of lovely photos was soon scuppered by the wet conditions. We did have a nice wander around the grounds which took just over an hour. There’s no doubt if conditions had been better I would have stayed for longer. It’s easy to see that this would be a glorious place to visit on a nice day and at the right time of year when all of the trees and plants are in bloom.
There are numerous paths you can take around the Arboretum, there are some inclines but you could avoid them if necessary. Dogs are allowed everywhere, but must remain on a short lead at all times.
The Garden Terrace Cafe
I paid £8.25 for the soup of the day with focaccia and a cappuccino.
- Free Wifi: Yes
- Service: 6/10
- Food/Drinks: 9/10
- Comfort/Design: 7/10
- Value for Money: 7/10 (Typical prices for a tourist attraction in The Cotswolds).
Though the cafe building is attractive, the seating is more functional than stylish. However on a nice day I assume it gets very busy so functionality is important. There are plenty of tables inside and a large decked area outdoors that has both open and covered seating.
The cafe is canteen style, so you get what you want and then take your tray to the till. Despite it not being particularly busy, I stood and waited a few minutes before being acknowledged by the server in the hot food section. It took another few minutes to receive my hot drink after paying at the till. This may not seem like a big deal, however Audrey was waiting alone at our table during this time so I would have appreciated it if the service was slicker. My soup and focaccia were excellent, the bread was definitely homemade and still warm. It’s worth pointing out that there are jugs of free water in the cutlery section which is after you have paid. I hadn’t bought a bottle of water but I would have felt aggrieved if I had!
Dog Friendly Score for The Batsford Arboretum and Cafe
As you can see, I have given it a perfect 10/10. There were water bowls and poop bins all over the property. Dogs are allowed in all areas, and Audrey was given some treats by the staff at the admission till.
Parking on site is plentiful, and it is well signed off the A44. The postcode to use for SATNAV purposes is GL56 9AD. t Be aware that there is no access from Batsford village itself.
There is a lovely walk along the Monarch’s Way from Moreton-in-Marsh to the Arboretum (we definitely would have done this in more suitable weather). It takes around 35 minutes, and is a footpath straight to the entrance of the Arboretum. For a longer walking route from Blockley click here.
Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9QB
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am-5pm.