Wednesday, 11 January 2017


Today I woke up really confused, in the most awkward position ever, feeling pretty groggy and expected to open my curtains to yet another dismal day, however - sunshine! It's actually crazy how that little glimpse of sunlight and blue sky can instantly lift your mood. This week I actually turned up to work to be told I'd booked the week as holiday.. I was that person, d'oh!
Anyway, although the last minute surprise has been slightly annoying (due to me not being able to make plans etc), Its pretty nice to just wake up when you want and wonder where the day will take you.
Today me and mum decided to put Theo in the back of the car, and take a last minute trip to The Westonbirt Arboretum, in Tetbury. I talk about the Arboretum to my friends and family ALL the time, I love it - especially in Spring when all the trees are in bloom and in Autumn when all the leaves are in the midst of changing colour & dropping. They run photography courses and nature watches there because some of the scenery really is breathtaking, (with over 15,000 specimens from all over the globe, don't cha' know).

The Arboretum offers a small cafe just before you begin your route. There are a few different routes including ones that are dog permitted, and others that have more of a challenging hike, more history or routes that are more children friendly with activities along the way. Most of the seating is allocated outside - with a huge canapĂ©, so its functional for you and your pooches all year round! Today's weather had a pretty icy wind attached to it so I opted for a soya hot chocolate. 

(I call this my, 'I really need a hair cut but haven't drawn my eyebrows on so my overgrown fringe will have to be forgiven', look.)

Theo is insanely nosey when it comes to anyone, anything, and any dog. It doesn't matter what size, temperament or breed it is, he'll give anyone a sniff! One of the best things about the Arboretum is that you come across so. many. dogs. Today alone we saw a 4 month old dachshund and a small pack of terroir puppies, each dressed in high-vis jackets (!!)

They also have a really cutsie shop here. It is filled with amazing books, cute decorations and nifty trinkets. (They also have a pretty impressive sweet section).

Due to having Theo with us, we had to take the dog walking route. Due to the time of year/previous weather, it was quite hard to capture the beauty of the place - this route is adapted for dogs to be allowed off their leads to explore, therefore there are no manmade paths and it represents more of a typical forest as apposed to a carefully planted Arboretum, (there are much more unusual specimens to see on the other routes, however this one doesn't fall short of quirky shaped tree's and interesting photo opportunities!) 

Last year the 'Treetop walkway' was completed, which means you can now walk 13 metres above the ground and really feel like you're within the trees. I would love to spend more time exploring this part of the Arboretum, but due to it being so very windy this particular day, I didn't feel comfortable climbing the 'crow's nest viewing point'! 

The end of our trip became extremely windy indeed, to the point Theo's little ears were blowing back in the gale, bless him. 

I can't wait to spend more time at the Arboretum this year, me and my mum have had a membership for the past couple of years, which allows you free access all year round. For a one off visit, its £7 for adults, £5 for students, £3 for 5-18 and children under 5 go free. I would highly recommend the Arboretum for any nature lover, dog walker, or photographer. Its also perfect for a family day out, as there are picnic benches dotted around, as well as activities that run all year round. Bring on Spring I say! (Find out a tonne of information on Westonbirt Arboretum here)

Thanks for reading, Madi x 

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