Woodland walks at Winkworth Arboretum

I’ve got so much to share from the last few months, but whilst we’re in the swing of autumn I couldn’t wait to tell you about our trip to Winkworth Arboretum last week. It’s such a peaceful woodland walk with the most beautiful views, I couldn’t leave it until I’d got through all my posts in time order.

I first saw Winkworth Arboretum on Timeout, it immediately went on to my 2016 wishlist but I ended up at Kew Gardens that year instead so I put it straight on the 2017 wishlist. As we don’t have a car and it’s hidden down in the depths of Thorncombe valley, I wasn’t sure how I’d get there but I was pretty determined either way. James and I had a long weekend in Surrey planned, and even though I had a HUGE surprise that weekend I still managed to sneak a trip in on the Monday before going back to work.

We hopped on the train from Woking to Godalming (you can get the same train from Waterloo, which takes about 50 minutes), had a snoop around the village, grabbed a coffee and picked up a cab outside the station (it was less than £10 and if there’s an Uber in the area about £7). After several local recommendations from our lovely driver, we were dropped off at the gate and made our way inside.

Winkworth is a National Trust property. If you have a membership it’s obviously free, if you don’t it’s about £8.40 per person.

Camera at the ready, map out, we followed the path inside.

You can choose from a few different marked walks or make it up as you go along. We did a made up walk of a couple of routes to make sure we saw everything we wanted to.

Since it’s autumn right now, obviously it was all about colour-hunting for leaves like this.

The first part took us right through the woodlands, with the strange orange glow caused by the storm in Sahara Desert last week it felt a bit eery.

But between the babbling brooks, birdsong and the quietness of the countryside it was a heavenly way to spend the day.

We passed open patches of land full of reds, greens and yellows, which certainly slowed down our pace as we carried on walking underneath the cover of the trees.


It didn’t take too long for us to find the lake that sits in the centre of the arboretum.

Winkworth’s boathouse is over a hundred years old and a precious piece of history for arboretum. It has certainly seen a few stunning autumns in its time. You can find out more about its history inside but I preferred admiring it from afar.

The colours along the lake are beautiful and I made James walk around it’s edge before eating lunch.

This was only about 1/2pm but it felt much later.

Content I’d seen as much as possible we went on the hunt for a bench and found the perfect colourful spot.

We took a packed lunch to save a bit of money. It’s worth being mindful that the cafe and toilets are at the entrance so you need to plan ahead either way.

Having satisfied our appetites a little, I got James to take a seasonal appropriate profile  picture.

And then we carried on exploring, discussing ideas about what our future wedding might look like.

I’ve been sharing a lot of outdoors places on here recently and I think it’s because it’s one of my favourite things to do at the weekend. But it’s also an ideal way to get some quality time with someone and have limited distractions (except my camera of course!)




As we neared the end we found beautifully carved benches. This one is dedicated to the arboretum’s former owner – Dr Fox.

See if you can spot the carving in my short video.

October 2017 – Winkworth Arboretum from Laura Pritchard on Vimeo.

If you’re planning some autumn colour-hunting this weekend, Winkworth Arboretum is worth putting on the shortlist. (I’ve heard it does get busy at this time of year so you may find the earlier you go the better.)



  1. October 27, 2017 / 12:48 pm

    How beautiful- your photos are stunning! Doubt I’ll make it there this year as about to go away for 2 weeks and by the time we get back in mid-November I expect most of the autumn colours will have faded away- but definitely going on the list for next year!! Congratulations again on your engagement!

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      October 27, 2017 / 1:01 pm

      Thanks Anita!! For the lovely comment and congratulations.

      Apparently it’s also meant to be beautiful in April/May so I’m hoping to be able to go back then.

      Hope you have a lovely holiday!!! Are you going somewhere warm?

  2. November 11, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    What a gorgeous place – so seasonally appropriate and just beautiful! I’d love to visit in spring too 🙂

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      November 11, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      I’ll have to let you know when I’m going, it’s such a beautiful place. I imagine it’s lovely in most seasons, especially on a sunny day.