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Winkworth Arboretum

I've been looking longingly at pictures of the beautiful autumnal colours of the leaves at Winkworth Arboretum and I've waited patiently for a trip there.

What is an arboretum? I even had trouble getting my head around saying it - it is pronounced arbor-ee-tum and it's a botanical garden devoted to trees.

"When autumn arrives, Winkworth bursts into colour, its yellows, oranges and reds painting a breathtaking picture across the landscape."

Winkworth Arboretum is owned by the National Trust and it is near Godalming in Surrey, just a short drive from Guildford town centre.

The trees there are stunning at the moment showing off all of their autumn finery. You will see maples, acers, larch, hickory, liquidambar (American sweetgum) showing off their amazing colours as well as mighty oak trees, firs and chestnut trees.

We found lots of conkers and sweet chestnuts, as well as fungi and loads of colourful berries including the Chinese dogwood, which reminded me of lychees.

By the boathouse next to the lake we were looking in the shallow part and Shannon shouted out: "Daddy, I found a lobster!" - it was actually a crayfish but a pretty exciting find.

The National Trust are trying to raise money to repair the iconic boathouse you can help by buying a raffle ticket from the kiosk when you visit - for every £1 raised, they get an extra £1 towards the boathouse repairs. You can also put your spare change in a collection box.

There are fabulous views from Sorbus Hill and the Azaela steps of the colours and plenty of meadows to explore. This is always how I imagine the forests in Canada to look - just beautiful.

There is a tea room and a tipi for the kids to play in at the entrance and parking is free. National Trust members can enter for free. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome.

During the October half term they have a Halloween trail and a wild learning holiday club check here for details.

It's a beautiful place to visit all year round and I'm so glad we finally managed to get there.

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