A Stroll Around Thorp Perrow Arboretum

By getoutandbout | Aug 12, 2020
Europe > United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > Yorkshire Dales > Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL8 2PS

Explore stunning woodland, run free in an adventure play area or meet exotic birds and animals – no two visits are the same!

Yesterday hubby and I took a short stroll around Thorp Perrow Arboretum. (I say short because we only covered a small part of it but we were still there for around 2 whole hours at least!) 😲

Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, not far from the historic town of Bedale, Thorp Perrow is an exciting place to explore offering something for everyone, and is home to some of the largest and rarest trees and shrubs in England.

It's the most important Arboretum in the North of England and is unique to Britain, if not Europe, in that it was the creation of one man, Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner (1895-1977). His son, Sir John Ropner (1937-2016) and his wife, Niki, then went onto develop the Arboretum into the visitor attraction you see today!

It covers 100 acres and is currently home to 5 National Plant Collections and 51 Champion Trees! The arboretum is laid out in sections and each section inter-connects with its neighbour via paths, grass walks, glades, bays and avenues.

A walk around the Arboretum can be a journey of plant discovery that takes you around the continents of the world; with many of the tree and shrub genera and species planted having origins in China, Japan, North America, Chile, and Europe. How cool is that! 😲

The Manor House at Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Thorp Perrow Arboretum Manor House

Thorp Perrow Arboretum Manor House

This stunning Manor House can be seen from across the lake. You are not allowed to access the grounds and you can't try swimming across either. There are signs clearly advising you against doing that very thing due to crocodiles in the water – you can even see the head of one just under the little wooden bridge that you are able to walk across to get a slightly closer view. (Watch Out!) 😉

A good camera gives you a great shot of this beautiful building however and if you're lucky enough to get the reflection of it in the water, then it really does create quite an impact! 😀 I can say it's so peaceful to sit on any one of the many benches that are placed along the lake, looking back at this beautiful piece of architecture whilst musing over how cool it might be to live there. 😜

Pixie houses at Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Next to the lake across from the Manor House stands this amazing tree trunk where tiny little pixies live in peace and quiet until the kids come along squealing their delight! (then they run and hide in their tiny little abodes) 😉

I think they've made an incredible job of making this their home though don't you? Such workmanship! (not sure how I'd feel about climbing all those stairs though) How would you like to live in a place like this – if only you could shrink yourself to the size of a pixie? 😜

Children's playground

Thorp Perrow Arboretum children's playground

Thorp Perrow Arboretum children's playground

There's a wonderful woodland-inspired adventure play glade, set in a clearing amongst the trees, where children can swing, slide and scramble their way to fun! 😀

For the brave, there's a zip line to whizz along and the ‘Beetle Bug' to explore. For the less daring, swings, slides and a sheltered sand pit offer hours of fun.

Little ones can challenge themselves across the assault course which includes log bridges, swinging log steps, stepping stones and balancing beams.

I'm sure you'll have NO trouble at all trying to drag your little ones away from this amazing play space. 😝

What else is on offer at Thorp Perrow Arboretum?

The arboretum also often put on different events throughout the year. There's something for everyone from themed family days and seasonal trails, open-air concerts and theatre performances, to talks by guest speakers, lunches and guided tours. Wow! Try saying all of that in a hurry lol.

However, due to the current situation with the coronavirus many events have sadly had to be cancelled. 😞 If you'd love to read more about the arboretum and what you can normally expect though, then please check out the link below👇 at the end of this post. You will also find a useful link to a map of the arboretum showing you how it's set out – helpful aren't I? 😜

End of our stroll around Thorp Perrow Arboretum

We certainly enjoyed our ‘short stroll' around Thorp Perrow Arboretum thats for sure! To walk in and amongst the stunning range of trees, (especially the cooler shaded parts lol) through open grassy glades, down wide sweeping and also narrow avenues was an experience we'd love to repeat again and again! Exploring all of the pathways and trying to decide which way to go next (even if we disagreed, which we didn't because it was all up to me lol) 😉 was heaps of fun!

After 2 hours of walking around however, with a small stop for lunch, we were beginning to feel the effects on our feet and just had to call a halt to our day at the arboretum. (Perhaps we're just getting old?) 😝 However, I know we'll be back again, to see it in all of its glory through all the seasons of the year! (I personally can't wait to see it covered in snow!)

Useful information

  • Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm
  • The tearoom is currently operating a take-away service only with sandwiches, sausage baps, soups, cakes and hot & cold drinks
  • Toilet facilities are available
  • No need to pre-book an entry ticket
  • Birds of prey and mammal centre is open with 3 displays running every day.
  • Wallaby Walk remains closed at present in accordance with current regulations
  • Playground is open but please adhere to the rules of use which are clearly displayed at the entrance to the playground itself
  • Mobility scooters can now be hired and advance booking is recommended by telephoning the tearoom on 01677 427203
  • Dogs are welcome providing they are kept on a lead at all times – not permitted inside the tearoom

Admission Prices

Admission prices include both the Arboretum and Bird of Prey & Mammal Centre

Adults: £10.95
Concession*: £9.95
Child (4-16): £7.00
Family (2 + 2): £34.10
Family (2 + 3): £41.00

* Retired 60+, Disabled, Students, Forces, NHS, Blue Light Card

Essential carers and children under 4 years are admitted free of charge.

If you've had a great day and would like to upgrade your day ticket to a great-value Season Ticket, please speak to a member of staff before you leave.

Adult: £36.10
Child (4-16 years) £20.10

Have you ever been to Thorp Perrow Arboretum? If so, what's your favourite part? If not, then I highly urge you to make a point of adding it to your ‘Places to See' list – any time of the year would be suitable. There's a lot to offer the whole family and I guarantee, you won't be disappointed!

Please leave your comments below 👇 I'd love to hear from you! 😀

Europe Nature Things to do Yorkshire Yorkshire Dales National Parks Gardens England Family Thorp Perrow Arboretum United Kingdom

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Written by Christine Williamson
Hi, I’m Christine and I love to share my own personal travels and adventures with others about places to go and things to do and see once you get there, particularly in my local area. I also love to support local small businesses that I think people might find interesting too. For example, places to stay, to go for a bite to eat or simply for a cup of tea or coffee and about interesting places to shop too. My hope is that you will find this information useful and interesting , especially if you plan on visiting the same places. At the very least you might like to start to make a list of places you’d like to visit from the informat... Read more

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