Autumn at Harcourt Arboretum -Explore over 130 acres of the world’s rare and endangered trees.

The Arboretum glows with colour through autumn.

The Acer Glade is awash with vivid reds and rich golds, in Lime Wood the leaves create a rich yellow canopy and flutter gently to the ground, while in Bluebell Wood the bracken is a rich copper. 

Along Holly Walk you’ll find bright berries amongst the greenery and don’t forget to pay a visit to our piglets (just ask at the Ticket Office).

The Arboretum is home to a number of dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) which during the autumn months glow with a vivid brick-red colour, resembling a flaming torch.

Known only in fossil records until the 1940s, the dawn redwood is often described as a ‘living fossil’.

It is the only living member of the genus Metasequoia, although the fossil record shows us that it was distributed through North America and Eurasia up to 100 million years ago.

Today, the dawn redwood is restricted to the border of two Chinese provinces and Chongqing in Central China, but it is a popular addition to many parks and gardens in Europe and America.

Despite this, it is still internationally recognised as endangered.

Keep an eye out for the stately oaks which turn a golden brown, and other eye-catching colour from trees such as Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress) and Larix x eurolepis (hybrid larch).

Palmer’s Leys is also worth visiting, the native planting shines a merry yellow on sunny days.

A new Visitor and Learning Centre for Harcourt Arboretum will build partnerships with local communities, and work with Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry and social prescribing partnership to increase wellbeing from access to nature.

Creating new all-weather education facilities, café and shop will transform the visitor experience.

This development is made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

There are paths throughout the arboretum.

Many of these may be unsuitable for wheelchair users, pushchairs or people with mobility impairments

 None of the paths have steps, but there are some steep slopes and uneven surfaces.

They regularly have sheep, pigs and even cattle at the Arboretum.

Which four-legged friends are with them during your visit will depend upon the time of year, so ask at the Welcome Centre to find out who you can say hello to on your walk.


Colourful, noisy and precocious, the resident wild peacocks certainly put on a show for their visitors.

Watch their elegant displays and listen to their amazing calls.

(Please don't get too close!)

Listen – can you hear them?

The Arboretum is filled with birds: from the tiny goldcrest to the soaring red kite.

Move quitely if you want to spot them!

On the ground, you might see one of their native mammals – rabbits, squirrels, hares, foxes, badgers and deer all live there.

The Arboretum is home to hundreds of type of tiny critters.

Be amazed by the colours and patterns of fluttering butterflies, watch our aerobatic dragonflies, hear the busily buzzing bees and peer at the shiny beetles!

Visitors are very welcome to bring picnics with them; there are plenty of benches.

Oxford city centre also has a wide range of cafés and restaurants less than a ten minutes' walk from the Garden.

Jericho Coffee Traders

A pop-up café is available daily for visitors to purchase hot and cold drinks, as well as a selection of cakes and snacks.

Hot drinks include a full range of coffee and teas as well as hot chocolate and chai lattes.

They sell cakes ranging from frangipane, brownie and flapjack, and ice creams on offer include strawberry, chocolate, Daim Bar crunch, and mango sorbet.

You can find them at the Botanic Garden, near the River Cherwell.

Please note that this is subject to change.

Please follow and like us:
Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial
Skip to content