Treasure of the World

Two weeks ago, my husband and I had the opportunity of an extended break in the historic and beautiful city of Bath. Whilst there not only did we explore the amazing Roman Baths, dine at the lavish Pump Rooms, we also set one day aside for nature.

In the midst of Autumn what better place to visit than the National Arboretum of Westonbirt.

With over 18,000 trees we were spoilt with autumnal displays and happily wandered for four hours along some of its 17 miles of pathways (one of these amongst the treetops!).

As is often the case, Westonbirt was the vision of one man; in this case a wealthy landowner, MP and gardening enthusiast Robert Halford who started the Arboretum in 1829. Since 1956 it has been managed by the Forestry Commission.

Today it boasts over 2,500 species from all across the globe, and ‘is internationally renowned not only for the diversity and importance of its collection but also its breath-taking beauty’.

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” John Muir

“The world’s forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children’s future.” Desmond Tutu

“I never see a forest that does not bear a mark or a sign of history.” Anselm Kiefer

“In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.” Paulo Coehlo

“An autumn forest is such place that once entered you never look for the exit!” Mehmet Murat Ildan

“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and scorching sun.” Napoleon Hill

151 thoughts on “Treasure of the World

  1. watchingthedaisies says:

    What a beautiful arboretum Annika. The colours are quite glorious. I visited Bath many years ago. It is a beautiful place. We had a tour with the legendary Lord Bath. He was a great guide and such a character. 🌼

    • Annika Perry says:

      Brigid, I bet that was one memorable tour! My expectations of the city were high after everything I’ve read and seen – luckily I was not disappointed. Rather the reverse, the Roman Baths was so much more than the iconic green waters and the museum was fantastic. As for the Crescent, I literally skipped along part of the way! 😀 After two days in the city we needed nature and the arboretum was the perfect haven!

  2. Julie Holmes, author says:

    I’m late to the party, but wow, LOVE the pics! I think the National Arboretum of Westonbirt is going to be on my “places to see” (in autumn, especially)! Seventeen miles of walking paths?! I’m envious. Sooo beautiful! And the timing looks perfect–just in time to see the trees in full regalia. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Julie, never too late!!😀 Lovely to have you along and if you’re ever in the area I highly recommend Westonbirt … if you manage to go on a weekday there will be even less people! However, with so many paths we easily found tranquility off the main route…it was a treat for the soul and our eyes feasted away in awed silene. ‘Regalia’ is the perfect word!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Evelyn, thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment. This was a wonderful place and the autumn colours were amazing but I still think New England Fall would be stunning and out of this world by comparison… one day I have to visit America during this season!😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Robbie, the whole area surprised me! I hadn’t expected it to be so hilly, nor the landscape to be so beautiful. Westonbirt is astonishing and a fantastic end to our trip following two enthralling day in Bath!

  3. Sue Dreamwalker says:

    Dearest Annika.. These images were just stunning my friend.. And many thanks for taking me along with you as you walked around the woodland..
    The trees this year have been spectacular in their splendour.
    And I loved the quotes you chose to go with each image..
    Nothing beats walking among our giant ancient friends.. and I am a big Tree Hugger too.. 🙂
    Love and Blessings,
    The Sun is hanging on until the weekend… Make the most of it… I know I will be..
    Take care Annika… ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Sue, it’s been lovely to have you along on this walk, to celebrate the beauty of the trees! We’d make a right pair, hugging and patting the trees as we go … luckily my hubby is very forbearing during our visit! 😀 This autumn is glorious and feels like a blessing – I always feel that if we have relative warmth and sunlight until the clocks go back, I’m set for the winter months. The spectacle of trees in full autumnal colours continued in Sweden, where there is no need to visit an arboretum! Coming back home, I’m greeted by roses, germaniums in full bloom. So happy you liked the quotes as well … the visit entered and rested gently on my soul.

      The sun is still shining here … hope it is for you too and you’re able to enjoy the autumn days outside. hugs xx ❤️

    • Annika Perry says:

      Alison, Bath was amazing and exceeded all my expectations… I literally skipped round parts of the Crescent, was awed by the Roman Baths and then to visit this gem of an Arboretum was fantastic. We didn’t want to leave! 😀

  4. Roy McCarthy says:

    A long time since I was in Bath and indeed the town itself is great. Like others, I’ve never come across this place. I’d love to run through the trees for an hour or two, really get in touch with the tree spirits. I wonder if I’d be thrown out?

    • Annika Perry says:

      😀😀 Roy, I say go for it!! 😀 I’m sure people would embrace your exuberance… I seemed to be the only one walking around tree hugging and stroking – got some odd looks but the trees were calling out to me!

      Luckily I picked up a leaflet about Westonbirt at a local pub near Bath, a well-kept secret … until we got there and it was like a music festival with multiple files car parks. Oh, I’ve longed to go to Bath for years and was slightly wary it would disappoint; rather the opposite and it exceeded all my expectations!

  5. Behind the Story says:

    Oh, my gosh! That’s such a beautiful place. A love that first photo (among others). Do you know what kind of tree that last one is?

    You found wonderful quotes to go with your photos. I like this one (again among others): “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” John Muir Before we went on a cruise to Alaska, I read John Muir’s book Travels in Alaska. He’s not only a naturalist and a great thinker and wordsmith, he’s also extremely brave. His travels over the glaciers were fascinating and a little bit frightening.

    We have a lovely arboretum not far from here. You’ve inspired me to visit it soon.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Nicki, thank you so much for your wonderful comment! 😀 Wow! It must be truly amazing to visit Alaska, a real adventure and rather daunting whilst exhilarating. This John Muir quote had me looking into his life a bit and I am in awe of his travels, work, writing and yes, bravery.

      The last tree is a smaller version of the American fir trees on the west coast and since I long to see these, this smaller specimen got an extra special hug! (I have the full name of the tree at home on my computer and I’ll add here when I’m back from my trip to Sweden).

      I hope you have a chance to visit your local arboretum soon as this is a perfect time to visit. Have a wonderful time there! 😀

  6. Clare Pooley says:

    We always meant to visit Westonbirt when we lived for 18 months in Somerset but we never got round to it. I am so pleased you have shared your visit and I have seen how beautiful the arboretum is. Wonderful photos and I love the quotes you have found. Thanks so much, Annika!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Yeah! The first person here who has actually heard of Westonbirt! 😀 Once we got there it was so busy and obviously more well-known to those in the area. How typical that often one doesn’t get to look around places locally … I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit here via the post! I was astonished by the beauty of the whole area around Bath, the arboretum… stunning scenery and walking for hours amongst the trees was magical and soothing!

  7. Mike says:

    I have been to Bath a few times but never knew this place existed but having read your post this is definitely on my list next time I go. Your description is absolutely enthralling and you photographs absolutely fantastic. Absolutely brilliant and as for the autumn colours — wow!! And it must have taken awhile to find all those quotations which fit each picture perfectly. Thanks for sharing this it has made my day.
    Mike

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mike, thank you so much for your exuberant and warm comment! 😀 This is a place you would love and the colours, peace and tranquility are heavenly and awe-inspiring! I took SO many photos it was more a matter of choosing just a few to feature here. I’m so glad you liked the quotes as well … it did take some time to find them all but I enjoy this type of research and became carried away! Wow! So happy to have made your day! 😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jennifer, thank you so much … I loved taking photos in this glorious setting and it became a tricky matter of choosing just a few to feature here! 😀 I do hope you have a chance to visit sometime … very different from your coastal landscape but still stunning!

  8. roughwighting says:

    I’ve got shivers all over. YES, walking through nature soothes our soul and cures our ills. The quotes you found are absolutely perfect, Annika, and added to the shivers of delight. What a beautiful place you and your guy walked through, and what spectacular photos. And, may I add, so nice to see you back here in the blogosphere. ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Ahh…Pam, it’s lovely to be back and thank you for your wonderful and heartwarming comment. ❤️ I’m glad it was shivers of delight and I know what you mean … I was almost goosebumply with sheer joy on the day, we wandered in awed silence, just absorbing the atmosphere where trees reigned supreme! Being a writer I couldn’t just post the photos and I had a enriching couple of hours finding these quotes (and many more!).

  9. Baydreamer says:

    What a beautiful place, Annika, and I just love the gorgeous autumn colors, too. That quote from John Muir is a favorite, along with the quote by Paulo Coehlo. Breathtaking beauty, to say the least. Hugs, my friend!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Lauren, thank you so much for your wonderful and thoughtful comment … those two quotes are my favourites as well and although I’ve read many of Coehlo’s books, I had to look up and learn a bit about Muir – fascinating man and career! The beauty surrounding me that day was breathtaking, there was a quiet hush of reverence amongst most of the visitors, walking slowly in awe, looking, admiring, feeling of wholeness! I’m in Sweden for a few days and the colours of autumn here are striking and every day I feel blessed to be in the midst of the stunning landscape! Love & hugs xx ❤️

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much, Darlene! 😀 Perfect autumn days in such a location are heavenly and a boon to any keen photographer! Being a writer I had to find accompanying words … so glad you enjoyed both. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend and autumn! 🤗

  10. Jacqui Murray says:

    I miss this from our East Coast (I moved away 50 years ago). My daughter though always reminds me of the beauty of the changes.

    I love that Napoleon Hill quote. This is why that man was the poster child for inspiring success for decades.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jacqui, I’m glad you’re daughter has the chance to remind you about the Fall colours from the east coast … can’t you travel and see her during the season?

      Your comment about Hill had me intrigued as I must admit I came across this quote … I had to read up about him and what an interesting man and life and I can see what you mean.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jina, it was a beautiful area and I hadn’t expected it to be so hilly nor wooded. Bath exceeded all my expectations and Westonbirt was a wonderful unexpected discovery … it’s huge popularity shows that the majority of us long for nature and just want to enjoy the peace and beauty around us… Tutu summed it up with forests being the treasure of the world! So glad you liked the quotes too ..Paulo Coehlo is one of my favourite writers and he’s got a true gift!

        • Annika Perry says:

          Well, there’s definitely no excuse with such a similar background… I knew he was from South America but didn’t realise he,or you, were from Brazil! Could you read it in the original language or did he write in English?

          • Jina Bazzar says:

            I’m no longer in Brazil, though i come and go occasionally. Portuguese is my mother tongue and Coelho originally writes in portuguese. His works are all translated to multiple languages. I can’t read his books in portuguese , my screen reader (i’m blind) is programmed to read in english. though the alphabet is the same, the phonetics change.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Libby, you’re right, it was. Very special break and one that stays warm in our hearts! I hadn’t thought the previous days in Bath could be surpassed but nature definitely matched the Roman buildings & Museum! A unique and glorious place to witness autumn! Wish you a lovely weekend and hope you’re having a beautiful Spring!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Iris, thank you so much! 😀 It was a wonderful and exhilarating outing and I felt enveloped by autumn and its magic. It was a joy to snap away with such scenery and glad you liked them and the quotes. I’m currently in Sweden and if anything the foliage is even more stunning and all around me in the forest! 🍂Happy Weekend And Writing!

  11. G. J. Jolly says:

    Westonbirt is gorgeous. Autumn in the region in the US where I live usually has a lot of color in autumn but this year the colors are severely muted. I’m guessing it’s because of the huge amount of rain we got at the end of summer. Can leaves get waterlogged?

    • Annika Perry says:

      Glynis, you’re the third person here who has mentioned the more muted colours of the America Fall … that must be sad to see (or rather not see). I thought the severe heatwave was the cause, but I think too much rain can have the same effect. I’ve seen ‘waterlogged’ in house plants I’ve overwatered and it’s not pretty. Glad you got got to see a bit of Westonbirt and its autumn show here! 😀

  12. dgkaye says:

    Oh wow Annika. The photos are stunning and I love the little quotes you put beneath them. You couldn’t have picked a more beautiful time of year to visit! ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Debby, that’s exactly what we said – autumn is definitely the perfect magical time to visit the arboretum! Some people were muttering that there wasn’t much of that Fall on display and I looked around in disbelief … it was awash with reds/yellows/golds! So glad you enjoyed the photos and the quotes … the John Muir one captures my emotions of the visit exactly! Hugs xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      You’re right about that, Barbara! 😀 It’s been such a warm autumn that at times I’ve been confused about the season – seeing these trees set me right and we saw them on the first colder day for months! Just as it should be.

  13. D. Wallace Peach says:

    What a lovely post, Annika. Gorgeous photos of the trees and leaves, and I love the quotes that you picked out to go along with them. Autumn is definitely a time to walk outdoors and acknowledge nature’s amazing beauty. Thanks so much for taking me along on your walk. 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      So true that autumn is the season to head outdoors and revel in its beauty … summer is often too hot, winter too cold … this season is perfect and it was a magical day at Westonbirt absorbing nature’s display! Diana, thank you for coming along on this walk, enjoying the quotes and photos … it was hard to pick just a few to feature here from my happy snappy day at the arboretum! ❤️ Xx

  14. Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    In Southern California, autumn’s beauty is a whimper of its shouts in other places. Thank you, Annika, for taking me along on this wonderful visit. The photos are just amazing – hard to believe you aren’t a professional photographer – or are you? And I thank you for all the quotes about trees. I keep a file on my computer of tree quotes, observations, and poetry, so I added the few I didn’t already have there. This was a lovely way to greet the day. Good morning to you, even if it’s not morning where you are.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Good morning, Sharon and so happy to bring a reflective and joyful start to your day. I love the idea of a file about tree quotes, observations and poetry – I should have come to you for some advice! 😀 Glad there are one or two here for you to add to your collection. Ahhh….no I am not a professional photographer but I’m so chuffed you asked!! I’ve had an interest since young and I remember dearly my first ‘flip’ camera where the cover came over and became the handle! In those days one had to be careful of each shot as it cost so much to develop the films. Lovely to have you along for the walk here, Sharon and hope your whimper of a Fall becomes a burst of colourful displays … or can you travel further afield to witness them? Hugs xx

  15. delphini510 says:

    Annika, this is a stunning post. It is a celebration of colours and shapes of all kind. Nature is just unbeatable and any artist in any field must agree with me. To add these wonderful quotes is a wonderful idea and try as I did I can’t quite choose a favourite. Can they all be favourites?

    You have to go on breaks more often if the results bring us such treats.
    Thank you for sharing all this and you look a happy camper on the last photo.😊.

    miriam

    • Annika Perry says:

      Ahh…thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Miriam, 😀 Yes, the quotes can definitely all be your favourites… I wouldn’t be so mean as to make you choose! Now, which photo is your favourite … only kidding! 😀 Autumn such as this does feel like a form of celebration, the end of a glorious summer, the precursor to what I feel will be a cold winter, a colourful joyful fanfare of colours, shapes. How true that nature is the ultimate artist.

      Haha … yep, I was a ‘happy camper’, hugging, stroking, trees galore, bathing in the beauty. I do like mini breaks … so look out for more posts in the future! Hugs 🤗 xx

  16. hilarymb says:

    Hi Annika – lovely photos … I’ve never been to Westonbirt … and have always wanted to go – it looks gorgeous. Love the quotes you’ve given us too … cheers Hilary

    • Annika Perry says:

      Hilary, I’ve never been a ‘tourist’ in this part of the the U.K. so Westonbirt but totally unexpected… well worth a visit as you can guess from this post. One warning … at first we thought we’d arrived at a music festival!! There were so many cars (not unusually for weekends, we learnt) spread across fields. We still got in relatively quickly and off the main ‘thoroughfare’/pathways it was quiet and peaceful. Hope you get a chance to experience this arboretum yourself! 😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Haha…Anne, I wouldn’t be that mean! 😀😀 It is impossible to choose a favourite…however the huge cedar was particularly striking and so unusual – I couldn’t help but stop and stare at it!

      • Anne Mehrling says:

        Some trees are worth an extra look. The 200-year-old oak tree in our yard is much too large to hug, but I stretched my arms as far around as I could, just to say I had tried to hug it.

  17. the incurable dreamer says:

    “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” John Muir

    I LOVE this quote, Annika! Such gorgeous photos and inspirng quotes…thanks for sharing them! Hope you are doing well and are enjoying all the spice and colours of fall!! Big hug. xo

    • Annika Perry says:

      Tanya, this quote is wonderful and in so few words he encapsulates the experience of walking amongst trees! It’s just how I felt on the day!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos and quotes … who knew there were so many about forests! 😀 I’m very well thank you and currently in Sweden for a few days, putting everything to ‘bed’ for the winter … and the autumn here is stunning, relishing the ‘spice’ of the season! Hope all is well with you, Tanya …hugs xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Janice, I’m so glad you enjoyed the combination … it was a very dreamy outing and I couldn’t stop snapping photos! I love your observation of the leaves which looks like five combined!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Staci, it was a wonderful break and the longest we’ve had just the two of us alone since 2003! We were incredibly and rather childishly excited at the prospect and everything was perfect and blissful. This Sunday discovery was heavenly finale to our sojourn! 😀

  18. Jill Weatherholt says:

    Oh my! The tree over the Tutu quote is amazing, Annika. With so much heat and humidity this autumn, our leaves aren’t putting on much of a show. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us…the photos are gorgeous!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jill, that was my favourite tree… an American cedar and I’ve never seen anything like it! So glad you like it I!😀 It must be disappointing that the autum/Fall fanfare is failing a bit this year, it’s famous in the US. Here it seems to be just perfect … and I’m in Sweden at the moment and it’s stunning … no need to go to a National Park to see lots of trees! Hugs ❤️

  19. Adrienne Morris says:

    I grew up in a family of tree huggers. My brother loves trees so much it almost led to his wife divorcing him for planting so many on their property (he went a bit overboard on the project. 🙂 Some people i knew thought trees were a nuisance. We thought they were aliens.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Adrienne, I love your comment!! 😀😀 I can see why you thought they were aliens … walking in the forest at dusk in Sweden I see the most unusual beings/monsters/aliens … only to reassure myself it is the trees … I think! 😀 Oh, I can’t help but smile at your brother and his passion for trees. Is there too many? So glad it didn’t lead to a divorce. Trees have rather grown on me, as young it was all about the sea, rocks, moors. Now I tend to give them a friendly pat or hug … as I long to see the giant redwoods/sequoias of California, the American redwood in the last photo received s special hello from me! Wishing you a magical Fall! 🍂

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