The Lovell Quinta Arboretum, Swettenham, Cheshire

Sir Bernard Lovell is well-known for founding the Jodrell Bank Radio IMG_2257Telescope.  But he also developed the Lovell Quinta Arboretum from open grassland.  It consists of 28 acres and has 2,500 trees and shrubs including 2 National Collections; there are 12 and a half acres of wild wood, a lake and meadows.  Tucked away in the pretty village of Swettenham, deep in the Cheshire countryside, the arboretum is situated behind the Swettenham Arms (perfect for a pint afterwards).

We visited on a Sunday morning when the arboretum was still thick with dew and, except for a couple of dog walkers, very quiet.  There’s a large car-park directly in front of the pub; direct access behind it leads you straight into the arboretum.  The arboretum is entrusted to the Tatton Garden Society and entry is free for members.

IMG_2263There are two suggested coded walks to try but, we rambled around in our own time, enjoying the peace and quiet.  We headed to the hebe collection which has over 100 species in trial beds planted by the Hebe Society.  From here we walked to the viewpoint which overlooks the Region of the River Dane and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  After pausing to take in the views we wandered in a circular direction through an avenue of trees and back.

IMG_2266We enjoyed our first visit to the arboretum and we will certainly be returning to explore it further.  It is one of Cheshire’s hidden gems.

This visit was in September 2014.  For prices, opening times and further information go to: https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/gardendetails?gardenid=444

 

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