At the start of the year I created a large list of places to explore around us. I have been a bit slack at crossing them off, but we wanted to explore somewhere new last weekend. So I got the list out and picked out somewhere in The New Forest.  Having The New Forest on our doorstep means we are only a 20 minute drive away and your on the edge of The New Forest.

So Blackwater Arboretum was our choice! It sounded really interesting, with a sensory trail, and a tall tree trail. Perfect for kids, and it sounded a great place. 

Blackwater Arboretum was super easy to find, with a large sign at the entrance and a good sized car park to park in. There is a suggested donation for the car parking. With a toilet block, and on the day we visited an ice cream van.  

There are various places you can take a walk from here, with 2 trails to choose from and different starting points. Check out the map when you arrive. Today I am going to write about The Blackwater Arboretum Heartwood Trail. 

You can start this from the main Blackwater Arboretum car park, and head through the arched wooden gate up the stoney path. 

Here you will find a map on the route to take through Blackwater Arboretum. Here you will find a selection of different types of trees on the route around. Many are trees that I haven’t seen before, or have never even heard of! 

With little benches dotted around to sit, look out for the picnic bench as I only saw one! However in the drier weather you could have a nice picnic within the trees. Also there are plenty of benches and BBQs to hire up at the main car park area. 

This trail at Blackwater Arboretum is a sensory trail, the trail takes you through a different selection of trees which all feel very different, look different and smell. So it was great to let the kids get involved and let them explore.  

There are 6 main tress on the trail to find, however lots of the trees are labelled, these 6 have a large name block by them, so nice and easy for the younger kids to find.

Blackwater Arboretum was so peaceful, it wasn’t a big walk which suited us that day, however we probably spent about 1.5hrs there walking around. The kids played with sticks, made fern hairbands and some lovely games together. 

It wasn’t just the trees they were finding, get them to look on the ground and find things too. 

Some of the tress were pretty impressive, they were so tall and I’m not sure my kids have even seen tress that tall before!

It was lovely being the start of Autumn as the leaves are all changing colour, the floor covered in golden leaves and with such a mix of trees it looked so pretty. I can imagine whatever time of year it is, Blackwater Arboretum will look stunning and a lovely place to visit. 

You can take your dog too, Gus loved his run through the tress!

We will be back, but next time we will take the Tall Trees Trail and go and explore the tress that have been there since 1859! 

blackwater arboretum in The New Forest is a great family walk in the new forest. A sensory trail for kids to explore the touch and feel of all the different trees from around the world


Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful visit. I love the outdoors and green spaces like this. I will add it to my list of places to visit

    • I wouldn’t have realised how lovely it was when driving by, we will be back!

  2. What an impressive place, I am not too far from Blackwater Arboretum either and would love to explore one day

    • Something lovely about Autumn walks, the start of some lovely months ahead

  3. You photos speak volumes, it looks so beautiful there. I can’t think of a better place for a sensory walk than the New Forest. I’m reading this on the back of seeing a news article today on the benefits of outdoor space for kids and how the old “go and play outside” thing our parents used to say may actually have some real mileage to it – though we already knew this! Kids have a great understanding and love of nature that we somehow forget with age. I love the stick play and fern hairbands, this is how growing up should be.

    Thank you for sharing your visit on #CountryKids

    • Thank you, you are 100% right and it’s so nice to see them playing like it. Simple outdoor play, and something we really try and have at the weekends. Everyone is so much happier

  4. Pinned! There’s a lot to see on this walk through the autumnal woods, perfect for this time of year. I like it that they label the trees as there are often unusual ones that I’m not sure about! We live near Westonbirt Arboretum and so I’ve never been to Blackwater – it’s on the list now! #Countrykids

    • Ah just Googled Westonbirt Arboretum and that looks stunning too. We are on holiday near there next year, so thank you!

  5. Ah such a beautiful part of the world there’s nothing like roaming free in the woods – just looking like this wants to make me get away from my keyboard and out into nature!

    • The New Forest is stunning, some days I would happily walk around here all day

    • Thank you, I bet you do crave it and hunt out places to explore like this

  6. Arboretum’s are fantastic places to visit and great for educating our children. Thank you for sharing your experience. #CountryKids

    • I don’t think I’ve ever visited one with the kids before, I will be hunting them out now!

  7. Looks like a great time. We all love to get off on an adventure into the forests. Lovely photos 🙂

  8. Looks like you had a fantastic day out. I love places like this especially as I work in a busy city center so it’s great to have a bit of escapism to the woods!

  9. What gorgeous photographs of a stunning place. I’ve seen the sign a few times, but never stopped to visit. I definitely will now! #countrykids

    • Ah thanks! Yes worth a stop, I’ve never heard of it so it was a lovely find for us. We will be back!

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