About the garden
Castle Howard Arboretum Trust
The gently diverse landscape of the Yorkshire Arboretum occupies 128 acres, adjacent to Castle Howard, in the heart of the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Laid out by designer James Russell from 1979, its grand spaces are home to an impressive collection of more than 7,000 trees ranging from former parkland veterans to recent introductions from expeditions led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Edinburgh.
An interactive map on the arboretum’s website enables the collection to be explored remotely and for highlights to be picked before visiting – perhaps a fine oak, the Mexican firs and pines with huge cones, or beautiful groves of birches. This is a parkland arboretum where everything has enough space to grow to its full potential. In spring blossoming trees are complemented by multitudes of bulbs, including huge drifts of blue camassias. In summer wildflowers and waving grasses, parted by sinuous paths, make an idyllic scene while rich colours abound through the autumn.
The lake was restored in 2018 and is now circled by an all-weather path. Other ponds and a large area of meadow create a site rich in native wildlife, with thousands of wild orchids, rare fungi and birds such as barn owls and occasional kingfishers can be spotted – peacocks and guinea fowl also roam the site. With its core values of ‘Inspiration, Education, Conservation’, the arboretum is committed to promoting the benefits and importance of trees and the wider natural world. Walks, talks and events of interest to everyone from the general public to specialist horticulturists are held throughout the season.
For children, there are holiday activities, trails and a woodland playground to explore, in addition to the education programme for school groups. The Arboretum Café enjoys an enviable reputation for excellent home-made food. Dogs on leads are welcome.