The Return To Wellwood Arboretum

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On Sunday 4th July last year, I took Lushele for a walk to Wellwood Arboretum in Cranleigh.

Wellwood Arboretum video

I have been there before, which you can read about here.

When we started the walk along the Downs Link path that leads to the arboretum, we saw that there was a race on. There were lots of people running down the path towards us.

The start of the race along the path of which we walked

We eventually got past the race and the crowds of people and enjoyed being amongst the quietness and stillness of nature along the path. It was nice to escape the human race and to be at one with nature.

Lushele taking a rest from our walk


Me and Lushele

It’s a fairly long way to walk, especially for Lushele, as she has little legs.

Me walking down the Downs Link

Lushele making her way down the Downs Link

We past a field of cows, and then I spotted the entrance of Wellwood Arboretum.

A field of Friesian cows

We entered the gate of Wellwood Arboretum passing the lake and saw that the café was open.

The entrance

Teas and snacks are open to weary walkers and cyclists who come across this hidden gem

The lake

Lushele by the entrance to Wellwood Arboretum

A metal skeleton was on his bike by the lake, I remembered him from my last visit there, he had not cycled far since the last time I saw him, I don't blame him.

The skeleton cyclist by the lake

We took our picture by a large tree, which had a sign on it for Robert Fortune’s Tea Hut.

Robert Fortune's Tea Hut

I believe that Wellwood Arboretum was created by Robert Fortune who was botanist and traveller. My great-grandfather George Ellis who lived in Ireland led a similar life. My great-grandfather used to own a seed company and plant nursary in Ireland, and he used to travel around the world to collect plants and seeds for his business.

We ordered some food from the tea hunt. The café staff were polite and very helpful, they gave us some history of the place. We ordered some salad and humus sandwiches with cold drinks.

The cafe

Me and Lushele then sat together by the lake to await our food and cold drinks. It’s a nice place to stop and rest on a long walk, its like finding a small oasis in the middle of the desert.

The view of the lake from where we sat

Sitting by the lake

Sat together

Whilst we awaited our food, we people watched, and saw people playing badminton and others sitting at tables by the cafe.

Badminton players

Other cafe visitors

We moved closer to the lake to sit together on a swinging sofa.

Sitting together on the swinging sofa

Our food then arrived. It was very tasty and the cold drinks were refreshing.

We watched some children fishing with their fishing nets. They had caught some fish and placed them in a large plastic box on the wooden decking by the lake.

After we finished our food and drinks we had a walk round the arboretum.

There was some great sculptures around the gardens. We liked the giant blue flower that we found. There were many different stone and wooden sculptures, one was of a couple embracing. Another was of a bat on a tree.

A Triffid?

Flower hugging is the new tree hugging

A pretty blue flower by another pretty blue flower

Flower power

Oh bum!

A bat in the tree is by me

One of the trees had unusual long and twisted roots.

Me being swallowed by the roots of the tree

We liked the clay man standing by a doorway, when we went past the doorway we came across a pond with a Buddha, and a tree with carved holes inside and mirrors on it.

A magic doorway guarded by a stone giant

What's behind the door?

A pathway is behind the door which leads to....

A pond


Me and the Buddha

An unusual tree

The buildings and workshops within the garden looked very nice and interesting too. It looks like an enjoyable place to do artistic courses for carving and sculpting, as well as being a quiet and relaxing place to stay for a break in the countryside.

A little man is sat on top of the chimney

One of the places to stay in

The workshop

The main house

We had a go on the swing and sat by the lake some more before we left the arboretum.

Just swinging

A barrow of laughs

We then walked back down the Downs Link path back the way we had come.

On the way we found someone had put their name 'Jez' on the path, which was made out of sticks.

Heading back home

Who is Jez?

We stopped off in a field to sit down and have a break. The field was quiet and remote, with just the sound of the birds in the trees and sky. It was quite romantic being in the field together, so we stayed there a while enjoying each others company out in the open air.

Sat in the field

After that, we headed back to my car and headed home.

It was a great day out to be amongst the Cranleigh countryside and to be at one with nature and creativity.

I'm not sure if Wellwood Arboretum had survied the recession, as their website is no longer online. I hope so, as it will be nice to visit the place again this summer too. I would like to stay there for a weekend sometime.

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