The Harcourt Arboretum – a visit to the beautiful 130-acre site in Oxfordshire

Oxford City & Oxfordshire | Magazine 

the harcourt arboretum oxford

The arboretum is part of the University of Oxford’s Botanic Garden and Arboretum and is home to a diverse collection of trees and plants from around the world. The 130-acre site is located in the heart of Oxfordshire, approximately 6 miles (20-minute drive) south of the city of Oxford located in the village of Nuneham Courtenay.  

The Arboretum is open year-round and offers visitors a range of seasonal highlights throughout the year. In this article, we’ll explore some of the seasonal highlights at the Harcourt Arboretum.


The Arboretum’s collection of rhododendrons and azaleas also comes into bloom in the spring, providing visitors with a spectacular display of colourful flowers. The woodland areas are also home to a range of wildflowers, including bluebells, wood anemones, and primroses.

Spring is a magical time at the Harcourt Arboretum, as the gardens come to life with a riot of colour and new growth. One of the highlights of spring is the stunning display of magnolias, which flower in a range of vibrant colours, from pale pink to deep purple.


In the summer months, the Harcourt Arboretum is a verdant paradise, with lush foliage and a range of beautiful flowers. One of the highlights of summer is the stunning display of herbaceous borders, which feature a range of colourful and exotic plants.

The Arboretum’s collection of roses is also a highlight of the summer months, with fragrant blooms in a range of colours and varieties.


Autumn is a spectacular time at the Harcourt Arboretum, as the trees and shrubs burst into a blaze of colour. The Arboretum’s collection of maples and acers is particularly stunning in the autumn months, with fiery reds, oranges, and yellows.

The woodland areas are also home to a range of fungi and mushrooms, which provide a fascinating insight into the natural world. Visitors can also enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the Arboretum’s ponds and streams, which are home to a range of wildlife.


In the winter months, the Harcourt Arboretum takes on a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere, with stark branches and muted colours. Visitors can enjoy the Arboretum’s collection of winter-flowering plants, including witch hazel and winter jasmine.

The Arboretum’s collection of conifers and evergreens also provides a stunning backdrop in the winter months, with a range of textures and shades of green. Visitors can also enjoy the tranquillity of the glasshouses, which provide a range of different climates and plant habitats.

The Harcourt Arboretum offers a range of fun and educational activities for children, including Kids’ Explorer Backpacks and Geocaching. These activities are designed to engage children with the natural world, encourage them to explore the gardens and woodland, and learn more about the plants and animals that call the Arboretum home.

The Harcourt Arboretum is a unique and beautiful destination that offers visitors a range of seasonal highlights throughout the year. With its diverse collection of trees and plants, stunning displays of flowers, and peaceful surroundings, the Arboretum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in horticulture or simply looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating day out.


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