Harcourt Arboretum

The best collection of trees in Oxfordshire

Reference | ETTAHA01

Distance to Oxford City Centre | 5.5 miles

  swipe for more images  


Harcourt Arboretum, in the village of Nuneham Courtenay, has the best collection of trees in Oxfordshire set within 130 acres of historic picturesque landscape.

In 1835, Archbishop Vernon Harcourt commissioned artist and landscape designer William Gilpin to create an eight-acre Pinetum and Serpentine Ride in the parkland next to Nuneham House, where the Harcourt family lived. The Serpentine Ride is a grassy path that defines the layout of the Arboretum, and guides visitors along a winding route among beautiful glades which include collections of flowering trees and shrubs. Between May and August, this area is filled with a spectrum of dramatic colours, particularly while rhododendrons and azaleas are in flower, and is a favourite spot for small birds and dragonflies.

Visitors can discover trees from around the world growing alongside tranquil British woodland and open meadows including the magnificent giant redwoods which arrived from California in the late 1850s.

Just as integral as the exotic plants collections are the native habitats that make up the native woodland areas. There are three main areas of woodland at Harcourt Arboretum: a working coppice woodland of birch, hazel and sweet chestnut; a mature woodland of oak, lime and ash; and a recently established woodland of almost 14,000 native trees that were planted in early 2008, called Palmer’s Leys.

67 acres of parkland and wildflower meadows

The parkland and wildflower meadows provide a glorious open space for visitors to explore delicate wildflowers found among the grasses. Meadows like these are important for sustaining populations of native UK wildflowers, some of which are now vulnerable or threatened. They also play an support a diversity of wildlife, where visitors are likely to see common residents such as rabbits and red kites, as well as deer, hares and stoats in these areas of the Arboretum.

Make the most of your day at Harcourt Arboretum

The Arboretum is a fantastic place for a family visit, with lots of space to run around and exciting habitats to explore. Bring a picnic and enjoy a day in nature!  Specials events for all the family are run throughout the year – for full details of what’s on, visit the official website here.

Buy your entry tickets for Harcourt Arboretum

Entry tickets for Harcourt Arboretum can be purchased on the day. Visitors wishing to purchase e-tickets can purchased them online and must be brought to the event, either on mobile phone or in printed format.  To buy e-tickets click here.


  • The Arboretum has been part of the Botanic Garden since 1963 and contains some of the finest conifer collections and some of the oldest redwoods in the UK
  • Set in 130 acres of historic picturesque landscape
  • A fantastic place for a family visit – bring a picnic and enjoy a day in nature!
  • Entry tickets available on the day or purchase e-tickets in advance


  • 01865 610305
  • Oxford Lodge,
    Peacock Gate,
    OX44 9PX
  • General Enquiries
University of Oxford Logo


Note: As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.

Botanic Garden beautiful flowers

You may also like...

Oxford Botanic Garden

Founded in 1621, the Oxford Botanic Garden is the UK’s oldest botanic garden and occupies a world-class position in terms of its history and academic location. Its mission is to share the scientific wonder and importance of plants with the world.