"The best natural fireworks displays in Britain"
The brochure is not referring to a bunga api show here, but to the blaze of autumn colours in Westonbirt, the National Arboretum. Arboretum is a place where a variety of trees are cultivated for scientific, educational and ornamental purposes. In Malaysia, we have FRIM in Kepong. The only difference is in Westonbirt, we can take photos like nobody's business, but in FRIM there are charges for commercial photographers while photo-hobbyist have to report to the one-stop centre "to avoid problems with enforcement personnel" (as quoted from their website :P). Doesn't sound so pixman-friendly, eh? Sapa nak jawab tu...
Even though Westonbirt Arboretum was only 30 minutes away from Filton, we started out early in the morning to beat the crowd. Hmm... come to think of it, with an entourage of 20 adults and even more kids, we are THE CROWD! Heheh!
|All together now, say "Cis!" - pix credit: Syafiq Zaqrin|
Coming as a group, we managed to get discounted tickets: children below twelve paid 2 pounds each, our spouses, 6 pounds; while students (us ladies:)) paid 5 pounds only.
After paying for our tickets, the whole group made our way to Silk Wood. This particular section of the arboretum is best visited during autumn when the leaves of the Japanese Maple trees turn from green, to yellow, red and finally brown, displaying the best of the season's splendour.
This part of the arboretum was also doggie-friendly. So if you prefer a dog-free environment, the old arboretum would suit you better :).
|Some taking their time |
to enjoy the morning walk ...
|Others stop to pose for the camera ...|
|The kids were far ahead doing their activity...|
I was busy as usual ...
"... nak buat dokumentari National Geographic ke?!"
My husband would normally have toot-tooted but this time around he had no time to poke fun at me because he was hard at work ...
|... sketching a tree :P|
Masa nilah pulak sibuk melukis... I had to practically drag him to pose with me and the kids. The Japanese maple provided luxuriant red background :)
|Bakal-bakal Dr., InsyaAllah :) - pix credit: Asri|
Tengah syok ambil gambar, tiba-tiba bateri mampus lah pulak! Adoi!!! Never thought that this would happen to me!! I could still remember how I had sweetly declined when the Singaporean 'uncle' (elderly camera shop owner) tried to persuade me to buy an extra battery for my D5000, dismissing it as sales pitch. Huhuhu... baruku tahu ... :P. Luckily there was plan B (for Blackberry) :D. Some of the pictures taken with my Triple B ...
We exited Silk Wood at noon and had our lunch near the carpark. No pictures were taken of our picnic-cum-lunch as everybody (photographers even) was too famish to think of photos! After lunch, some of us went home while others continued their autumn trail at the old arboretum.
Although I was satisfied with the experience, I was a bit disappointed I couldn't snap as many photos as I had wanted. Luckily, another group of Malaysians went to the arboretum the next day and here are some fabulous pictures taken by my friend, Sarina :).
|Weeping willow?? Sujud ke bumi ala Lailatul Qadr???|
|Macam ular sawa lah pulak dahan ni. Nice one Ina :)|
|Reminds me of Zhang Yimou's cinematography :)|
Comments and Tips: Definitely a must-go place during autumn. However, you might not be able to cover the whole area in one visit. After all, it gets dark pretty early during autumn. Come early in the morning as there is bound to be a long queue in the afternoon. If you come in groups (10+), you save-up on ticket price. Don't forget to bring lots of food and water. Although there is a designated eating/picnic area near the arboretum entrance, it is good to bring along finger food, biscuits and chocolate to munch along the way. All that walking do make you hungry and thirsty, even in the cold autumn weather. Dress in warm, comfortable and nice clothes - you do need to look good in photos! :D Wellies or water-resistant boots keep your feet drier compared to sneakers. Sambil tu, bolehlah melaram dengan boots! :). Most important: don't forget to charge you camera's battery! :P.