Pre-booking Statement

Updated 25th April 2022

From 03 May, prebooking will no longer be essential. To ensure we continue to offer the best visiting experience as well as protect our landscape, this year pre-booking will be essential to visitors and members to visit Westonbirt Arboretum for these key dates only:

  • Bank Holiday Weekends including Thu 2 – Sun 5 June and Sat 27 – Mon 29 Aug in 2022.
  • Autumn - 01 Oct - 13 Nov
  • Christmas - 24 Dec – 02 Jan inclusive.

When visiting outside of these periods, we will still operate a pre-booking system for those who wish to use it but it will be optional.

Forestry England and The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum will regularly review these dates so for up-to-date information and to prebook, please visit forestryengland.uk/westonbirt or fowa.org.uk/prebook

Members please continue to show your active membership card or purchase confirmation email to Visitor Services to gain access into the arboretum at all times; along with your prebooking confirmation if applicable. Please note that the barriers at the Welcome Building are no longer in operation.

FAQs

Why is it necessary to have pre-booking at all?

The pre-booking system ensures that we can guarantee sufficient parking, avoid congestion on the roads and reduce the risk of traffic accidents. Nearby residential areas are not therefore adversely impacted by our presence. We can also guarantee no wasted journeys and efficient processing at the Welcome Building.

The booking system:
•    helps us control the number of people coming to enjoy Westonbirt Arboretum.
•    spreads visitors more evenly.
•    reduces the risk of congestion and having no parking available.
•    allows for direct communication for planned and unforeseen changes.
•    it helps us ensure we can have the right amount of people to offer help and serve customers in the restaurant and shop.
•    protects the trees and footpaths from concentrated footfall.
•    improves the visitor experience at peak times

Therefore, at busy times, to allow for better management of the site and facilities, we will bring back pre-booking. We appreciate your patience during these times. 

Do I need to prebook? 

Until Monday 02 May, you will need to prebook to Westonbirt Arboretum, to ensure we offer the best visitor experience. 

From Tuesday 03 May 2022, pre-booking will no longer be essential except for these key dates:

-    Bank Holiday Weekends including Thu 2 – Sun 5 Jun and Sat 27 – Mon 29 Aug in 2022.
-    Autumn - 01 Oct - 13 Nov
-    Christmas - 24 Dec – 02 Jan

Can I still pre-book if I want to?

If you would like to pre-book, we are intending to continue to offer this option for both members and day visitors who would like to continue. We will be reviewing the level of demand for this option.
How will I know whether I need to pre-book? 

Our website will be constantly updated, and we will also communicate with you via emails and social media. To keep up to date, please sign up to our newsletter.

Why can’t we implement the change immediately?

As these are significant changes, we want to ensure we can implement them smoothly. We are also expecting the Easter and May Bank Holiday period to be busy and feel it would be better to make a change at a quieter period on 03 May.

Why do members have to book when you bring pre-booking in for those periods? 

With 39,000 members, during our busier times, pre-booking helps with parking and to reduce the risk of congestion on the roads.  Keeping pre-booking for these times is a practical decision with many benefits to members, visitors, volunteers, and staff and is in place, to ensure the longevity of Westonbirt Arboretum. We appreciate your patience during this time.

Why is it necessary to have pre-booking at Christmas?

The period between Christmas and New Year is often our second busiest time of the year, yet it occurs at a time when we can rarely use our overflow field due to poor ground conditions, so we are limited to using our existing hard surface parking which is no more than 500 spaces. For this reason, we believe pre-booking will enable us to manage the traffic and car park effectively at this time. 

What sort of improvements are you planning for pre-booking system?

We are trying to make pre-booking easier for everyone and to address equality issues. We undertook an internal equality assessment to ensure our pre-booking system was accessible to all, and so: 

•    For those who don’t have access to the internet, we have a booking by phone option, Monday to Friday. Visitors can call Customer Relations to book their slot on 0300 068 0400. 
•    We are looking into making some adaptations for those who need extra support with their arrival. We will reserve a number of tickets each day that are classed as accessible tickets. These all-day tickets will enable access at any time of day thereby removing pressure to arrive within a specific window. Visitors will need to contact Customer Relations either by phone or email in the first instance to register but will then have free access to book from this pool of tickets in the future.

There are no completion dates for these changes currently. 

How do I book a mobility scooters and wheelchairs? 

Mobility scooters will be pre-bookable online. We recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment, however you can also book by phone with our customer relations team on 0300 068 0400 or, if available, pick one up when you arrive. Please be aware, these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. You do not need to prebook your ticket to book a scooter. We will update the website with all the finer details in due course. We appreciate your patience.