Daily activities

We offer a range of daily activities to help you explore and discover the Arboretum. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan your visit

Daily Act of Remembrance
Join one our knowledgeable guides to hear the history of the Arboretum and observe a two-minute silence in our Millennium Chapel. The silence is conducted at 11am everyday. It is appreciated if visitors are seated by 10.50am for the consideration of others.

Afternoon Welcome Talk
For those arriving after lunch, a 2pm ‘Welcome to the Arboretum’ talk is held daily in the Millennium Chapel. The talk is a repeat of that given at 11am, without the Act of Remembrance.

Far East Prisoners of War Talk
The Far East Prisoners of War Memorial Building is a museum in its own right and well worth a visit. Join one of our guides at 12noon outside the building for a short talk about  the servicemen and women who fought in the far east during WWII.  FREE

Shot at Dawn Talk
Held at 1.30pm each day, this moving talk highlights the story of the 306 soldiers shot at Dawn during World War I. FREE

 

sOMME 100

We will be commemorating the 141 days of the Battle of the Somme at the Arboretum with a daily programme of activities and events between the 1 July and 18 November 2016.

Daily Commemorations
We will be remembering those who fought each day as part of our Daily Act of Remembrance at 11am in the Millennium Chapel.

Battle of the Somme (1916) Film
We will be screening, with thanks to the Imperial War Museums, the Battle of the Somme in full every day in the Millennium Chapel at 2.30pm. The pioneering documentary, recorded in the early days of the battle in 1916, depicts both the preparations for and initial days of the battle. The silent film is accompanied by a musical score and lasts for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. An introductory video will also be shown prior to the film. Visitors are advised that the film has received a PG classification from the BBFC and contains images of war and real dead bodies.

World War I Trench Installation
Visit our replica World War I trench installation throughout the commemorations to learn more about the living and working conditions endured by those who served. World War I costumed interpreters will be onsite every Thursday between the 28 July and 1 September.

A Land Train shuttle service will operate between the Women's Land Army and Women's Timber Corps Memorial to our replica Trench Installation which will be located close to the Western Front Association Memorial. The service, which will cost £2 per one way journey or £4 per round trip, will depart on the hour from 10am - 2pm. The shuttle will return every 30 minutes between 10.30am - 2.45pm.

Somme 100 Visitor Art Project
A mass participative art project will commemorate the 19,240 British soldiers killed on the first day of the Battle. Visitors can contribute by decorating one or more of our 19,240 soldiers 12inch wooden soldiers which be installed on the Army Parade. The last soldier will be installed on the evening of the 18th November during our Sundown on the Somme Service.

 

WALKS, TOURS AND TRAILS 


Undiscovered Arboretum Buggy Tours
Our 150-acre site is full of treasures to be discovered, although some of these are a distance from our visitor centre. Join one of our expert guides on a buggy tour to ensure you don’t miss out on visiting Watersmeet, the Christmas Truce Memorial and the Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove, plus many more. 50 minutes. £5 per person, £2 per children (5-12 years).


Guided Walks
The stories behind our memorials and the symbolism within them are fascinating. Our volunteer-led walks provide you with the chance to hear some of the best anecdotes and tales of heroism and comradeship from 1914 to the present day. 45 minutes. £3.00 per person.  11.30am and 2.30pm


Land Train
Complete with pre-recorded commentary, the Arboretum’s land train is an excellent way to take in a large proportion of the site’s fascinating memorials. Each train has wheelchair access and can comfortably sit 54 people. We recommend pre-booking for groups of 10 or more people wishing to travel together as the train is very popular. 50 minutes. £5 per adults, £2 per children (5-12 years). The land train departs every 30 minutes from 9.30am and 3.30pm.

From the 1 July to the 18 November a Land Train shuttle service will operate between the Women's Land Army and Women's Timber Corps Memorial to our World War I replica Trench Installation which will be located close to the Western Front Association Memorial. The service, which will cost £2 per one way journey or £4 per round trip, will depart on the hour from 10am - 2pm. The shuttle will return every 30 minutes between 10.30am - 2.45pm. Find out more about the Trench installation and our programme of Battle of the Somme Centenary activities here.

Top Tip... If you’ve not visited before, this is an excellent way to explore first time!


WWI Trails

To commemorate the centenary years of World War, we have three World War I trails available for visitors wanting to discover more about our WWI-related memorials including the Shot at Dawn and Gallipoli  Memorials.

  • Self-guided Shot at Dawn Trail £2.50
  • Self-guided Poppy Field Memorial £2.50
  • Children’s World War I Discovery Trail £2.50


Victoria Cross Recipients Trail
Many of our memorials have links to those who have received one of the most prestigious rewards for bravery, the Victoria Cross. Our Victoria Cross Recipients trail guides you around some of our memorials which celebrate the most fascinating stories of heroism and valour. £2.50.

Children’s Animal Trail
The memorials in our grounds are full of symbolism. Our Children’s Animal Trail will guide younger visitors around just some of the memorials with animal symbolism in there designs. £2.50

"Our short visit this afternoon was made extremely interesting by the helpful and informative guides. Thank you. It is clear they enjoy being there." Sandra