I would like to welcome you to have a stroll in our beautiful grounds here at West Lodge Park. We have the National collections of Hornbeams (Carpinus betulus cv) and Swamp Cypress (Taxodium distichum) as well as over 800 species of trees from around the world.
The 35 acres surrounding the hotel form part of the Enfield Chase, an oasis of open space, wonderful views, and peace and quiet within the M25.
Andrew Beale, Managing Director
(Admission £2.50 payable at reception)
The Beale Arboretum is open to the public twice a year in aid of the National Gardens Scheme. This charity, whose patron is Her Majesty the Queen, is responsible for the organisation throughout England and Wales for the opening of 2,300 gardens, the majority of which are private and not normally open to the public. The proceeds of the scheme benefit Macmillan Nurses, District Nurses, the National Trust and gardeners' charities. The Open Days at West Lodge Park are popular events usually attended by several hundred people, with guided tours by experts during the afternoon and light refreshments available.
Guided tours will be available or Self Guide Tour Sheets will be supplied if you would rather wander round the gardens on your own.
Entrance: £4.00 per person (children free)
Afternoon teas will be available on the Terrace, or in the lounge throughout the afternoon.
In addition the Gardens are open to the public Monday - Friday afternoons from April to October the Arboretum is open to the public from 2pm to 5pm. No guided tours are available on these afternoons, but descriptive leaflets are available from reception and teas are available in the hotel from £8.50 per person.
The Beale Arboretum consists of a large and interesting collection of trees. There are some 800 different varieties, many are established, but a large number have been planted in the last 50 years.
We have the Plant Heritage National Collections of Carpinus betulus cv (Hornbeam), and Taxodium (Swamp Cypress), as well as a planned third National Collection of Catalpa (Indian Bean Tree).
A number of our champion trees are now recorded in the Tree Register of the British Isles (Beale Arboretum, Registered Collection no.335).
The Arboretum has received wide publicity for its beauty and interest, having been featured in The Times, The Sunday Express, Country Life, Gardener's World, The New York Times, The Radio Times and The Royal Horticultural Society Journal.
The best times of year for a visit are in the spring (May and early June), and autumn (October).
The trees are contained in the 35 acre estate of West Lodge Park Hotel in Hadley Wood on Cockfosters Road (A111) just one mile south from exit 24 of the M25.
The cost for visitors is £2.50 for adults and free for children payable at reception, but free of charge for everyone if you have a drink or meal in the bar, lounge or restaurant at the hotel, or if you are a resident in the hotel or attending a function or conference.
Private conducted tours of the arboretum for groups (minimum 10 persons, no maximum) can be arranged if booked in advance, normally on weekdays.
The walk round the trees usually takes one and a half hours, and is taken by the Managing Director Andrew Beale or the Estates Manager Grant Cook.
The charge for these conducted tours is free midweek, and £3.50 per person at weekends. We recommend you organise tea at the hotel before or after your group tour - the prices are as follows:
Newby loose leaf tea or Café du Monde cafetière coffee
2 warm scones with Devonshire clotted cream and Tiptree jam
Newby loose leaf tea or Café du Monde cafetière coffee
3 sandwich fingers: Cucumber, Scottish smoked salmon, Hertfordshire free range egg & cress
2 warm scones with Devonshire clotted cream and Tiptree jam
4 seasonal cakes
(as the West Lodge Park Afternoon Tea, plus a delicious glass of Taittinger Rosé Champagne)
The charge is payable in advance and the same option should be chosen for all the party.
All bookings should be made to:
PA to the Managing Director
West Lodge Park,
Tel: 020 8216 3904
The Arboretum Guide brochure...
Plant a tree...
Summer 2014 garden notes...
Spring 2014 garden notes...
Dear Mr Beale,
My friends and I have truly enjoyed today’s tour of the Arboretum, and we have certainly learnt a lot, although we may have forgotten some of the complicated names! Nonetheless, I have already purchased the Collins book. I will take it with me when coming next to West Lodge Park and I will use it to look closely at your beautiful trees. Although I have been coming to your hotel several times before, I must admit that I have now a very different view of the park and an even greater respect for these amazing giants.
Often, we should learn to take the time to appreciate the diversity of nature and leave our virtual world behind us.
Thank you for your time and for sharing your enthusiasm with us.
Mrs Valerie Kelly
We just wanted to thank you for your kindness and generosity in organising our visit to West Lodge for my parents Golden Wedding Anniversary. They both thoroughly enjoyed it, as we all did. The tea was delicious and I have never seen my father eat so many scones! The tour of the Arboretum was absolutely fascinating, it really did open up a new appreciation of trees and we were all inspired. Your knowledge of the subject was both impressive and remarkable.
With enormous thanks once again
Thank you so much for supporting The National Gardens Scheme and for the generous contribution you sent. I hope you had a sunny day. We were so lucky early in the year when all the snowdrop gardens were open – it was wonderfully sunny. Then we had all the rain and then all the warmth – a gardener’s dream.
Our first Festival weekend last year gained some really good publicity for the NGS and has helped to put us on the map as a fund raiser and grant giver – so few people have ever heard of us outside the gardening world. The Festival weekend is 7th & 8th June this year and hopefully the weather will be better than it was last year for the Festival.
Both the National Gardens Scheme and the charities we help are enormously grateful and, as a garden owner myself, I know just what is involved in opening a garden. It is hard work, but I hope the results, both in terms of pleasure given and results achieved, more than compensate.
Thank you again and again,
Hon County Organiser – London
NGS Gardens open for charity
Dear Mr (Andrew) Beale
On behalf of the Friends of Clinton Baker, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you once again for a fascinating and informative tour when we visited your Arboretum recently. I must also apologise for the delay in writing, due to illness.
Our group thoroughly enjoyed their visit and we particularly enjoyed learning a little about each of the interesting trees in your collection.
In view of your recommendation to see the Arboretum in its Autumn glory, many of our party have noted it and will no doubt be making their own arrangements to take afternoon tea and view the trees again.
Friends of Clinton Baker Pinetum.
Dear Mr. Cook
My daughter, son, granddaughter and I visited the arboretum last Thursday, on the anniversary of my husband's death. I wanted to let you know how lovely it was to see the Liquidambar in leaf and to say how grateful I am to you for arranging for the plaque to be made and placed next to the tree. It was just what I wanted and the tree is in a perfect position overlooking the countryside.
Thank you so much.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that we can visit the tree at any time or do I have to ring the hotel first.
With best wishes
Thank you for such a very special occasion on Tuesday – and weren’t we lucky with the weather?
It was such a pleasure to meet everyone and to see the new planting and hear about your 50 year avenue which is a marvellous project.
I feel very privileged to have been included on such an auspicious occasion.
Thank you again - you certainly got Christmas off to a good start.
Happy Christmas and all the best for 2014.
Chairman - National Garden Scheme
There are occasions when a written letter is preferable to more recent forms of media, and the 50th Arboretum Anniversary is one of them. As ever, you arranged the event with perfection, so I for one felt that it fully met the significance of the day. Thank you for your generosity. I am sure that Mr. Ted too would have wholeheartedly approved. You have a good team that should ensure that it continues to mature in the style that was intended those many years ago.
1963 was a time when local and international affairs were in similar turmoil to those prevailing today so it is strangely gratifying that an ill-starred road proposal should provide the impetus for an inspired idea. I hope that I left the impression of a confidence and vision that was there in the mid 20th century, so enabling the two of us to create a living monument which had the potential of evolving in succeeding years.
Your later acquisition of the freehold was the crowning achievement.
I know that is what the Arboretum’s founder wanted, and I am grateful to have been a part of it.
May the coming years be as successful as the past. I hope to follow your fortunes for some time!
NCCPG (National Council of the Conservation of Plants & Gardens)
The London Group
A note to thank you once again for inviting me to your celebration. I did enjoy the tour and, naturally, the delicious lunch – A Red Letter Day!
I was most impressed by the dedication shown to the Arboretum by Grant and Paul. Grant has certainly vastly increased his arboreal knowledge since I first met him.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.
The National Gardens Scheme
Thank you so much for offering shelter to our bedraggled group of visitors – it was such a lovely gesture and really made for a memorable ending to an unforgettable afternoon. Two of the party were staying overnight and it must have given them an even greater appreciation of your hospitality.
Grant is a true ‘stalwart’ – his tour was so gripping, that despite thunder, hail and torrential rain, he was reluctant to give in. Please send him our thanks and admiration.
With warmest good wishes
Barnet – Hertfordshire
Dear Mr. Cook
Thank you so much for your help with Stephen’s tree, as you know he was highly delighted.
You were such a good sport in doing the surprise, and the photos which you took for us have been widely admired and enjoyed.Yours sincerely
I wanted to send a sincere thank you for a very interesting Arboretum tour this afternoon. Mum and I really enjoyed the tour and would thank you for your knowledge which you so generously shared with us. We both loved the beautiful trees in your wonderful arboretum.
We also enjoyed the delicious afternoon tea too!!Thank you again
West Lodge Park has had a very special place in our hearts for the past 11 1/2 years. My husband and I had our Wedding Reception there; whenever we are in the country we always endeavour to stay at West Lodge Park. We always celebrated Mother's Day, birthdays, Christmas, attended Concert Dinners, Burns Night, Summer Jazz evening etc as well at your establishment. Over the years we have had 3 trees planted (1) Rita Donnelly RIP (my Mother) we had her ashes interned there; (2) Gerald Cox (Father-in-law) and Grace Cox (Grandmother) (3) for my husband and I.
The reason I am writing to you is to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciate to a member of your staff, Grant Cook. Unfortunately due to the adverse weather conditions experienced in the UK my Mother's tree sadly died. Grant has now replaced that tree and kindly sent me a photo of it. I cannot express how happy I was to receive that photo especially as we live in Dubai. Grant is a credit to your establishment and goes above and beyond the call of duty. I really appreciate everything that Grant has done for us, and would be very grateful if you would pass on our thanks to him.Regards
Thank you so much for sending me a photo of Mum's new tree; it looks great. It was such a shame that so many trees died owing to the bad weather experienced in the UK.
On behalf of my husband, brother and myself we wish to express our appreciation for the excellent work you and your team have done in tending to the grounds at West Lodge Park. As you know when we are in the UK we always make a point of visiting West Lodge Park and if time allows we love to walk in the grounds. There is no mistaking your love for your work.Thanks again.
Thanks to you for the voucher which you kindly gave me last Christmas. Peggy and I enjoyed the hospitality of West Lodge Park on Tuesday of this week. We both fully appreciated the good food and ambience.
Naturally we took a walk around the arboretum and felt it was deserving of a good attendance on the Open Day. It is encouraging to know that it is in good hands and fulfilling Mr. Ted’s expectations.
I left a small Aralia Elata, which being of modest size at maturity could fill a niche somewhere in the collection and possibly be a second generation.
We do hope that you and your family are keeping well and that despite the difficult economic climate the hotel is holding its own.Again, our thanks for your kindness.
Berkhamstead U3A Garden club
Dear Mr Beale
We are writing to let you know how much we enjoyed the tour of the Arboretum with you yesterday, and the subsequent afternoon tea, and look forward to more visits in the future.Yours sincerely
Berkhamstead U3A Garden club
Dear Mr Beale
We were left totally amazed from our visit today: such superb trees and such a lovely landscape as well. We were lucky with the weather because we could see the trees in glorious colour, and we have all left with good ideas of what we could plant in our - somewhat - small gardens. You had such an extensive knowledge of your arboretum - and never once looked at your book!
I think it would be a good idea to visit again at a different season, possibly in the spring, as we would get a completely different experience then.
Thank you also for your hospitality. Nine of us enjoyed your sandwiches and drinks, three having to leave for various reasons.Once again, many thanks
On behalf of the members I would like to thank you for a most enjoyable evening. They all very much enjoyed your talk about the history and development of West Lodge and the arboretum which was so informative and amusing and it was enhanced by the excellent slides.
We thought you would like to know that the feedback we received from members was that all of them thoroughly enjoyed the evening and several will be visiting West Lodge this Autumn.
Thank you againWith best wishes
Potters Bar U3A
I just wanted to thank you very much for arranging yesterday's visit for our garden group. We enjoyed it very much so please pass on our thanks to Andrew for such an enthusiastic and informative tour. It was clearly something he is passionate about. Everyone enjoyed it and is keen to make more visits to see the changing seasons.
Also thank the restaurant staff who were so accommodating and cheerful.
Thank you again,Best wishes,
25th August 2012
Field Meeting – West Lodge Park
Now that is what we call a really good Field Meeting.
Whilst I had hoped the occasion would have attracted a few more attendees twenty was a comfortable number to escort around and keep them in a compact group. Your virtually unbroken commentary was first class and I know that everybody including Henry! were fascinated with the information they heard. They were also most impressed with the wide range of trees and obvious care that had been applied in creating the arboretum. Additionally, considering the conditions we have experienced this year, the grounds were generally in very good shape.
The country is indeed very fortunate that you have applied so much enthusiasm and professionalism to building up a unique collection which is clearly in very safe hands. On behalf of the Society and our members thank you very much indeed for giving up your time and for providing such a worthwhile tour.
The refreshments afterwards were well received and your staff were most kind.Yours sincerely Paul Akers
Hertfordshire Gardens Trust AGM at W.L.P.
I was delighted that a good number of people turned up last night for your Arboretum tour, and I received many comments on your knowledge and enthusiasm for the trees. People were also very impressed to know how long the family business had been going (somebody said "one up against the Walducks").
The Lancaster Room made an excellent venue for the A.G.M., and it was great to have the J.E. for people's picnic suppers. All in all, the best possible outcome for a wet evening.
My intention was to show W.L.P. to a selection of people who did not know it before and to leave them with a good impression of it. In that, we certainly succeeded.
Christopher Melluish has already e-mailed me to thank for a most successful event, and said that he will be writing to you.Many thanks for having the H.G.T.
3rd July 2012
You were all so kind & generous to the members of the Hertfordshire Garden Trust yesterday. Thank you very much indeed.
The tour around the arboretum was absolutely fascinating although 1½ hours was not nearly enough. We will come again.
With my best wishes and repeated thanks on behalf of us all.Christopher Melhuish
9th July 2012
Just a note – belated I’m afraid – to say thank you for your excellent guided tour of your Arboretum last Monday evening. I am now looking at trees as I have never looked before.
What a stalwart you were to carry on despite the weather. It certainly did not dampen your enthusiasm which was infectious.
Many thanks also for allowing us to picnic in comfort. All much appreciated.
YoursJeremy & Claire
I would just like to say a big 'thank you' for organising everything for us on Saturday.
The day was an emotional one but it was a very nice day with some of the family there to say our emotional 'goodbye'.
Everyone said what an appropriate place it was for dad, and we are sure he would have been happy with our choice, especially with the connection he had with the location and everyone he worked with.
He also had a house next to the river near Newmarket and loved it there, so hopefully being close to the water will 'please him'!.
Hope to see you sometime in the future, perhaps when I'm sitting on the bench reflecting!!.
Thanks againKaren x
What a glorious time we all had on Sunday afternoon for the National Garden event.
The Arboretum is spectacular: the colours, the variety of trees and the setting, all made for an uplifting and informative afternoon. We were in a party led by Grant, who enabled us to view trees in a totally different manner. He was extremely knowledgeable and had no difficulty in imparting his knowledge and passion about his work and the Arboretum to us. I am sure he is a great asset to your Estate's team and I hope you will let him know how much we appreciated his efforts.
The afternoon tea was superb, in delightful surroundings and thoroughly enjoyed by the four of us. Thank you so much for your kindness.Kind regards
15th May 2011
Dear Mr Beale,
The purpose of this card is to…thank you on behalf of myself, husband and 2 friends who were on your 2.10pm guided tour on Sunday 15th May 2011 at the NGS Open Day.
Your knowledge, enthusiasm and presentation gave us such pleasure and so a really big thank you again.
Thanks again for your expertise.Mrs LS Gillespie
17th Feb 2011 Arboretum tour and talk
Thank you so much for such an interesting talk and tour of the arboretum yesterday. The feedback from our members has been very enthusiastic and appreciative of the work you and Grant put in to make it a really memorable afternoon. The background of the hotel as we know it today and some of the stories on the way were amusing and enlightening. The vision and dedication of your grandfather, your father and yourself is evident and is what makes West Lodge, and its wonderful arboretum, what it is.
Please pass on our grateful thanks to Grant for sharing his knowledge and experience – unfortunately the time was too short but I know many will be back as soon as possible to see the trees progress through the year.
Finally particular thanks to Sharon for arranging everything as she did and your excellent staff for looking after us all so well on the day – as expected, the scones were delicious. We were made to feel so welcome.
Yours sincerely,Elizabeth Hodgson
Thank you so much for sending us the cheque for £689 raised at your National Gardens Scheme open day in October – you must have had a really lovely day to attract so many visitors. Please thank everyone who helped to make it such a successful day, we do appreciate all your hard work.Best wishes
Saturday 9th October 2010
Dear Mr Beale
On behalf of the British Conifer Society, thank you for your hospitality for the society's AGM, and for showing us around your arboretum. We were delighted by your arboreal treasures. It is good to see a place with a mission.
From the BCS point of view it was most encouraging to find you had national collections including Taxodium. This is just the sort of information we want to get onto our website once we have revamped it.
Thank you again for your support and enthusiasm, and my apologies that we had to shop away early.
Yours sincerely,Dilly Bradley
19th September 2010
Very many thanks for your arboretum tour on Sunday.
We all enjoyed your talk and your knowledge and enthusiasms about trees!
Yours sincerely,Ian Matthews
Re U3A Gardening club tour Monday 10th May 2010
Just wanted to say how much we all thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the Arboretum today.
As usual you were a wealth of information and certainly made us think differently about trees.
Our cream tea afterwards was beautifully arranged.
Thank you and your staff for a most enjoyable day.
See you againRegards
I travel almost monthly and have stayed in many hotels. I can honestly say I enjoyed my stay at West Lodge more than any other hotel. It is a peaceful oasis, steeped in history, surrounded by nature and with all the modern conveniences one could wish for. Your couteous staff are helpful, informative, warm but not dominating. And the care you take to select local but excellant foods did not go unnoticed either. Well done. I will be back
I would like to know how to inquire about donating and dedicating a tree in the arboretum. My Grandfather was the director of Howard timbers, a great UK timber and veneer firm in the early-mid 1900's. He was a lover of trees and good wood and instilled that in me from a very young age. When I was walking your grounds I kept thinking he must have known Beale arbortoreum as he lived in palmers green. My aunt confirmed that indeed he used to frequent the park often teaching her about trees. What better memorial to my grandfather than to plant a tree in his name and make a donation to such a wonderful school of nature
Can you point me in the right direction to see if that is possible
Thanks and best regards
Dear Mr Beale
Just wanted to thank you for a most interesting and informative talk and tour of the Arboretum at West Lodge Park.
My members thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we will book to return for an autumn tour.
Dear Mr Beale (May 2009)
May I pass on the many complements I have recieved, both verbally and in writing, on the condition of your Arboretum?. The collection looked magnificient: the trees immaculately tended, not just tagged, but legibly labelled and the areas of interest marked with excellent information notices, inviting wider interest in the surrounding trees.
Thank you also that Mr Honour was able to spend so much and such valuable time instructing me on the origins and development of your collection in particular and matters dendrological in general. He is a fount of kindness and wisdom.
Finally, may I thank you also for very generous provision of refreshment on our arrival and, on a provate note, for the really excellent lunch which mr Hake and I enjoyed for the pre-tour visit
It is a close run thing whether it is the trees or the guests that are the better tended at West Lodge Park. I should be happy to be either!.
With kind and very grateful greetings to you and to your welcoming staff also please.Yours sincerely
I wanted to thank you and your wonderful staff for arranging a perfect day last Friday. Grant gave us a superb tour and 2 hours flew by. His knowlege and enthusiasm know no bounds. Afterwards the tea was splendid and I enjoyed the chance to see the railings and finials from Holloway Road through the back window.
Everyone is still talking about it and many would like to come again,. All agree those who did not come missed something really great.
I hope it will not be long before I visit West Lodge Park again and see the new part of the arboretum and lake, and of course have another tea. Also hope to come to one of your evening dinner/concerts and perhaps stay overnight too.With best wishes,
Re: Tree and Plaque
Thank you for the swift action. My son will be paying a visit from Yorkshire this weekend, so it will be a good opportunity to have lunch at the hotel and view the plaque. I think that what you are doing is excellent, it supports the environment while giving people a very visual focus to mark and celebrate life events. We are happy to be part of the development of the next phase of the Beale Arboretum.Yours truly,