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Explore Lynford Arboretum
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.4/5)

Lynford Arboretum, Thetford Forest Park






Lynford Arboretum is a popular place for quiet recreation. It is noted for its variety of bird life, spring flowers and autumn fungi.

Collection of trees

The Arboretum contains many interesting trees for example mature Norway Spruce usually only seen as a Christmas tree, Chinese Fir and Serbian Spruce which is extremely rare in the wild. It has been calculated that the ancient oak tree planted in the south of the Arboretum was planted in 1671 and therefore would have been a substantial specimen when Lynford Hall and estate was purchased in 1865 by Mr Stephen Lyne-Stephens. Since then the Arboretum has grown and has over 200 tree species, with future plans to increase the collection.

Footpaths are suitable for wheelchair users. 

Chequered History

Formerly part of Lynford Hall estate, the Arboretum still retains features which reflect its "parkland" origins. The present hall has a chequered history. It has served as a military hospital, Forestry Commission forester training school (1947 - 1957) and is currently a hotel and conference centre.

 Day to day management of Lynford Arboretum is carried out by volunteers from Friends of Thetford Forest.

Autumn at Lynford Arboretum

Set squarely in the Brecks amidst Thetford Forest, Britain’s largest lowland pine forest, Lynford Arboretum is the most easterly of the Commission’s arboreta. The area enjoys a continental type climate, and is amongst the driest places in the UK.

Noted for its peace, tranquillity and amazing colour show, the arboretum is a great place to enjoy an autumnal stroll. The seasonal trail will lead you through Sequoia Avenue, one of the special features of the area. This double rowed avenue of Sequoias was planted in the 1800s to honour the Duke of Wellington and at one time featured alternate red flowering chestnut trees.

The arboretum contains an eclectic collection of conifers, planted by forestry students in mid-Victorian parkland.  Over fifty of the trees are recorded as champions of their species, and thirty of these have small explanatory panels at their base.  Other information panels give a brief history of the place, some of the uses to which trees are put and the natural history of the area. Others tell briefly of Native American navigation methods using trees, encounters between Deer and Trees. The trail has seating areas at regular intervals along its path where you can take a rest and bask in the glory of the magnificent autumn colour.

What do other visitors say?

Is there a signed walk and how long is it please?

Susan Greer, 2/Sep/2018

Map pdfs of signed walks are available to download on each dedicated Forest web page. Please look in the right hand column for the relevant link.

Forestry Commission Response

Can you walk your dog off the lead

Georgie Bird, 29/Jul/2018

Our advise is to walk dog on the lead, however, there is a dog agility area where it's not required.

Forestry Commission Response

Are dogs allowed in the lake? Many thanks

Rachel, 4/Jul/2018

Thank you for your enquiry. Dogs aren't permitted in the arboretum (on the right hand side as you walk down the track) which would make dog access into the lake tricky unless approaching it from the other side. Dogs are welcome to use the dog agility trail further down the track on the left. There is also the large ex quarry lakes in Lynford Water opposite the Arboretum. These are deep and it is your decision whether you allow your dog to go in them. Please be aware of the possibility of blue green algae which can be found in lakes and ponds during warm weather. Always keep your dog under control with regard to wildlife and other visitors to the forest.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 10th July 2018

Help us take care of your forest

What's Here?

  • Arboreta
  • Dogs on lead
  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Parking
  • Off of the A1065 on the Lynford Road near to the Arboretum
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: TL822942

Get directions


Nicky Russell

0300 067 4546

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Dawn to Dusk
Off of the A1065 on the Lynford Road near to the Arboretum

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.