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Bodenham Arboretum visit and family photo shoot.

Bodenham Arboretum is such a lovely day out! We were incredibly lucky with the weather when we visited for a look around and our very first family photo shoot with the lovely John, from John the Photographer, award winning no less! It was a warm and sunny day, you couldn’t ask for better in October. Getting near Bodenham arboretum, we weren’t sure if we had the directions correctly, as we were right in an industrial estate and the sat nag said we were mere minutes away, luckily, it was right!! We followed the signs and then found the drive and climbed up a steep, tree lined drive which takes you up to the car park, with space for 200 cars. Bodenham Arboretum on the bridge over the pond. The visitor’s centre is the first thing you come to, right next to a gorgeous pond with bridges over, ducks and weeping willows reaching down to kiss the water. Beautifully photogenic and perfect for capturing some lovely family moments. Even more excitingly for the children, it wasn’t only the ducks that came to say hi, but all the fish too! They were huge! Along with the restaurant and toilets, also situated in the visitor centre there is a gift shop and quiet room. There are also plants for sale outside. With regards to the photo shoot, it’s our first one for a reason, mainly because my hubby and I are both pretty uncomfortable in front of the lens, luckily, John was absolutely lovely and put us both at ease, taking a selection of natural, unaware shots and also directing us into some beautiful group photo poses. We even got pictures of our beautiful dog Monty, I’m so pleased as he is 12 now, and such an important part of our family that it wouldn’t be right not to have him with us.

Bodenham arboretum is dog friendly too!

The whole family happy at Bodenham, even our dog!

It’s brilliant that dogs are welcome on leads and there is also plenty of seating outside the café so you can sit and have a cup of tea or lunch with your pooch too. They will love having a walk around with you, if they are anything like mine though, they might be desperate to get into the Big Pool! 😀 He got to be in all our posed family photos and we got some gorgeous ones just of him too.     We were thrilled to discover that there was a farm at the arboretum, with sheep, chickens, geese and the friendliest

The donkeys at Bodenham Arboretum

Watching the donkeys keeping their teeth in trim!

donkeys, a personal love of mine. You can walk around the farm and they came right to the fence of their large paddock to see us. We probably spent the most time here, laughing at them dust bathing themselves and braying. There were even foals for sale, seriously, if our garden was any bigger……!!   The tree lined avenue running alongside the animals was perfect for photos of the children racing up and down. By this point, my son was starting to get tired and very much in need of a nap. Read; uncompliant and slightly wild! So we thought we would wrap it up and head back to the restaurant to sample what we had been assured was a very delicious Sunday lunch!     On the way back, we spotted one final perfect location, a rustic wooden five bar gate with the back drop of another large pond with yet more weeping willow draping artistically down to the water!

Family photo shoot at Bodenham Arboretum.

All looking at the camera, all smiling! What a miracle! 😀

We managed to get some lovely shots and ended the photo shoot on a massive high. Even if I did have to hold the stick my son was waving around wildly down. We then made our way back to the visitor centre to have lunch in the restaurant, it was very busy, and it’s recommended to book a table on their website, which I would second. It was a carvery lunch, but much nicer then most of the other carveries we’ve been to, with really fresh, delicious veg, children’s portions and two vegetarian options! Reasonable prices too, £8.90 for an adult carvery and £6.30 a child, with an option for a smaller adult portion available as well. We were very well fed and absolutely stuffed. We didn’t even have pudding. Rare for me! 😉 Soups and sandwiches were also available for a lighter option, and they even do afternoon tea if you feel like being fancy! (I’m a huge fan of an afternoon tea! Tea, cake, tea!)

Plenty of space for running around at Bodenham Arboretum.

Plenty of space for little monkeys to burn off steam!

There is a forest school at Bodenham arboretum, and family friendly activities all year round. The full list of activities is also on their website, along with a sample menu for the restaurant and lots and lots more information, including the gorgeous art courses that they run there too. I’d definitely like to do one, watercolour there in the Summer would be amazing. Entrance Bodenham arboretum prices vary slightly throughout the season, so check their website for details. One thing that really impressed me was that the family ticket includes two adults and up to four children, which is fantastic value, as the maximum price in £18.00 and days out for larger families can really add up. I’m not sure when we’ll get a chance to go back to Bodenham arboretum but I just read that there is a Christmas trail with live nativity stable with the possibility of a foal! Plus they are doing Christmas lunches. Sounds right up my street!     We received free entry to Bodenham Arboretum and the photos from the photo shoot in exchange for this review, as always though, all words and thoughts are mine, all mine! 😉



  1. October 17, 2016 / 8:08 am

    Looks like a lovely family day out, and such a good idea having a family photo shoot in a beautiful setting! #bigpinklink

  2. October 17, 2016 / 8:22 am

    This looks lovely. I particularly love the picture of your children running. It evokes such a strong feeling of freedom #bigpinklink

  3. October 17, 2016 / 8:27 am

    The photos are lovely! Its fab that you included Monty, pets are such an important part of the family 🙂 #bigpinklink

  4. October 17, 2016 / 8:48 am

    Oh this looks lovely and what gorgeous photos! Family photo shoots can be quite stressful but you look lovely and relaxed and what a gorgeous setting! Thank you for hosting #bigpinklink

  5. October 17, 2016 / 9:05 am

    A Christmas trail sounds like so much fun! I love going to places like this for walks, especially if there is a carvery on offer too! #bigpinklink

  6. October 17, 2016 / 9:14 am

    The Christmas Nativity trail sounds amazing! I would love to see that, never mind the kids!


  7. October 17, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Oh my word these are just beautiful family photos – you all look so relaxed and natural – absolute naturals – what beautiful keepsakes with Monty too. I hope you’ve got over your shyness of being on camera because you look beautiful xx #BigPinkLink

  8. October 17, 2016 / 10:05 am

    Beautiful photo’s so glad the sun was shining for you! Looks like a lovely place to visit & a great day out for all the family x #BigPinkLink

  9. October 17, 2016 / 10:20 am

    A ly day out, the family pic is so cute #bigpinklink

  10. October 17, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Looks like a lovely family day out!
    Great photos too. I love the one with all of you and the dog!


  11. October 17, 2016 / 10:26 am

    It is SO hard to get decent photos of children and dogs – this is awesome! Such a lovely idea to go on loco. Btw – I love, ‘Sat nag’. I presume it wasn’t a typo – brilliant 🙂 Alison x #bigpinklink

  12. October 17, 2016 / 10:39 am

    what a beautiful day and gorgeous photos, the perfect place for a family photo shoot, I love the fact the dog got in the photos too. Thanks for sharing such a lovely post #bigpinklink

  13. October 17, 2016 / 10:42 am

    Lovely pics! We have yet to do a family photo shoot because my husband and I are also pretty uncomfortable in front of the camera, but it would nice to actually have photos of all of us together. #bigpinklink

  14. October 17, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Gorgeous pics! And such a lovely setting. We are having our first family pics on Saturday – smiles from daughter will not be guaranteed. The carvery sounds yummy – you can’t beat a roast at this time of year #bigpinklink

  15. October 17, 2016 / 10:54 am

    Gorgeous photos! It looks like a lovely place for a day out #bigpinklink

  16. October 17, 2016 / 11:43 am

    What a wonderful day out. I love the pictures too – I’m not really one for posed shots and formal photography but those are all gorgeous and natural. Perfect! The carvery sounds awesome too and great value. #bigpinklink

  17. October 17, 2016 / 11:47 am

    Arboretums are always perfect choice for a great family trip. We visit them quite often. I even worked at the children’s workshop once that took place in arboretum. It was amazing! Love your pictures!

  18. October 17, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    This looks like a fun place. I loved your pictures on Instagram. We haven’t done a family photo shoot either, much for the same reason. I like finishing places that allow dogs in, even on a lead. There are so many great places to visit around me but dogs aren’t welcome. It has often stopped me going.

  19. October 17, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    Oh wow this place is stunning! Perfect for little ones to run around!
    Definately gonna check this place out if we can!

  20. October 17, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    Oooh I’ve always wanted a pet donkey! Think how great it would be to load up all the kids coats and book bags on a donkey instead of yourself! Haha. The photos look lovely – you all look so relaxed and happy. Great family photos. And you can’t beat a good carvery – yummy! #BigPinkLink

  21. October 17, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    Looks so nice we have somewhere similar nearby & I love it. #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

  22. October 17, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    Wow your setting for the shoot loves amazing. Really makes the photographs look even better. Particularly like the one overlooking the water. Sounds like a wonderful day with lots of precious memories captured. #bigpinklink

  23. October 17, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    The photos are so lovely and happy 🙂 Would love to visit Bodenham but a bit far from London 😉 #bigpinklink

  24. October 17, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Yay, we did the family photo shoot this week too. Looks like the perfect spot! #bigpinklink

  25. October 17, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    Looks like a stunning place for a nice afternoon walk. Great photos too, I especially like the one of the kids running, it’s like a captured moment, you can almost hear the giggles x

  26. October 17, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    I absolutely love your family pictures – they came out so beautiful. I think pictures in natural surroundings are always so lovely. The hard part is going to be deciding which ones to hang on the walls!

  27. October 17, 2016 / 5:47 pm

    What a lovely venue for a family shoot!!! Gorgeous photo’s!!! #bigpinklink

  28. October 17, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Ah what a lovely place to visit, it looks perfect! And your pictures are stunning, what a great photographer you have found xx #bigpinklink

  29. October 17, 2016 / 6:52 pm

    Looks like a gorgeous day out #BigPinkLink

  30. October 17, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    Sounds like a lovely place, and lovely pictures too! x #bigpinklink

  31. October 17, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Lovely pics

  32. October 17, 2016 / 10:54 pm

    Looks so beautiful, what a great place to take pictures. The pics look great. #bigpinklink

  33. October 18, 2016 / 1:28 am

    Man I love big trees.
    Well-written post!

  34. October 18, 2016 / 2:23 am

    Looks wonderful, we have our yearly family picture coming up this weekend. It is always interesting, now we have a baby to add! #bigpinklink

  35. October 18, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Really lovely photos 🙂 looks like you had a wonderful day #bigpinklink

  36. October 18, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    Looks like a lovely spot! What a fun time with the kids with all that space to run around. #Bigpinklink

  37. October 18, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    The photos are beautiful! I don’t like being in front of the camera either but I guess we have to make ourselves for memories sake. Thank you for hosting #BigPinkLink

  38. October 18, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    Sounds like a great day all round. I’d also have spent loads of time with the donkeys!

    I love the fact you’re holding the stick down. I think that sort of thing makes those photos more special and memorable in years to come.


  39. October 18, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    Lovely photos! Sounds like a lovely day out with the family xx #bigpinklink

  40. October 18, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    This is so lovely, I love your photos and it sounds like your first photo shoot went well. We haven’t had one as we aren’t comfortable in front of a camera either but I think it would be a lovely experience. #bigpinklink

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  41. October 19, 2016 / 5:06 am

    Hey Louise, wow, this place looks like a great place to take the family & the dog (can’t leave the woofie behind!!). The photos look great too and it’s seems very well priced – kind of ticks all the boxes 🙂 I’m just getting into writing reviews (which I’m loving) & this is one I can benchmark from so thank you for helping a newbie out 🙂 Cheers, Ross. #bigpinklink

  42. October 19, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    This looks lovely and such gorgeous photos!! we really need to get a deent ohoto of the 3 of us before she hits 1! 🙂 #bigpinklink

  43. October 19, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    Ah looks lovely and gorgeous pictures! Love that the dog was in all the pics too – I’d love family photo shoot but have always thought I’d hate being in a studio – this kind of thing would be perfect and the dog come come – yay! Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  44. October 19, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    Super day out. Just the kind I love, getting the kids to run themselves ragged! Great pics too. #bigpinklink

  45. October 20, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    Beautiful photos lovely and what a lovely day out. You always go to such nice places. Carvery sounds fab too! Thanks for hosting. Claire x #bigpinklink

  46. October 21, 2016 / 5:17 am

    oh I love that Monty was in the pics and could come along, they are such a big part of our families aren’t they

  47. October 21, 2016 / 7:10 am

    Beautiful photos. We’ve been saying for months about doing a family shoot but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thanks for sharjng xx #bigpinklink

  48. October 21, 2016 / 8:05 am

    This looks like a lovely place and so nice to have some lovely family photos to treasure xx #bigpinklink

  49. October 21, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Looks like a great family day out. And lovely photos of you all 🙂 #bigpinklink

  50. October 21, 2016 / 11:28 am

    Aw lovely photos and what a perfect location! You are so brave though, I hate having my photo taken 🙂
    I love the fact that your dog got to join in too. And yes, the family tickets sound very reasonable which is unusual ha ha.


  51. October 21, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    This looks like a wonderful day out. Lovely photos too! Their Christmas trail sounds fun. I shall have to have a closer look at that. x #bigpinklink

  52. October 21, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    What a fabulous place and really lovely photos too! Their Christmas trail sounds fun, I’ll have to have a closer look at that. x #bigpinklink

  53. October 23, 2016 / 10:36 am

    We’ve just had a family photo shoot – really looking forward to seeing the results! #bigpinklink

  54. October 23, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Sounds like a great day and the photos are lovely! #bigpinklink

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