I love doing the Easter trails at National Trust venues, and this year decided we’d go to Stowe Gardens. We’d arranged to meet friends on Good Friday, and given the weather was looking great, thought we’d do Stowe that day and give the 3 boys plenty of chance to run around.
N always moans about Stowe because it’s a long walk (probably 10 minutes in reality) from the welcome building to the gardens, but sometimes we go on the little ‘golf buggies’ if we’re being lazy. This time I knew we’d be ok given he had a friend to walk or run with.
We arrived just a bit before opening time and the car park was already getting busy. We paid for our Easter trail pack (£2.50 on top of our membership card), and waited for our friends to arrive. N and H are similar age and love spending time together (farmer dads and an interest and knowledge of farming helps).
Rather than the normal entrance, for the Easter trail event, the entrance was set up outside giving a bit more room. It was really busy with queues for the members and non-members. Going round the trail was insanely busy as well.
The boys had a map to find the eggs in turn, learning about the Sleeping Beauty story, and answering questions as we reached each egg. I’m not sure how interested they were in the story although they did like seeing the props set up to help explain the story as we went round. It was fun watching the birthday feast being sellotaped down against the wind and nimble fingers.
The trails are also great for getting you to see different areas of the gardens. When we go to Stowe, we usually stick with the same route because I tend to let N lead, this time we went a different route and saw a different perspective of the grounds.
I always think it’s great going with friends to places, because I get less of N moaning his legs are tired. Instead the boys just ran and walked all over the place. It’s lovely to watch them doing typical kids stuff like throwing stones and sticks and just general exploring.
The end of the trail was of course trying to find Sleeping Beauty which was a lovely end to see. Surprisingly no children were jumping on the bed…obviously all very well behaved.
Then it was time to head back round the lake and find somewhere to have our picnic.
The weather was beautiful and once we were off the trail it wasn’t too busy with people. We easily found a bench and blanket spot and ate our lunch in a relaxing manner before heading back off to the cars.
By that stage N was moaning again that he wanted to ride on one of the buggies back but there wasn’t one at the exit ready to leave so we distracted him with the promise of an ice cream if there was no more moaning and lots more walking going on! Luckily the shop had ice creams so we didn’t have to queue in the café which always seems to have the worst queue of any National Trust places I’ve been to. There were plenty of tables to sit and eat their ice creams at, before a quick investigation of the kitchen garden before we left, picking up their chocolate bunny reward for completing the trail.
We also wrote on leaves to add to the wishing tree which was a lovely idea. Although N refused to even write his name (not being swayed by peer pressure and his younger friend writing the whole of his wish), I’m sure whoever collected and read the leaves may have had a laugh to read ‘I wish to be Father Christmas’. Hmm, wrong time of year N.
Every time we go to Stowe Gardens and other National Trust places, we always find something new to look at. Next month I’ll be renewing my membership again and adding N to it this time (sob, turning 5 costs a lot of extra money now on days out).
Did you do one of the trails this year?
Why not take a look at these similar posts.