Now we’ve got our National Trust membership, it’s giving us a great selection of places to focus on visiting. Don’t you find that it’s hard to make a decision from all the places you know about and want to visit? So it’s great to have more focus to my decisions.
Last Sunday I decided that as the weather was nice, some outdoor walks were on the agenda, and that Stowe landscape gardens would be our visit of choice.
I’ve not been to Stowe since my 6th form days when our school used to play sports matches against the Stowe girls. There were a lot of rumours going round about the exploits of their students at the time, but even as teens we could appreciate the setting and grounds the school was in.
When you first turn up, you can see the Old Parlours which have been historically set up as some rooms may have been. N was interested in the dining room – where the table was set for game birds. Plus the brewery room – he always makes comments about drinking beer when he sees vats.
The downside with National Trust properties, is how far the walk is from the entrance and information points, to the actual gardens. We walked on the way, but decided to get the shuttle ‘bus’ for the return walk back.
The gardens are amazing. There’re various paths you can take around the park depending on the distance you want to walk. Usefully there’s a map so I knew where to go for the basic walk around the lake. The house isn’t always open, but it was that day. We didn’t know this until halfway round our walk and by that time N was flagging/bored, so I know he’d not make the walk up to the house and back.
He did enjoy chasing sheep…he wanted to stroke them. No idea why, as I’m sure he doesn’t do that with his uncle’s sheep. Luckily they didn’t get molested by him as they’re not as tame as he thought they were.
N’s a big fan of bridges, so he spent a bit of time on several on our walk.
The cascades were a draw, although our attempt at poo sticks didn’t really work.
We got a tad confused with the golf course. It’s not really split off or signposted, so N was happily wandering across it, playing with the tee off balls, before we realised there were golfers preparing their swing up at the top of the hill.
Apart from the walks, there’s always something for children to do. There’s obviously the 50 Things before you’re 11 3/4, but Stowe also provide a leaf spotting sheet. We didn’t do some tree identification , but hopefully it’ll be an interesting activity at another time.
After refusing to use the chemical toilets half way round, N decided it was time for a picnic, so we perched on a bench.
Then back to the visitor centre, to head home. But not before having a go at cutting and sticking in the children’s activity area.
It was a lovely day out, and one that I’m sure we’ll repeat given it’s so close.