making friends at Stowe Gardens - Bubbablue and me

Friends together at National Trust Stowe Gardens

It always seems like an effort to get out for a walk at home. It’s a lot easier if I have to get out and go for a purposeful trip out.  Mary from Over 40 and a mum to one and I had arranged to meet up with our boys at Stowe Gardens.  Luckily the day was dry and mild although foggy.  So the usual reflective lake wasn’t showing its true beauty.

Her son and N have only met fleetingly once a few years ago, so it was going to be interesting to see how they got on.  For once N didn’t moan about going out – I just mentioned that they’d met before at a Tractor Ted show – and he was happy.  N did refuse to wear his wellies (new trainers are his current footwear of choice at all times) so it meant he was a bit limited given how muddy it was. But he did get stuck in when needed.

making friends at Stowe Gardens - Bubbablue and me

What’s great about going to regular haunts with other people is that you get to see new places. N always wants to go the same way, so with the boys having to share decisions, we both got to explore more without complaints. What was noticeable in the year age difference is how Mary’s son was all about more serious ‘play’ in running the walk as a tour guide. While N just wanted to be a train with us as his passengers.

running by the lake
always running

The snowdrops at Stowe were great. There are a couple of areas you get pointed towards to see them.  There were a few people out with cameras, but generally for a half term, it was pretty quiet. Obviously people weren’t keen to get out of bed too early that day.

lots of snowdrops

As well as snowdrops, the cyclamen were out, the geese and swans were happy on the lake, and N was intent on telling everyone what the sheep were waiting for (the farmer, pick up and food).

2 sheep at stowe
swans on the lake

The boys had decided against doing the goodies, baddies and superheroes trails.  It appeared they’re similar in wanting to do their own thing.  Instead we circled the lakes and spotted the cascades from the opposite direction.

columns and view at Stowe gardens
cascade at Stowe
oof inlay of a Stowe temple

New to us was the Chinese House. Unfortunately it was covered for winter, but we were able to walk around it, see more waterfalls, walk a bridge, see more snowdrops in the Lamport garden, and do some muddy log climbing.  I think it was great for N having someone else to go and explore with. Usually I have to encourage him to climb trees and build dens  He loves doing it, but almost wants the ok to do it first. But nothing was stopping him at Stowe.

into the snowdrops area
more running at Stowe
climbing on logs at Stowe
portrait at stowe

Then it was the long walk back up the drive. N did ask to catch the shuttle buggy back. It has to be the novelty factor because he’s never THAT tired.  It was satisfying knowing that we’d already done our walk and were heading back for lunch as other people were just emerging and turning up for their walk.

playing wizards
Hmm, wizards?

Mary’s son surprised us by asking if N could go back to theirs to play. So it was a ‘quick’ lunch (it’s never that quick at National Trust, in particular Stowe. It always takes longer to be served than to actually eat the food) then back cross country to their house.

With two only children, it’s always interesting to see how they’ll get on. N is happy with Lego and tractors so his new friend’s toys were a hit. The hard thing is knowing when each of them want to move on, because it’s never at the same time. But they did fine. There were no big arguments and they got on with things without needing us to be involved all the time. That’s my one bug bear when the nephew comes over. He always wants to involve me when they don’t really need me. Yawn.

There were some comedy moments when the boys turned up wearing dinosaur and kangaroo costumes. Given that neither of them usually do dressing up, it was lovely to see them get on so well.

Then it was time to drag N away to head back for tea. All in all it was a lovely day and now we know the boys get on well, we might be able to try and pop in some more catch ups in future.

Do you worry about how your children will get on with your friends’ children? Have you been out to check out the winter/spring flowers?

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  1. I think this is a little far from us which is a real shame as it looks like a fantastic place to explore and I would love to get some proper snow drop photos. Love the red trainers can see why he wants to wear them. Great that they got on and you got to catch up . #CountryKids

    1. We do like brights for clothes (although quite a few of his trousers are a little clashing with them), so I think that’s why he liked the trainers.

  2. I love Stowe, it’s our nearest NT property and we go a few times a year. I love it, really should go and see the snowdrops! It’s good that the boys got on so well. I love watching my son with other kids, he’s only two but I find it fascinating seeing him interact with others. #CountryKids

    1. It is a lovely place (although I have to admit I prefer to have a house to walk around as well). Yes the interaction is really interesting as they grow

  3. So glad that N and Monkey had such a fun day out together. It does make it more interesting going to familiar places with other people and taking different routes from the ones that you would normally take. Glad to hear that having Monkey around helped to encourage N with climbing trees and building dens 🙂 #countrykids

  4. What a wonderful place to meet up with friends! So much to explore and it certainly looked like the boys had fun! I’ll have to arrange to meet up with my blogger besties like this! #cohntrykids

  5. Looks like a beautiful place for a visit. It isn’t too far away from me so I must look into a visit here!!
    Nice to see the two boys having lots of fun.

  6. I do love a good visit to stowe and such a nice place to meet friends. So lovely to hear Monkey and N got on so well too, pair of cuties 🙂 xx #countrykids

  7. What a lovely place to visit and I love the photos, especially the snowdrops. It’s always a worry about how your child will get on with other children but it’s lovely when they make new friends.

  8. Sounds a fun get together. Good to hear that the two boys hit if off so well. Perfect venue for them to explore together. I love how NT properties are still interesting in the colder months. #CountryKids

  9. How lovely to spend the day out together and it sounds as if the boys are going to be good friends. I have to say watching them both grow up on line over the years I think they would have quite a bit in common and you both like to take the boys out to similar interesting places. My kids always like to do their own thing and not follow a designated trail when we are out. I wonder if it is a typical boy response? The snowdrops look gorgeous, I thought we had a lot on the farm but the ones at Stowe are in another league!

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

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