It’s not often we head out for a walk but I was determined over half term to go out somewhere. To get us away from the farm for a few hours. It took a lot of persuading – after all, as N pointed out, we have plenty of fields to walk at here at home. But knowing that we wouldn’t be going in the house meant N was persuaded to come along in the end. A trip to Stowe Gardens for a morning in the sunshine.

spring visit to Stowe Gardens

Half term wasn’t great weatherwise, what with storm Eunice the Friday before, followed by Storm Franklin on the Sunday. But by the end of the week I’d had enough of being at home, the wind had died down and there were blue skies.

We did have the footwear discussion – wellies or work boots. My walking boots are new and haven’t been worn in yet, so I decided on wellies. N decided to risk his new work boots (we always just buy the same style in the next size up. I think he should have stuck with wellies as he did moan his feet hurt a bit, but by the next day they were fine again. Most of the walking is on paths at Stowe, so it was only a bit wet and muddy in places. Or if you want off path to explore.

There’s so much to explore at Stowe Gardens, and even after several visits over the years, there’s still lots we’ve not seen. I’d promised N a hot chocolate and cake, so stopped for a drink on the way in. As I can’t eat or drink anything other than water from most cafes, he had a takeaway hot chocolate, so we could get going. It gave him the excuse to sit down every so often to have a drink!

mum and son's shadows on the ground

We arrived about an hour after opening, an hour later than I’d planned. It was definitely busier than I expected even though it was half term. But it was generally fine walking around, you don’t have to get too close to people. N did his thing of wearing his mask most of the way walking round. He is funny doing it when outside, and mostly had it as a ‘beard’ while drinking.

boy sitting on a tree bench with hot c

I’d been hoping to go past the chinese house which is undercover at this time of year, to see the usual snowdrops spot around the little waterfall area, but we couldn’t access it. I presume it’s unstable there due to the storms. But it was still a quiet walk around an area we don’t usually go to. And just a few snowdrops around.

looking up a path to an old temple bu
arches of an old temple building
boy sitting on bench surrounded by trees

We walked under the Palladian Bridge, then left alongside the lake. N didn’t fancy the walk up to the gothic church and the memorial monument.

looking down the column side of Stowe's palladian brudge

I did head him up to the statues arc as I could recall having been up there for a long time.

white wooden bridge across water
long distance view of arc of statues at Stowe and reflection in water

He was happy hearing about my 6th form school sports trips to play in matches against Stowe as we walked past from a distance. Apart from being in a hall to eat team teas, I’ve never been in Stowe house otherwise, so I’ll have to return sometime without him.

swan and waterfowl on lake with blue sky and trees reflected

Walking around the lake it’s always so peaceful…until the geese started getting aggressive and making a racket. We stopped at the end and watched them, the coots and swans. I was amused by the duck’s slightly dangerous method of having a drink.

selfie of woman in front of archway lo
male mallard duck standing next to water cascade
male mallard duck upended drinking water from a cascade drain

Our final walk alongside the temples to the exit was quick.

long shot view of Stowe house with lake in front

A chat as we walked back up the drive, a few comments on some dogs in jackets, and THE biggest irish wolfhound we’d ever seen with an owner who had the same hair as her dog’s fur. We ended up at the cafe with N hungry, so he grabbed a sandwich to have in the car on the way home.

He may not have been keen to get out, but it was a lovely walk (what we did). And it’s always nice to get away from the screens, see some sun, and just chat about whatever comes to mind.

pond with trees around and reflection

Hopefully come Easter we’ll have lots of adventures as we’re going away for a few days.He’ll be preparing himself for all the trips, and the fact that he’ll have the pleasure of at least one National Trust property if we’re away.

Where did you get out and explore over half term?

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