stowe house view over lake

A walk round Stowe gardens

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.

stowe house view over lake

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.

Stowe parlour rooms hay bales
the long drive walk to Stowe gardens

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.

stowe gardens temple

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.

wooden bridge at stowe

The cascades were a draw, although our attempt at poo sticks didn’t really work.

by the cascades at stowe

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.

golf course at Stowe 2

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.

children's activity area at stowe

It was a lovely day out, and one that I’m sure we’ll repeat given it’s so close.

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  1. I love Stowe. It’s very near to where we live and it’s such a beaitiful place. #letkidsbekids

  2. Looks like a lovely day and a beautiful place to visit. I keep debating a national trust membership.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    1. If you live near lots of places, or visit lots on holiday it’s worth doing. But then you have the toss up with English Heritage as well. So many places in the UK to visit.

    1. I think a lot of the time he’s bored. If he was with someone else he’d be running round like a nutter, as he’s walked a lot further on other occasions. Just gets lazy.

  3. It was lovely around the lake. I did wonder whether N would debate jumping in there as there were no railings in front of the cascades

  4. Looks like a beautiful day and gorgeous location, I love his face on the bale of hay! Lovely pictures and you’ve made me want a national trust card membership now, there are just some beautiful NT places! #magicmoments

    1. There’s definitely a lot more choice and activities for children at NT places compared with a few years ago. Worth checking out

  5. This looks like a great day out, and I have a national trust voucher which I am saving for a summer day out. cant wait now as looks like you had so much fun!

    1. They’re great. We always go first thing to get parking and get there before the crowds. Definitely want to be early to the restaurants if you’re planning on buying food for lunch unless it’s nice enough to picnic

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