The Easter holidays are underway and Spring has finally sprung. I can’t tell you how happy I am when there’s sunshine and warmth. I’ve been flinging open the windows every morning and embracing every day we don’t have to wrap the children up in coats and gloves!
Before we head off on a family holiday next week, which will undoubtedly leave me with a load of pictures to share on the blog, I must share a few other lovely days out we’ve enjoyed this year so far.
We spent some of the February half term up in Northamptonshire with my parents, and decided to break the journey home with a bit of a wander somewhere new. Making the most of our National Trust membership, we chose Stowe – a spectacular 18th century landscaped garden in the grounds of the lavish Stowe House near Buckingham.
It was a bit of a grey and chilly day, but it was dry and bright so we set off for a walk and a picnic. What was immediately clear was how enormous the grounds were. We were there for a couple of hours and barely scratched the surface.
I regretted not bringing wellies as the children sped away into the mud as soon as we got into the park – but they had so much fun, I didn’t mind too much! The spent ages running around by the lake, looking for sticks and feathers.
And made a den in a tree trunk
We slowly made our way around the lake, exploring the little temples and follies dotted along the route. I loved the Pebble Alcove with intricate images and designs stretching to the ceiling.
We spent a while spotting things in the design
Here we are looking tiny on the steps of the Temple of Friendship – what a lovely name!
We walked up to the Gothic House which we could see up on the hill.
The flock of sheep that had been quietly grazing in the field we were walking through all decided to cross the path as we were walking – I guess it was time for their lunch – so we had a comedy few minutes surrounded by sheep. Needless to say, the children absolutely loved it!
When the coast was clear we made it to the beautiful lodge – it had such a beautiful view down to the lake.
We played for a while amongst the gnarly old trees and tree trunks before heading back down to find a spot for lunch.
Near our picnic spot, we caught a glimpse of Stowe house itself – so very grand! I need to come back to tour the building one day.
As we completed our route around the lake, the children loved the bubbling cascade and artificial ruins which marked a bridge over the water.
There was just time for a quick hot chocolate before we headed back to the car to drive back to London. It was a flying visit – and now I look again at the map, I see how much more there is to see, including temples with fantastic names like “The Temple of Ancient Virtue” and “The Temple of British Worthies”.
Stowe was the perfect place for a Sunday stroll – and I can’t wait to get back again to see more and to enjoy how it changes in different seasons.