They say going back is hard to do. I’m not sure I agree. Visiting old haunts has been part of the fun and never more so when we visited Stowe which was a few miles from where we used to live and became our favourite place for a weekend stroll. When we were members of the National Trust this is the place where we made our membership fee pay for itself time and time again.
As one of the most important landscape gardens in the country the National Trust has been painstakingly restoring the garden to it’s former glory. I was intrigued to see how much more had been achieved since we were away. I was also looking forward to the photography challenge that was before me to capture the spirit of this place that I love so much.
Stowe is full of magnificent vistas and dotted with incredible sculptures and follies. It’s these that keep you interested and in anticipation the whole time you wander around the grounds.
Each has incredible detail to keep you interested.
And positioned to capture your eye line when you least expect it.
Some are educational – the thinkers are on the left and the doers on the right.
A folly is designed to give aesthetic pleasure. It’s sort of like jewellery for your garden. There is plenty of bling to be seen at Stowe. There are four in this picture and I was standing with my back to another three. I think it was a case of more money than sense!
Although I enjoy this amusement there is no doubt it’s the landscaping which is the star of the show at Stowe. This ranges from avenues of trees……
To lake views……..
Each designed to be more breathtaking than the last.
With added perspective through archways and following different paths.
Every which way you turn there is something to inspire you. To lift the spirit as you walk.
The reflections give an added dimension which changes as the weather patterns and position of the sun changes.
All in all Stowe is just a delight to visit.
I was of course desperate to capture as many photographs as I can to remind me of Stowe but I had the most fun tracking the largest folly – a gothic house on the hill.
Which follows you wherever you may be walking.
It lures you in from wherever you are.
Beckoning you to hike up the hill to get a closer view.
But in truth the folly is more magnificent the further you are away from it. Up close it loses it’s magic. Like this bridge which is much more impressive from a distance.
The first time we saw Stowe it was as we meandered back from Buckingham on our first weekend of moving into our new house. I still get tingles down my spine when I remember seeing the archway in the distance. Little did I know what other goodies there were to explore.
As you can tell I really enjoyed recapturing Stowe again. The only problem is that it was providing lots of gardening inspiration for MT in a way that I’m not sure we’ll be able to accommodate in our garden at home. Also, I’m not sure whether we’d get planning permission to build a folly on the hill.
For old times sake we headed off from Stowe to the our old local for a pint and spot of lunch before heading into Oxford for more history, beauty and reunions with friends.