Monkey and I are definitely missing the Spanish sun at the moment. It was a bit of a shock to fly back from 40 degree temperatures and wall to wall sunshine where my parents live, to a grey, dull and rather wet English August. This week has been particularly rubbish but my 7 year old son proved on Tuesday that you can have outdoors fun whatever the weather.
We’d spent the morning playing new games and making Lego creations. But we were both feeling the need for some fresh air. I asked him what he’d like to do for the rest of the day. He wanted to go to one of his favourite places, Stowe Landscape Gardens. So we donned our waterproof jackets, trousers and boots and headed over to the National Trust property close to Buckingham.
It’s somewhere we’ve visited countless times over the years, in all seasons and most weather conditions. I have to admit though, that torrential rain, and I really do mean torrential, was a new experience for us both. I’d packed my gear inside my lightweight waterproof rucksack, which has been worth its weight in gold over the last year and we began our walk.
I honestly wasn’t sure how long my son would last, the rain was relentless, but he just wasn’t bothered at all. He was dry, and warm and happy. What more can you ask for. He always sets our route, knowing the various trails so well. Things got off to a good start when he spotted a couple of tractors as we walked down Bell Gate Drive towards the gardens.
Even in the pouring rain the views across the Octagon Lake were as lovely as ever.
We popped into more of the follies than normal, a few minutes to look out at the rain rather than being in it. But he didn’t moan once, he was oblivious to the conditions and was just having outdoors fun whatever the weather. I was so proud of him. It would have been so much easier to have opted to stay at home in the dry.
The Eastern and Western Lake Pavilions always offer cover and a good view.
We always make a wish when we stop at the Cascade Ruins, please let the sun come back to play!
As much as raindrops are pretty to photograph I think we’ve seen enough for a while.
The Canada Geese were braving the elements in great numbers and they took to the water as we approached.
A quick run up to Temple of Ancient Virtue was in order, although I might have taken it at a slightly slower pace.
It’s one of the few follies we’ve not really looked at closely before. With the stunning ceiling, we will make sure to visit it more often in future.
Come on Mummy, last one to Captain Grenville’s Column is the loser! That will be me then.
The Grotto area has always scared my son a little, so it took a bit of coaxing to persuade him to walk down the steps into the darkness. But it was worth it to see the view once he got inside.
He loves nature as much as I do, and has become a really good bug spotter. It was him that noticed a wasp’s nest in the grass. We checked with Guru Gramps later by email and apparently they are German Wasps and part of the nest had probably been washed away in the rain.
The start of Year Three will see my son learn all about the Tudors, so the Temple of British Worthies was a good place to stop and discuss Queen Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare and to learn about the exploits of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Rayleigh.
Outdoors fun whatever the weather also means a visit to the Wooden Bridge, my son’s absolute favourite place at Stowe. Rain or shine, he has to walk across this bridge.
He walked back and forth and I admired the views.
There was a quick ‘you’ve been framed’ moment before we headed back towards the entrance.
We’d spent a couple of hours out in the rain, chatting away and having fun. We certainly earned a little treat before heading home, don’t you think?
Have you had much fun outdoors this week?