Stowe Landscape Gardens….where I ended up with very tired legs.

The entrance to Stowe is very grand.  The National Trust flag was flapping away on top of the arch.IMG_1458The sign pointing to the gardens was a very good use of an old garden fork.IMG_1459The humans wanted a good walk for some exercise (they do like exercise!) so decided to walk around the outside of the estate first of all.   We walked through a field of cows, and my human commented about how lovely it was to see the calves with their mothers.IMG_1461Further along I noticed a tall thin monument and climbed up on the fence for a better view.  It was Lord Cobham’s Pillar.IMG_1465Further along we arrived at a building that was called ‘Fane of Pastoral Poetry’.  My human explained that the building was a folly,  which is an ornamental building with no practical purpose.  At this point we stopped walking around the outside and went into the estate.IMG_1468

Here is a bit of history:  Stowe Landscape Gardens have been in existence for over 300 years, with various owners inheriting the estate over that time.  One of the owners,  the Second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos had extravagant tastes and was very poor with money management. After inheriting the estate, he was keen to undertake repairs on the house and gardens but ran up a debt of over £1 million with creditors.  When Queen Victoria visitednin 1845, in an effort to impress the Royal Family, the duke borrowed even more money to buy expensive new furniture for the house and areas of the gardens. By the end of the decade, everything broke down. Bailiffs seized the estate and a large auction took place to sell off the contents including many garden sculptures. (Source NT Website).
Here I am with a musician in the ‘Circle of the Dancing Fawn’.  A number of the statues are replicas as the original ones were sold off (see above).

IMG_1472This is the Dancing Fawn in the middle of the circle.  IMG_1474Further along we arrived at The Temple of Concord and Victory.  I wondered what the people that used to live here did there. IMG_1483After  walking a further 270 metres (I know this because the National Trust map lists the distances between the follies), we arrived at The Queens Temple.  It took me a fair while to climb up the steps as my little legs were starting to get very tired.IMG_1488My human decided to carry me for a while until we reached The Saxon Deities where she sat me down with ‘Sunday’ for a rest.IMG_1491I rather liked The Gothic Temple, which was surrounded by sheep.IMG_1498I went closer to get a better look; there was a wedding taking place inside.   A splendid place to get married!IMG_1492My human picked me up again and tucked me under her arm as I was starting to walk very slowly.  The estate really is very big and a few hours are needed to see everything.  Here I am having a rest while looking at the view from The Palladian Bridge.  I am quite difficult to spot as the bridge is quite big and I am small!IMG_1500Selfie of me on the Palladium Bridge.IMG_1504I rather liked the Palladium Bridge, so here is another selfie!

The Chinese house gets wrapped up in the winter to protect it from the weather.  wIMG_1507I had a look inside and nearly got stuck..IMG_1509My human took a photo of me from the opposite side.  The paintings inside all looked very old and faded.IMG_1510There was some maintenance work going on at The Temple of Friendship.  I tried out the lift as I don’t weigh more than 200kg.IMG_1513The water lilies and swans on the Octagon Lake made me feel very tranquil.  Stowe House is now a school for the children of rich people.

In the woods we found a swing big enough for at least four bears; it was such a shame that some of my relatives weren’t with me.I also  enjoyed a game of skittles.As we continued our wanders we passed many follies and statues,  this one is the Temple of British Worthies.

After crossing the lake to get a bit closer I paused for a selfie with Shakespeare.

My human’s legs were tired too so at this point it was decided it was time to visit the tea rooms.   Yum yum yum…..

Stowe Landscape gardens are well worth a visit but do allow plenty of time as there is lots to see with lots of walking involved (though humans can hire a buggy to drive around if they want to!)

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