I had the pleasure of meeting Kat, from 3 Bedroom Bungalow blog, this past week while our kids were out on half-term break. It was a gorgeous day and so nice to finally put a face and warm body behind the woman that has helped me through my expat transition, I've laughed with innumerable times on-line and twittered with incessantly since arriving in England. She was just as smart, irreverent, no-nonsense, and smart-assed in person as she is online, I am happy to report! We had a beautiful day out, chatting non-stop between running interference with our children. ;-)
She chose a National Trust property located exactly halfway between our homes and it was a doozy of a pick. The Stowe family started to build this place in 1676 and spared no expense on the house or the gorgeous landscape gardens that surround it. In fact, the Stowe family had more money than the king at that point in history and it shows! The National Trust site isn't very informative, but this site for the Stowe boarding school (yes, your kids could actually live in the mansion for £27,000 per annum) has a great site and history of the house and grounds.
(FYI: All the photos can be seen larger, just double-click on them.)
Who needs stinkin' stairs?
I knew there were stairs to that temple.
It took about 20 minutes to cross this bridge. The ducks, the minnows, the fish, and the lily pads all conspired to keep the kids captive on the 30-foot stretch of stone.
Halp me! CC gets mauled, while proud Lala rides her noble beast to victory.
Hanging with the naked gold lady.
And some more highlights from the grounds: