We can NOT miss the snowdrop season without at least one major snowdrop walk.. right!!! So, to do exactly that, we decided to explore Stowe landscape gardens. I must say Snow drops at Stowe or “Stowedrops” as they are fondly called here has to be one of the most breathtaking and spectacular views ever!
We have been to the Stowe landscape garden before-you can see our previous post HERE. I will start by saying the same again. There is a LOT of walking involved. Getting to the gardens from the car park involves a fairly long walk, must be a good ~ 500-700m but luckily it is all flat and buggy accessible. There is a small cabin for a welcome point near the entrance to the garden where they check membership cards etc. The friendly staff helped us to the best walking route to the snowdrops, which I am going to try to reproduce here
When you pass through the main gate to the gardens, immediately turn right . Walk towards the Temple of Friendship and then head to the right of the Palladian bridge, but do NOT go over the bridge. About 100 m before the bridge is the entrance towards the Chinese House, turn right here. You may find some snowdrops hiding in here! Don’t get excited. Keep following the track towards the Lamport Gardens and the small woodland area (which has more snowdrops) and plenty of trees to climb.
As you come out of here, the path will lead to Gothic temple. We rolled down the hill (Hawkwell field) to reach the opposite side and started back on the “main” track. It is here we saw a sign saying that the grotto was open. The grotto was always closed whenever we have previously visited, so I shrieked in excitement. It was dark inside (which is to be expected) but there is a beautiful fountain and some of the most lovely views from its balcony- DO NOT MISS IT.
As you come out of here, keep walking by the stream, across the “shell bridge” towards the Elysian Fields where you will be able to see more snowdrops along the water edge and also spread over the hills, which, with the temple of ancient virtue in the backdrop, made for one of the most breathtaking sights ever! We walked toward the temple of British worthiness (and admired the pretty statues here) and then over the wooden bridge. Ay randomly started singing “London bridge is falling down” making everyone around laugh. We then followed the edge of the Octagon lake and turned around back towards the entrance via the cascades and artificial ruins. I hear there are more snowdrops in the sleeping woods, but we had already done about 2 miles by now, and I knew there was at least another ~700m back to the car park, so cut short here.
Map of the property can be found HERE
Official map of the “Stowe drops” is HERE though our route was slightly different (NOTABLY we did not go over the Palladian bridge)
Link to website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stowe
🗺 Address: Stowe, MK18 5EQ
🎟 Free for NT members, otherwise, entrance fee applies (please see website)- prebooking not required
🚘 Free parking on-site
🍕 New Inn Cafe near the car park
🚻 No toilets within the gardens but some portaloos scattered around (I did not come across any, but I didn’t need them, so wasn’t actively looking). Some toilets in the cafe near the car park, so ideally use them before venturing off
🧺 Picnic allowed
🦽 I saw some parents pushing prams around, so it is possible, but the terrain would be bumpy and muddy and a lot of parts are uphill. I would recommend a body carrier/sling
🐕 Dogs on leads welcome
Cycling not permitted in the garden but under 5s on trikes, starter bikes with stabilisers, or balance bikes (no pedals), and under 11s on push/kick scooters are allowed
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