We were recently invited to the National Trust at Stowe near Buckingham and what an amazing day we had! Ted, Millie & I, along with my lovely Mum, hit the road for some quality time together in truly beautiful surroundings. We even teamed up with the fab Bridget Davey Photography to capture our day together! So where do I begin?! There is just so much to discover! Pack your bags as adventure awaits; let me share with you why I think the National Trust dog walks at Stowe are pawfection…
You may think dogs wouldn’t be welcomed to a venue which is steeped in historical architecture, but when embarking on any National Trust dog walks at Stowe, you’ll soon discover they actively encourage dogs to sniff out such features! For example, The Temple of Ancient Virtue is even mentioned in their ‘Paw Patrol’ dog walking map (which you can either print online or pick up on your arrival). Inside it states it makes a pawfect spot to cool off your paws (& it really does!) The cool stone is most welcomed to paws after a busy day exploring! It’s also beautiful for humans too, as the architecture & detailing inside is exquisite! Certainly not something you’ll see on your average dog walk…
This positive attitude towards dogs seriously impressed me, as I assumed if I wanted to look a little closer at such beautiful features during our walkies,Ted & Millie would need to remain outside. It’s great to see how dogs aren’t excluded but are fully embraced. Dogs are even allowed to sit with you in the beautiful courtyard at the Nevillery cafe. Some of you may like to bring your own water for your dog, but it’s worth noting water stations are dotted around the site too and at the cafe (you may even receive a cheeky dog biscuit too!) The general warm approach from staff at Stowe was also really welcomed and very much appreciated. What a lovely bunch!
TWO ROUTES (& A MIXTURE OF PATHWAYS & GRASS)
There are two routes you can take with your dog when enjoying walkies together. Walk One is approx. 1.6 miles and Walk Two is approx. 2.6 miles so you can decide which is best for your dog and your schedule. As you can see below, Ted & Millie were extremely keen to get going…!!
It’s worth noting, there’s approximately a 10-15 minute walk from the car park to the entrance of the walking trails, so factor this in when deciding your route. There is a buggy shuttle available to transport you and your dog there though, if feet and paws are a little tired! Personally, I enjoyed the gentle stroll along Bell Drive as it built up anticipation to see what was inside the trails!
As Millie is still recovering from spinal surgery, the amount of time she is actually allowed to walk at the moment, is limited. As explained in a previous post, Millie has her very own ‘Daxie Taxi’ though which she can sit in for part of the walks, so she can still enjoy the outside world! The great thing about the grounds of Stowe is the mixture of terrain. You can either stick to the pathways or go a little ‘off road’ to walk through the grass. This meant Millie’s pushchair was able to easily cope during our walkies (& it wasn’t bumpy at all!) This also showcased to me how great it would be if I had a family too, as you could easily bring your children in their pushchairs, along with your dogs to enjoy the surroundings together.
A lot of dogs struggle with grass allergies as I’ve also mentioned in a previous post. Stowe would therefore make an excellent venue to walk in, as you can ensure your dog avoids coming into contact with it, yet still admire the green views (but from the safety of a pathway instead!)
MY FAVOURITE SPOTS!
To narrow down my favourite part of the walk is no easy task, as quite frankly, I enjoyed every moment! If you’re thinking of enjoying your own National Trust dog walks at Stowe, I would highly recommend setting aside some extra time at the Cascade and a little further along at Octagon Lake, which you can access on both the shorter & longer walks. I can’t begin to put into words how tranquil it is. Even though I was with Ted, Millie, my Mum & Bridget, I felt a complete moment of calm almost wash over me when we stopped there. This would be a pawfect spot to sit and have some bonding time with your dog.
My lovely Mum particularly fell in love with the Palladian Bridge! It really is absolutely beautiful…
MAKE NEW FRIENDS!
Expect to connect with nature whilst you’re enjoying your National Trust dog walks at Stowe! We saw a gorgeous family of geese, coots & much more while we were enjoying the sunshine. It’s because of this, dogs must be kept on leads at ALL times. Sheep (& their lambs, depending on what time of year you visit) are also grazing near to the walking trail. It goes without saying you need to ensure your dog doesn’t worry them. There’s no reason why all creatures & humans can’t enjoy the surroundings of Stowe. The way the National Trust welcomes dogs here shows how they can all work in harmony together. A number of ‘doggy’ bins are scattered around the site, so also be sure to pick up after your pooch when making the most of the scenery.
NATIONAL TRUST DOG WALKS AT STOWE = PAWFECTION!
What a day! Three humans & two dogs were well & truly happily exhausted when we headed back home. Ted & Millie slept the entire journey! Whether you’re going for a regular dog walk or making a whole day out of it, the National Trust dog walks at Stowe are really something to be experienced firsthand. It’s a joy for the senses, for all involved! You can find out more about membership or visitor fees etc here. I’m already planning on when we can return to enjoy it all over again…
Does Stowe sound like an ideal walking spot for you & your dog?! Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear what you think…
Sarah, Ted & Millie xxx
*A huge thank you to The National Trust, Stowe for inviting us & making us feel so very welcome and to Bridget Davey Photography for providing the most awesome shots from the day!