What better way to work off the excesses of Christmas than by stretching our legs and breathing in some fresh air at our local (and probably favourite) National Trust property, at Stowe. Stowe is only 10 miles or so from home and is somewhere we always like to visit.

Being an afternoon in December, time was a bit limited, We managed to walk from the New Inn all the way across to the Grecian Valley and back, via the Elysian Fields and the lakes. I’d been in winter before a couple of times when planning or maintaining geocaches. Even at this time of year Stowe is still an excellent visit. It’s such a big site that it rarely feels busy other than in the car park and the cafe. Unless you go on a warm Sunday afternoon in the summer, that is.

Speaking of cafes, obviously our trip wouldn’t be complete without coffee and cakes. It’s what the National Trust is all about. Stowe’s cafe is in the New Inn, right by the car park (aren’t they all). It’s a new building they put on the side of the old building when they were refurbishing it.  It has lots of glass and steel, but somehow it fits in well with what was there before.