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. It’s 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, but 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’m not sure I’d ever been there before in the depths of winter, but even at this time of year it’s still an excellent visit, and it’s such a big site that it rarely feels busy other than in the car park and the cafe.

Speaking of cafes, obviously our trip wouldn’t be complete without coffee and cakes. It’s what the National Trust is all about.