So, the plan for this post was that I’d share lots of lovely photos of the new labyrinth and veritable fields of snowdrops. I’d heard about the newest area of the gardens and it looks great – well, that was the plan.
Quick note, if you’re looking for a full review of Stowe then you’ll find it here.
So, onto the review. I wasn’t sure where the Labyrinth is so I asked a volunteer who very kindly showed me on the map. Turns out it’s in the furthest corner from the entrance. Off we trot, taking in the beautiful sunshine and the sheep and swans along the way. We find a sign, push the pushchair up a fairly steep, muddy path and arrive in the Labyrinth. At first I was a bit confused where it was supposed to be, because it looked a bit sparse, but then I realised that I was already inside it! I then spotted a sign, duly trotted over and found out that the recent weather had brought down a branch from one of the trees so the skittle alley and the giant swing were closed! To say I was disappointed was an understatement.
Now, the plan is for these currently very small shrubs to grow (a lot) and once that’s happened there will be a “labyrinth” of paths for kids to explore. Excellent idea but, until that happens, especially with the swing and skittle alley being out of action, it was a massive let-down. I have no doubt this is going to be awesome once the bushes are bigger, I just wonder if maybe they shouldn’t be promoting it so heavily yet??
I completely understand that they cannot help the weather damaging the tree and I’d rather not have a large oak branch hit me on the noggin, but it would have been useful if either the volunteer or the sign had pointed out the swing and skittles were closed. Had I known, I would have taken a completely different route around the gardens.
After letting smallest child have a wander, I decided to console myself with a hunt for the snowdrops that have also been advertised. Clearly it was a day for me to be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, there are snowdrops and they are beautiful, I was just expecting there to be a lot more of them if somewhere is marketing themselves as having a snowdrop season (I’m thinking Upton House or Cliveden levels of snowdrops)
Now, I fully appreciate that part of the issue might be my own expectations but neither of my two planned highlights quite hit the mark. That said, I really do like Stowe and we had such a lovely day anyway. The sun was out, the geese were in full voice and smallest child and I had a lovely time. I still recommend Stowe, I might just wait a while until I go back to the Labyrinth.