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Marie At Tea is finally back from a rather extended break and more than ever I want to get out and about as much as possible now the weather is improving.

There are so many excuses to stay indoors these days. TVs are huge so why go to the cinema, and you can rent movies online that stream straight to your computer or console, you can shop online and have it delivered directly to you door, and you can even chat and see your friends on Skype, all in the comfort of your own home.

But there are some things you just can’t do from the sofa. A bit of creative thinking is all it takes and I hope my first suggestion covers all the bases.

A Picnic at Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire:

Stowe has been a National Trust property¬†since the late 1980’s, and in that time they have managed to restore and develop one of the most beautiful and interesting attractions in the UK. With over 40 temples scattered throughout a huge expanse of land it makes one of the best walks in the country.

My Northern Inuit Dog Fen.

As a dog owner it makes it increasingly hard for me to find places to visit that don’t lead to me having to find a sitter for my pooch, so for me the best thing of all about Stowe is that dogs are welcome! There are a number of routes around the park of varying distances, giving everyone the chance to enjoy the grounds whether they need an easy stroll or a 2 hour hike. Considering the amount of exercise my dog needs, the 2 hour route is perfect for me, as he can have his daily walk while at the same time I can explore the architectural landmarks dotted around the property.

And for those of you who have children to think about rather than a dog you may be facing similar issues when it comes to planning the family day out. The combination of high energy children and historic properties can be stressful for any parents. Stopping your little darlings from touching that priceless antique vase can make a trip to a manor house more effort than it’s worth. However, at Stowe they aren’t restricted to walking within the red tape. Children can explore the riverside grottos and hunt for hidden statues to their heart’s content. There is plenty of space to run around and last time I visited one family had set up a cricket match.

And of course, picnics are allowed. If you want to go all out and take baskets of food I would recommend leaving them in the car in cooler bags while you explore the grounds as it’s a long way to drag heavy food until you want to eat it. We left ours in the car and then went back to get it after our walk. We ate ours by the riverside pictured above, but any spot you choose in this garden is idyllic.

And of course, whether you have a snack in a backpack or a full blown meal whatever you do don’t forget the scones!

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