Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Gothic Temple in Stowe Gardens Buckinghamshire

Hello and welcome to my blog. Before I post on Shoreham Airport, I'd like to share some memories of our recent stay at the Gothic Temple in Stowe Gardens.
     The Gothic Temple is one of nearly 200 buildings operated by the Landmark Trust in the United Kingdom. The Landmark Trust is a 50-year-old charity which rescues small historic buildings, sensitively restores them, then lets them out as self-catering accommodation.  Although not the cheapest of holidays, its guests are intensely loyal and pride themselves on the number of Landmarks in which they have stayed. The Gothic Temple was our third Landmark.
     It was approached via the Grand Avenue, (a present from old Etonians to the new Stowe School), which ran alongside the magnificent Stowe House, seat of the Temple-Grenville family until it was bought by Stowe School in 1922.

The north entrance of Stowe House.

  Our Landmark was less obvious and we were virtually on top of it before our excited 9-year-old exclaimed, "Wow! This has got my name written all over it!" That first sight took our breath away. As we crept up the pitted tree-lined drive, gambolling lambs paused to stare at us before their mothers called them away.  It was enchanting.

The Gothic Temple

     Deprived of television and internet access, we instinctively adapted to a slower pace of life and delighted in sprawling across our cushioned window seats to watch our inquisitive neighbours. 

Two of our neighbours.

     Before long, the sun replaced the watch and, upon advice, we rose early to see it rise.  The moon was still up when we opened the front door and were engulfed by the sound of the dawn chorus. Mist drifted up from the glassy lakes and it felt like we were intruding on a Fairyland. For two unforgettable hours, we ambled through the empty gardens watching the sun rise and the day unfurl. 

The Palladian Bridge at dawn

Sunlight breaks through the mist.

     Captivated by our surroundings, we lost interest in our plans to rush hither and thither but did manage one day trip, to Bletchley Park, home of the World War Two codebreakers. 

Bletchley Park

     The contrast was invigorating. During the tour of the cramp wooden huts, it was easy to imagine how dark, smelly and claustrophobic it must have been but the sense of excitement and determination seemed to have seeped into the walls, for we all imagined ourselves codebreakers as we played intently with the exhibits.  
     After five relaxing days, none of us wanted to return so we prolonged our break by a brief detour to one of my childhood favourites, the charming Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water. 
    Now it's time to play catch up and next week, I'll be back with a feature on Jonathan Candelon, Managing Director of FTA Global and Brighton City Airport.
     Thanks for dropping by and see you soon. 

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