It’s bank holiday Monday, the wind has dropped at last, bringing the rain, so what better to do than cycle round Stowe Gardens National Trust property in North Bucks :-)? I was clearly not the only one to think this – I passed Ian Warby, about to leave, having just finished ensuring that the signage of the trail was complete, then a couple on Bromptons (find their photos on Flickr on Brompton Bike Fans) and another family group on fold-up Dahons all rode out ahead of me, along the winding lanes and tracks, across a slightly
bumpy sheep field track, and back up the approach road to Stowe Gardens. The trail boasts superb views of Stowe Gardens’ many follies – temples and statues in among the trees inside the gardem boundaries, which were particularly captivating rising from the mists and drizzle of the day.
You can ride the trail anytime during daylight hours, as it runs round the edge of the gardens, making it more enjoyable, as there is virtually no traffic of any kind along the way, not even many walkers, perhaps a few sheep to dodge.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-visits-cycling_days.htm#download will hopefully soon include a copy of the cycle trail map, which is fully detailed Ordnance Survey, but you dont’ really need this to get around the trail clockwise, as it is well marked with clear white signs that you can see off in the distance.
The cyclists turning out on this wet May bank holiday show the suitability of the trail for everyone with any bike (with a modicum of grip on the tires) – fold ups, tagalongs, mountain bikes, hybrids and so on.
Stowe Gardens Cycle Trail makes a more active outing to a National Trust property and is completely free, if you don’t want to visit the landscape gardens and superb tea rooms afterwards!