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Notice: Saturday 23 May: Please note the garden will be closed on 23 May due to a private event. The New Inn visitor centre, shop and café will be open.

A monumental day out

The scale and beauty of Stowe have attracted visitors for over 300 years. Picture-perfect views, winding paths, lakeside walks and temples create a timeless landscape, reflecting the changing seasons. Full of hidden meaning, the gardens were created as an earthly paradise, and still cast their spell today.

Your visit starts at the New Inn visitor centre outside the gardens. This fusion of modern and restored 18th-century buildings was where visitors of the past were welcomed to Stowe.

Stop by the light and airy café for delicious fresh food and the shop for unique products inspired by the gardens. The sheer size and space is perfect for those who love the outdoors and enjoy walking. A short walk or a ride in a buggy from New Inn takes you into the gardens, where another world awaits.

BBC1's 24 Hours in the Past, featuring Stowe

The celebrities take on Victorian jobs at the New Inn, Stowe

The celebrities take on Victorian jobs at the New Inn, Stowe

The BBC series 24 Hours in the Past follows six famous faces as they travel back in time to experience the relentless graft of Victorian Britain. Spending 24 hours in 19th-century workplaces, the series features the New Inn at Stowe on the second episode, 5 May. The series starts this Tuesday 28 April on BBC1, 9pm. Read our article to reveal behind the scenes action from the team at Stowe and watch the trailer or you can find out more about the show and the celebrities here.

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Seasonal highlights

Step into spring

Spring flowers in abundance in the garden 

Have you got a spring in your step and want to get outdoors for some fresh air? Pick up our trail which will take you on a route around the gardens to discover the fresh beginnings of the spring flowers. Our gardeners have pointed out the best displays to see - in 2014 we planted hundreds of bulbs so we expect to see a wide range of flowers lasting through to the end of April.

Family fun - upcoming events

Playing by the lake © Nick Daly

We've got lots of upcoming family fun for the May half-term and summer. Explore the gardens to tick off some of the 50 Things to see and do before you're 11 3/4, climb a tree with the Great Big Tree Climbing Co, bring your Dad to the Father's Day 50 Things Challenge, and camp out under the stars on the Big Camping Weekend and stretch out a rug by The Temple of Venus by for a picnic in the family fun zone.

Plan your family visit with our Top ten family activities article.

We're recruiting

A friendly face speaking with visitors © John Millar

Over the next couple of years there are some exciting projects and programmes of work starting at Stowe and we need your help to make them a shining success. Find volunteering opportunities such as Cartoonists, Fundraisers, Ha-ha wall repairers, Marketing assistants and much more. We've also got staff roles available.

Restoring Stowe -The Landscape Programme

A visitor being served in the shop by one of our team © John Millar

A new programme of restoration is underway this year so you will start to see the return of lost statues, paths and monuments with new areas to explore. As we complete 54 tasks over the next five years we will be closer to our goal of restoring Stowe to its 18th-century heyday. Throughout the year you will see work taking place and discover some of the stories behind Stowe – one of the most influential gardens in Europe.

Try a midweek visit

Get away from it all with a visit during the week © National Trust

We know some of you like a more peaceful visit. We’re busiest at weekends, so if you’re looking for a quieter day out, why not visit during the week if you can?

Enjoy a peaceful spring walk and a selection of events taking place mid-week. We also host a monthly dog walks on a Wednesday, and Toddler activities on Tuesdays.