Step back in time
As a visitor, you now enter the gardens using the original coaching inn, the New Inn. You then walk down a tree-lined avenue to Bell Gate. This was the original entry point used by the earliest visitors nearly 300 years ago.
Relax in the café
Built in 1717, the New Inn provided rest and refreshment for Stowe’s first tourists. They came to marvel at the scale and splendour of the famous gardens. As part of your visit, you can also stop for refreshments at the café or buy a guide book in the shop, built on the footprints of old barns next to the original coaching inn.
After falling into decline the New Inn went into private ownership and spent many years as a farm. In 2005 we were able to purchase the New Inn to recreate the the past. The restoration work was part of a £9 million project to transform the way that people visit and enjoy this internationally important heritage site and opened to the public once again in 2012. Outside New Inn, the nostalgic atmosphere is further enhanced by the recreation of an eighteenth-century farmhouse kitchen garden. It provides crops and produce for use in the café.