Stowe advent calendar walk
This Christmas the beautiful gardens at Stowe have been transformed into a giant advent calendar. Follow the trail to discover 24 advent ‘doors’ hidden across the landscape, with surprises to discover around every corner. From reindeer to 64 golden crowns, these decorations are sure to get you in the festive spirit.
New Inn, Stowe, grid ref: SP681364
Begin your advent calendar walk at New Inn – there are three doors to find here. Keep your eyes peeled as you enter the courtyard under the arch and make sure you visit the shop and Hayloft bookshop. Feeling peckish? You can pick up refreshments at the Nevillery café before heading out on your winter quest.
As you leave the New Inn make sure you stop by the Farmhouse Garden to find door number 2, contributed by our colleagues at Claydon House.
Head down Bell Gate Drive looking out for our literary tree on your left as you make your way down.
As you enter the gardens turn left and head down Peggs Terrace. As you pass the second pavilion look out for number 15 and poke your head into the trunk of this tree. Then continue down Peggs Terrace to find the Temple of Venus where Father Christmas's reindeer have stopped for a break.
Leave the Temple of Venus and head left, around the Eleven Acre Lake and up Gurnets Walk towards the Rotunda. Make a pitstop at Sleeping Wood to find the box containing door number 9. Then continue up Gurnets Walk to find Didos Cave and our tree of helpful hands.
Continue on to the magnificent Stowe House where you will find two more doors to spot. Pass the house and head along the path to find Stowe Church tucked away behind the trees. Pop into the church to see their Christmas tree, door number 22.
Head out of the church, taking a left at Captain Grenvilles Column and along down into the magical Grotto to find door number 20. Take a moment to enjoy the view out down the River Styx. Leave the Grotto and go back on yourself, past Captain Grenvilles Column and on to the Temple of Ancient Virtue. Take a peek inside to find our pinecone decorations for door number 13.
Leave the Temple of Ancient Virtue and head right along the path through the Elysian Fields, over the Cascade between the two lakes and round to the left where you will pass the Temple of British Worthies. Here you will find one of the worthies wearing a Christmas hat and scarf for door number 19, but who?
Continue on past the Worthies and Seasons Fountain, and then take a left and re-join the path up to the Temple of Concord and Victory. As you approach Concord and Victory look out for the tree planted by Queen Victoria and decorated with 64 gold crowns to represent each year of her long reign. Then head up the steps to see how our fantastic gardening team have decorated the temple.
Now retrace your steps until you reach the path on your left, which leads you up to Queens Temple. Head round the front of the temple to see the beautiful stitched trees for door number 17.
On leaving Queens Temple take the path round to the back of the temple, past the school's running track and round into the cluster of trees where you'll find the orchard and the apple tree for door 21. Make sure you take a moment to enjoy the view back across to the Temple of Concord and Victory.
Continue on the path round to the right to find Lord Cobhams Pillar and the wonderfully decorated Jesse Tree created by the staff and pupils at St James and St John School in nearby Chackmore. Continue your walk down towards the Gothic Temple, heading round the temple and past the front to find our chestnut trees for door number 16.
Retrace your steps and continue down the path over the Palladian Bridge. Take the path on the right towards the Chinese House (which is wrapped up for winter) and on into Lamport Garden. Here, tucked up in the back of the garden, you will find our magnificent weeping beech tree.
Leave Lamport Garden, past the Chinese House, and follow the main path round to the Temple of Friendship decorated with two Georgian Christmas boughs.
You're nearly finished, but we're ending with a bit of a challenge. Follow Peggs Terrace back to the Bell Gate, head through the gate and take the track off the Bell Gate drive to the left. Follow the line of the ha-ha and you'll reach a bridge with metal handrails, before you go over this head right up the edge of the field. You should then see a signpost for the Farey Oak, our magnificent old oak tree.
That's it, you've completed the monumental advent calendar walk. Retrace your steps and head up Bell Gate drive for a well-deserved treat in the Nevillery Café.
Bell Gate, Stowe, grid ref: SP677369
You made it
Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.