Stowe missing monuments walk

Walking trail

This walk reveals the historic locations of many of the monuments and statues that are now missing.

Please note - do not follow the directional markers you will see on the walk as they are not intended for use with this one, they are for the separate 'secret places' walk.

National Trust Stowe, Buckinghamshire


Map route for Stowe missing monuments walk


New Inn, Buckingham, grid ref: SP681364


Turn right out of New Inn and follow the drive to Bell Gate. Turn left until you are between the two lake pavilions. On your right is the view across the Octagon Lake and the original site of the parterre.

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Turn back towards Bell Gate and follow the path called Peggs Terrace beyond the Temple of Friendship. Proceed about 50yd (45m) and on your right there is a large iron gate. The school was originally sited beyond these gates.

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Continue to the Palladian bridge. As you cross the bridge on your right you will see the island in the distance where the Duke's Urn once stood.

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Move off the Palladian bridge and follow the lakeside path on your left. Continue across the wooden bridge and then turn right and follow the path uphill. Turn left at the Walking Yew and follow the path around to the right for the Temple of Ancient Virtue. We believe that Stowe village was located in this area.

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The Temple of Modern Virtue is to the left of the Temple of Ancient Virtue and the ruins of Modern Virtue are hidden beneath a large yew tree.

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Take the path between Ancient and Modern Virtue and follow the evergreen walk which leads south from the temple of Ancient Virtue. Walk behind the ruins and follow a path to your left. The site of the Gothic cross is visible beside the path on your right.

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Continue on the path passing the site of the Witches' House in front of the yew trees.

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At the end turn left and follow the path downhill towards the water, turning right at the Walking Yew. Follow the path, keeping the wooden bridge on your left, to join the lakeside path on your right. Continue along – Stowe House will be on your right. Turn right when you are opposite the Lake Pavilions to enter the Sleeping Wood. Continue up and the Sleeping Parlour is at the top of this path.

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Take the well-defined path that is the second exit from this space: you should have Stowe House on your right and another path between you and the house. Follow to the end and turn left onto the path. Take the first path on your right and turn right when you reach the water. Follow the path along with the water on your left then take the path on the left once you reach the end. Continue till you see an opening on your left and a bench, from here you have a splendid view across to the Cascade.

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Follow the lakeside path past the Temple of Venus and take the first left to the boathouse in the wood which stands on the site of the urn. From here, if you follow the path and take the first right you will come back to the starting point, the view over the Octagon Lake between the two lake pavilions.

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Bell Gate, Stowe, grid ref: SP677369

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Stowe missing monuments walk


Walking mainly on a mixture of grass and hoggin paths which include gentle gradients at certain points. Some parts accessible via steps only.

Paths may be uneven in places and may not be suitable for pushchairs, especially in muddy conditions. Certain viewing points may require the walker to leave the path and walk down grassy slopes towards water.

Dogs welcome on leads.

Stowe missing monuments walk

Contact us

Telephone: 01280 817156



Stowe missing monuments walk

How to get here

New Inn Farm, Stowe, Buckingham, MK18 5EQ
By train

Bicester North 9 miles (14.5km); Milton Keynes Central 14 miles (22.5km).

By road

Off A422 Buckingham to Banbury road. From M40 take exits 9 to 11, from M1 exits 13 or 15a (sat nav: MK18 5EQ); parking: free (£2 non-members).

By foot

1½ miles (2.4km) from Buckingham.

By bus

Cambridge to Oxford, stops Buckingham, 1½ miles (2.4km).

Stowe missing monuments walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs on leads welcome in gardens and parkland
  • Enjoy freshly produced and seasonal meals in the café
  • Gift shop with local products and a range of National Trust gifts
  • Spaces to lock bicycles and motorbikes in the car park
  • Baby changing and feeding facilities