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An ancient-looking Greek-style round temple sitting on the banks of a deep blue glass-like lake surrounded by a variety of trees just starting to change from green into the orange of autumn
The Temple of Ancient Virtue by the lake at Stowe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/John Miller
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire

Lakeside walk at Stowe Gardens

Enjoy a peaceful walk around the lakes at Stowe Gardens, discovering ornate temples and spotting wildlife. Admire the intricate mosaic designs in the Pebble Alcove and play with the echoes inside the Hermitage.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

Stowe's wooden bridge, grid ref: SP677372

Step 1

Start your walk at Stowe's wooden bridge.

Step 2

Walk over the wooden bridge along the edge of the lake towards the Palladian Bridge.

Step 3

Once you've crossed over the Palladian Bridge and enjoyed views in between its pillars, carry on straight ahead towards the ruin of the Temple of Friendship.

Step 4

Follow the path along past the Temple of Friendship, and then take the right fork back to the lakeside. This will bring you to the Pebble Alcove.

A girl looking at the intricate details in the Pebble Alcove at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
A girl looking at the intricate details in the Pebble Alcove at Stowe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Step 5

Continue along the lake's edge until you come out into the open once more, where you'll see one of the best views at Stowe.

Step 6

For a quick diversion, walk down between the two lakes to the Cascade.

Step 7

Come back to your path and continue on to the next lake until you reach a small temple, called the Hermitage.

Step 8

After this, take the path towards the Temple of Venus.

Step 9

Now follow the path so that you walk along the bottom side of the lake towards point 9, where you will turn again to keep on the lakeside path.

Step 10

Continue to hug the lake along the path as you go back into a wooded area. This has recently been upgraded so that pushchairs and wheelchairs can use the path.

Step 11

Now follow the lakeside path back to the wooden bridge.

The Wooden Bridge at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
The Wooden Bridge at Stowe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

End point

Stowe's wooden bridge, grid ref: SP677372

Trail map

Map of the Lakeside walk at Stowe in Buckinghamshire
Map of the Lakeside walk at Stowe in Buckinghamshire | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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The Temple of Friendship at Stowe Gardens, Buckinghamshire

Stowe Gardens 

Gardening on the grandest scale in this Georgian landscape garden and park

Buckingham, Buckinghamshire

Fully open today

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Stowe Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, MK18 5EQ

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Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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