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Things to do in Stowe's landscape garden

A woman holds a small child in the plant sales area at Stowe in Buckinghamshire
Visitors in the plant sales area at Stowe | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Enjoy summer in the 250 acres of 18th-century landscape garden at Stowe this season. Take in views of the rolling expanses of grass which are framed by artfully placed trees and shrubs and reflected in tranquil stretches of water. See the many temples and monuments and choose your path through the garden. Discover something special all year round as the changing seasons provide different highlights.

Summer at Stowe landscape garden

Enjoy the dappled shade of the trees around the garden, particularly in the cooling lamport garden, take shelter in a temple to get out of the sun. Take our grab and go wildflower meadows walk to enjoy the beauty that summer can offer.

Look out for the Indian bean tree, tulip tree and mock orange, all displaying their delightful summer blooms. In Sleeping Wood, with its meandering paths and colourful flowering shrubs, you'll find roses, lilac and honeysuckle. We have a large number of areas of the garden which are managed as wildflower meadows - all down the avenue which leads to Stowe from Buckingham, Hawkwell Field by the Palladian Bridge, the Grecian Valley and Home Park.

Distant view of the house at Stowe across the lake. The house is framed by large trees on either sides.
View of the house across the lake at Stowe | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Discover the varied landscape

Both the scale and beauty of Stowe Gardens have attracted visitors for over 300 years. Picture-perfect views, winding paths, lakeside walks and temples have all been created by human hand. Certain paths at Stowe Gardens entice you to views only revealed at the last moment. Meanwhile, the grass paths add even more horticultural interest, such as seasonal colours and contrasting foliage.

With 250 acres to look after, the gardeners are very busy at Stowe Gardens. If you spot one of them during your visit, please stop and have a chat. They're a friendly bunch and will be glad to answer your questions.

Find your top garden spot

Walk through the Grecian Valley

With lots of benches along the way, the Grecian Valley is great for a circular walk. Look out for a wide range of flowers and seasonal interest in the shrubbery throughout the year.

Discover temples and monuments

You'll find some of the best-loved and most iconic temples and monuments at the eastern side of the garden. Don’t miss the Gothic Temple, the Temple of Friendship and the Palladian Bridge.

Pause at the South Vista

See the classic view of Stowe Gardens from the South Vista. Take in the symmetry of the House, the Lake Pavilions and the majestic Corinthian Arch.

Stowe Church

Stowe Church is tucked away in the heart of the gardens, and you can pop in any time on your walk through the Elysian Fields. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was married here and four of his children christened here too. Sit on the bench outdoors and enjoy this mini haven in the vast landscape.

A family walk with their dog beside the water at Stowe, Buckinghamshire
Wander beside the water at Stowe | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Discover hidden meanings in the garden

Stowe was never just a garden. Its creator, Lord Cobham, set the garden out to reveal his beliefs about the politics and morality of the day. Which path will you choose – Vice, Virtue or Liberty?

A visitor walks in front of the Rotondo, which is set against a bright blue sky, at Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckinghamshire.
The Rotondo at Stowe Stowe Landscape Gardens | © National Trust Images / John Millar

The Path of Vice

Greek mythology was well-known in the 18th century. The Paths of Vice and Virtue represent the Greek god Hercules’ struggle between these two choices. The Path of Vice runs through the Garden of Love (designed by then head gardener, appropriately called Mr Love). The temples in this area allude to stories of seductive women, sordid goings-on and partying to excess. Not for the faint-hearted.

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Wildlife welfare

If you notice any wildlife in distress or have any concerns about the welfare of any widlife on site during your visit, please phone our Duty Manager on 07990 771841 or email us at so we can ensure to respond to the situation as quickly as possible. We rely on members of the public as well as our own teams to make us aware of any wildlife welfare concerns across the 1,200-acre estate. Thank you.

A little girl is sitting on her father's shoulders with the house at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, in soft focus in the background.

Discover more at Stowe

Find out when Stowe is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Unravel layers of history with a broad look at Stowe throughout the centuries, as well as the people who made it into the grand Georgian estate you can see today.

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There’s more to Stowe than the famous Georgian landscape garden. Discover more views and monuments in the 1,000 acres of parkland surrounding Stowe's garden.

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Join us at Stowe this Christmas to make memories as you reconnect with family and friends at festive events and activities.

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At the heart of Stowe's garden is Stowe House, which is not owned by the National Trust. Discover how you can visit for refreshments and tours at certain times.

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