250 acres of knockout, Capability Brown landscape gardens dotted with follies and temples, near Buckingham. Dogs are welcome on leads.
The word you’re searching for is grand. Grand Georgian landscape gardens, grand sprawling grounds, and a grand neoclassical manor house overlooking it all. Yep, that’s Stowe all right: knockout vista after knockout vista.
Managed by the National Trust, Stowe consists of 250 acres of gardens, lakes and valleys, with over 40 (!) temples and monuments dotted throughout. Walks here feel like stumbling across some long-forgotten piece of history: ‘What ho! An ancient temple!’
Created by Viscount Cobham from 1717 onwards, the grounds were designed in a textbook English ‘landscape garden’ style (rolling hills, classical temples, shady groves), and remain one of ‘Capability’ Brown’s most famous works, though he was only one of many gardeners to have a hand in it. Today they are rich with wildlife and flowers, ranking high on our eight best local places to see blossom, and a positively perfect day out.
Dogs are welcome throughout the grounds, but must be kept on leads, and there are various buggy-friendly routes for parents with young kids. If you’re peckish, you’re hard-pressed to find a better place for a picnic, but there’s also a great and sunny café serving hot and cold drinks — as well as the requisite, must-visit National Trust shop. No cultural visit would be complete without one, after all.
Stowe, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, MK18 5EQ
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