Visiting Stowe

In light of heightened security concerns and given our responsibilities for safeguarding pupils, Old Stoics wishing to visit the School are strongly advised to make an appointment in advance to avoid the disappointment of being turned away at the gate.

As an OS/Former Staff, when can I visit Stowe?

The House is open to the public in both term time and School holidays, Sundays to Fridays inclusive. Please click here to view opening times. Please check the dates on the website before your visit as they can be subject to change. Old Stoics/Former Staff are welcome to join House tours with compliments of the School, with one guest. Please make sure you state you are an Old Stoic at the welcome desk.

Where is the new Welcome Centre and Discovery Centre and how do I find it?

The new Welcome and Discovery centre is located on Plugstreet but is only accessed via a door at ground level on the South Front. Old Stoics can park for free at the National Trust Car Park at the New Inn and walk through the gardens to reach the Visitor Centre. Please give your registration details to the NT staff. Also, please remember to inform staff you are an Old Stoic to receive your complimentry entrance, plus one free guest if you are not a NT member. If you choose to enter via the Stowe School entrance, you will need to book in advance via the Old Stoic Office and report to the North Hall Reception upon arrival and be escorted to the Visitor Centre by a member of staff. 

If I cannot make these times, do I have to inform anyone of my visit?

Yes. We would prefer you to come during the published times as we can guarantee you seeing as many of the main State Rooms as possible. However, if you cannot make these times, please contact the Old Stoic Office (01280 818349) in advance, we will endeavour to make special arrangements to welcome you.

Can I turn up at any time and wander around on my own or with my family?

As you can appreciate in a school of this size, for security reasons, we cannot allow anyone to be unaccompanied around the main House, State Rooms and boarding houses at any time. If you would like to see inside the main House, please join a tour (details above) or book in with the OS Office. 

Old Stoics/Former Staff are welcome to enjoy the gardens at their leisure between the hours of 10am and 6pm daily. Please call before you visit to make an appointment. On arrival at Stowe, you will be stopped at the security lodge where you will need to state the reason for your visit. Please give your name, house and year. Please park in the visitor car park at the end of the Grenville colonnade and report to the North Hall Reception to get a visitor badge. You can enter the gardens under the archway by the Drayson Sports Hall. If you would like to see inside the main House, please join a tour (details above) or book in with the OS Office (in advance).

Old Stoics/Former Staff who arrive unannounced and wish to view inside the school buildings are asked to report to North Hall reception, where we will endeavour to make last-minute arrangements for your visit.  During the school holidays and in the event of North Hall reception being closed, please report to a member of the Stowe House visitor services team upon arrival, normally located in the State Rooms.

During the school holidays, Stowe House is used regularly for private functions, weddings and events. Old Stoics are kindly asked not to enter the House during these times. Event staff will be on hand to help if your visit coincides with a private event: on such occasions it should be possible to visit the gardens but will be impossible to see inside the main House. 

Can I visit my old boarding house?

Boarding house tours take place on OS Reunion Day (held in September/October each year). During other times of the year, on occasion, it may possible to make special arrangements to view your boarding house. Please contact the OS Office to discuss this possibility.  

As an OS can I visit the gardens of the National Trust Stowe?

The Gardens are now open 7 days a week, 10am – 6pm (10am - 4pm Nov-Feb). The NT allows Old Stoics/Former Staff (and up to 3 guests) to visit the Gardens free of charge during opening hours ( and allows picnics in the grounds. Old Stoics can park free of charge at the National Trust Car Park.

Pre-booked 4-person Buggies (battery cars) are available from the NT for 1.5 hours. Please telephone the NT reception to book on 01280 825009. There is a £10 charge for the use of a Buggy and they are available on a first come, first served basis.

Please note that the National Trust has recently opened its new Visitor Centre at New Inn on the south side of the estate, with a new restaurant ‘(The Nevillry’) and shop, and dressed 18th century parlour rooms to explore. You are welcome to enter the Gardens from the north side but allow more time if you wish to explore New Inn. For more information, please click here.

Can I use the School’s sports facilities?

From a safety and security point of view, we cannot offer this service. If you wish to join the Stowe Estates and Sports Club to use the facilities regularly, please contact the Commercial office at Stowe (01280 818280) for a membership form. 

Is the House fully accessible?

Stowe is fully accessible for those who are less able. Step-free entrances are available from the North and South Front.

When inside the house, a lift can take guests to the State Rooms. Accessible lavatories are available on both floors of the House. The House is fully wheelchair friendly and chairs or mobility scooters can used throughout.

If you have any questions or concerns about your visit or would like to make special arrangements, please email

Click here for a list of hotels and B&Bs close to Stowe.