This superb example of a Georgian garden was created for the Temple family by the most famous gardeners of the 18th century. Capability Brown, Charles Bridgeman, and William Kent all worked on the land to create 980 acres of pleasing greenery in the valleys and meadows. More than 40 striking monuments, follies, and temples dot the landscape of lakes, rivers, and pleasant vistas; this is a historically important place, but it's not for those who want primarily a flower garden. Allow at least half a day if you want to explore the grounds. Stowe House, at its center, is now a fancy school with some magnificently restored rooms; it's open for tours most afternoons from Sunday through Thursday, but call ahead. The gardens are about 3 miles northwest of Buckingham, which is 14 miles northwest of Aylesbury. You enter the gardens through the New Inn visitor center, where there are period parlor rooms to explore.
New Inn Farm, off A422, Buckingham, MK18 5EQ, England
01280-817156; 01280-818166-house information line; 01280-818002-house tours