The National Trust bought the early 18th century New Inn, which used to provide accommodation to the first visitors to Stowe, with the intention of turning it into a visitor centre. The NT then brought in NBW, initially to help them with ideas on how the building and its surrounding landscape might be developed to welcome visitors, and what their experience might be from their first glimpse of the park, through to their approach to the gardens and their return to the visitor centre.

The study was later extended to cover how visitors of different types might interpret the complex and extensive landscape and how they would be catered for and transported throughout their day. The new approach is from the south by the Bell Gate, just as visitors used to approach in the distant past, and once through the gate they will be given a choice between Vice and Virtue and their journey will begin. The study was presented to the Trust as an illustrated booklet.

The Trust used the NBW study as a briefing document for the very successful visitor centre which was designed by Cowper Griffiths Architects.

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