What to do in Marlow, Buckinghamshire’s riverside gastronomic hub
Life in Marlow has always revolved around the Thames: boaters sail the 14th-century Marlow Lock, kayakers leave town center piers, and riverside pubs and restaurants serve Michelin-starred food. Situated on the southern edge of the Chilterns, Marlow also provides an ideal springboard for day trips in and around its lovely green surroundings, whether treks through the Chilterns Area of ââOutstanding Natural Beauty, explore grand mansions, cycle the Chilterns cycle path or swim in wild reservoirs.
What to do
Embark on the six-mile Marlow Circular Walk, which begins at Higginson Park in the city center and passes through locks and past stately homes and churches before heading to Rassler Wood and the Chilterns. The Thames Path also passes through Marlow; join the path in town and head southwest (upstream) to Henley-on-Thames, or downstream to bustling Maidenhead. Alternatively, follow in the footsteps of ancient Britons along the scenic Ridgeway National Railway – widely regarded as the oldest road in the country. The closest stretch to Marlow is the 15 mile Streatley to Watlington road, passing through chalk hills and through pretty villages.
Where to eat
Chef Tom Kerridge’s flagship restaurant, The hand and the flowers, is the UK’s only two Michelin star pub. Reinvented British and European cuisine is in the spotlight: book well in advance for pub classics like steak and chips (30-day sirloin, dry-aged dovecote beef, nothing less) or fish Ã la Lyonnaise poached in red wine.
Where to stay
the Fisherman Macdonald Compleat is an elegant 400 year old country house located a short walk from the main street. The luxurious rooms are classic in style, with dark wood furniture and damask furniture. Choose a deluxe room for a river view before settling in to dine at the Indian-inspired Sindhu, run by celebrity chef Atul Kochhar. Doubles from Â£ 149.
Do not miss
Cliveden House was built in the middle of the 17th century and is today a five star hotel; however, its motives are in the custody of the National trust. The nearly 400 acres include a Japanese water garden, maze, and walk-in garden, but the real highlight here is the enormous parterre garden. Head to the riverside, from where you can hire small boats for an hour or more.
An afternoon strolling through Marlow High Street, home to fashion boutiques, second-hand clothing stores and household goods stores. You can’t miss the bridge, on the design of which Budapest’s imposing SzÃ©chenyi Chain Bridge was based.
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