Things to do in Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Marlow is a pleasant Georgian town, situated on a beautiful stretch of the River Thames, midway between Reading and Windsor. It is surrounded by the lovely countryside of the Chiltern Hills which are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The town is famous for its 19th century suspension bridge built in 1832, designed by Tierney Clarke who also built the similar bridge over the River Danube at Budapest.
Many of the buildings in the town are of architectural and historical interest. St. Peters Street is probably the oldest street in Marlow and still has many of the original old houses and cottages.
Marlow Place, at the top of the street, is a Georgian mansion thought to have been built by the first Earl of Portsmouth.
From the side drive, a good view can be had of the Old Parsonage in St. Peters Street, which is the oldest house in the town, as parts of it date back to the 14th century.
The Roman Catholic Church in St. Peters Street was designed by Pugin.
All Saints Church, situated at the bottom of the High Street in a beautiful riverside setting, was rebuilt in 1835 although a church has been on this site since Saxon times. The church contains many interesting monuments and is open to the public everyday during the middle of the day.
A little further downstream is Marlow Lock and Weir where you can get a good view of the church and the bridge.
The High Street is lined with elegant town houses, the facades of which have been retained but they now house a wide variety of shops and boutiques.
One of the houses, Cromwell House, was once the home of Edwin Clark, a famous Victorian engineer.
At the top of the High Street is The Crown, which was built in 1807 as the towns Market House, replacing a former wooden building.
The obelisk, which acts as a roundabout, commemorates the route of the turnpike road between Hatfield and Bath.
Along West Street are houses with literary connections: Percy Bysshe Shelly and his wife Mary, (who wrote Frankenstein whilst living in Marlow) stayed for a year in the house near to Sir William Borlases School.
Founded in 1624, this school was intended to teach 24 poor boys to 'read and write and cast accounts' and 24 poor girls to 'knit, spin and make bone lace'. It is now a mixed grammar school.
T.S. Eliot, the poet, and Thomas Love Peacock, the author, also lived in West Street for a short time.
Further along is a fine 18th century house - Rimnantz, which once housed the junior section of the Royal Military College for ten years before it was moved to Sandhurst in 1812.
The most important event to take place in Marlow is the Marlow Regatta, which occurs each year on the third Saturday in June. This is a one-day event to which crews from all over the world are invited to take part.
Marlow is also one of the places the "Swan Uppers" visit every year in July on their journey up the Thames from Sunbury to Abingdon counting and marking the Queen's swans and those belonging to two Livery Companies of London.
Marlow is an ideal place to visit for that special weekend or just for the day. Relax and enjoy walking along the river, in the surrounding countryside or browsing in the wide variety of shops in the town.
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Marlow is a good base for exploring the surrounding area with the M40 to the North, giving access to London, the M25, Stratford upon Avon and the Midlands and the M4 to the south with access to Heathrow, Gatwick and the West Country.
There is an hourly train service to Maidenhead where you can join the main rail line to London and the West Country.