This delightfully rural idyll, located on the banks of the Thames, has a long and interesting history. The town centre is a charming mix of old and new buildings. The broad main street and West Street are lined with fine 16th and 18th century buildings. The 14th-c Old Parsonage, in St Peter's Street, is believed to be the oldest house in the town, containing fine paneled rooms and decorative windows.

River Thames at Marlow
River Thames at Marlow © Nigel Cox

Marlow's wide High Street leads to a historic suspension bridge (circa 1831) over the river, which provides a good view of the foaming weir and lock downstream and wooded hills upstream. This elegant crossing was designed by William Tierney Clark, and is the only remaining example of his work. The Grade I listed structure was fully renovated in 1965.

The best way to view Marlow is from the river, where its pretty gardens and mature trees run down to the water's edge. All Saints Church (visible on the north bank above), has a fine soaring spire that dominates the area. The annual Marlow Regatta and Festival celebrates life on the river every June, with rowing races, traditional stalls, fine cuisine, music and riverside activities.

An obelisk milestone (1822) in the Market Place, indicates the town was once an important staging post for travellers. The Crown Hotel, previously called the Remnantz, was reputed to be a watering hole for the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin.

West Street, known locally as Poets Row, has associations with Percy Shelley and his wife Mary who wrote Frankenstein. They lived here for several years in Albion House. T. S. Eliot also lived at 31 West Street, after the war. The town has many other literary connections. It was at the riverside pub, the Two Brewers, that Jerome K. Jerome wrote his humorous account of "Three Men in a Boat", and fishing aficionado Izaak Walton's "The Compleat Angler", is celebrated in the name of the Compleat Angler Hotel at Marlow Bridge.

The principal open space in Marlow is Higginson Park, set in spectacular riverside setting. The area covers some 23 acres, with mature trees and gardens, a children's playground, skate park, bowls club, cricket pitch and a sports and leisure facility. The Thames Path trail, one of the most popular walks in Britain, passes along the riverside here. This part of the river also provides mooring for pleasure craft. Boats can be hired, as well as river cruises to Windsor and Henley.

Map of Marlow


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