BY TAMRA BOOTH, FOUNDER
Come rain or shine, there are always things to do in Marlow. Marlow is a charming and vibrant Georgian market town, and is without a doubt one of the loveliest and most picturesque locations on the River Thames.
With so much on offer, Marlow is the perfect place for a weekend away in the UK, for a break from the City, and a quintessentially English town guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of tourists! For the foodies out there, Marlow is home to several Michelin star restaurants owned by nationally renowned chefs, as well as an abundance of excellent cafes, bistros and eateries.
The high street is also lined with boutique shops where you can spend time browsing, as well as an awesome pottery shop and pottery class studio…we couldn’t not mention it! There is plenty to do all whilst enjoying some countryside and good old fashioned fresh air.
With the release of our pottery classes and pottery courses where you can learn to make your own pottery, we want to encourage our lovely Keeepers who are based further afield to come and visit this lovely town, and if you do, we can give you a hand in planning your weekend itinerary!
So, what would we recommend you do with your time in Marlow? Keep reading to discover our top 10 things to do in Marlow.
1. Get creative and take a pottery class
Keeeps offers a number of fun pottery classes for you to do something creative with your time in Marlow! If you’re completely new to pottery, try hand building and wheel throwing at our clay taster classes (3 hours), or focus on your wheel throwing skills with the wheel throwing taster class (2.5 hours). We guarantee you’ll leave having had a fantastic time, and with a good basic knowledge of making pottery!
Alternatively, if you want to make a day of it, book a private lesson where you spend a whole day with us (with a lunch break for you to sample the culinary delights in Marlow…more on that below!), learning how to make pots on a more personal level.
Finally, we also throw private parties including hen and stag parties, birthday parties, and other special occasion events. You’ll learn to make pottery all whilst enjoying a glass of bubbly and some nibbles!
2. Devour the restaurants in Marlow
A household name, and Keeeps’ next-door neighbour, the Ivy Marlow Garden not only offers all-day dining but also a scenic garden to soak up the sunshine surrounded by beautiful flowers and foliage with the tipple of your choice – heaven!
The Ivy Marlow Garden is next door to Keeeps Pottery Store and Studio - it’s a no brainer.
Sindhu is based inside The Compleat Angler, a luxury 4-star hotel with stunning views over the River Thames. Sindhu serves traditional Southern Indian Cuisine with modern British touches by Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar.
Atul also has another restaurant in the town, called Vaasu, which is just as excellent.
The tasting menus at Atul’s restaurants are divine, especially when paired with their exquisite wine choices – fantastic for a special occasion and a complete treat for a foodie.
Sindhu and Vaasu are both just a 5-minute walk from Keeeps Pottery Store and Studio.
A favourite of locals, The Vanilla Pod is an award-winning restaurant, serving delicious French-English fusion food. It only has one sitting per evening, so you can stay all night, savouring both the food and the company.
The Vanilla Pod is a 4-minute walk from Keeeps Pottery Store and Studio based on West Street, which is adjacent to the High Street.
Megan’s is new to Marlow but a London favourite, and only opened its Liston Court restaurant in April 2022.
Megan’s has a mean brunch offering (why not complement with bottomless bubbles?!) and we’d definitely recommend indulging in coffee and cake with a spot of people watching in Liston Court, which is home to some lovely little boutique shops.
Owned by local legend and Michelin star Chef Tom Kerridge, it’s the only pub in the UK with two Michelin stars.
Unsurprisingly, The Hand and Flowers serves incredible food in a proper pub environment. As Tom describes it, The Hand and Flowers serves “bold, unpretentious cooking with brilliant, seasonal ingredients” – it’s exactly the kind of place where you want to enjoy your days off.
The Hand and Flowers is around the corner in West Street, only a 9 minute walk from Keeeps Pottery Store and Studio.
A laid-back and relaxing café that serves all-day brunch, scrummy lunch options and incredible sweet treats (seriously, try the smashed loaded cheesecakes!) and everything in-between. No fuss, just great tasty food, and a calming atmosphere.
Fego’s is located on the High Street, just opposite Keeeps Pottery Store and Studio.
3. Enjoy your favourite tipple in the cosy pubs and bars in Marlow
Another absolute corker brought to you by Tom Kerridge is The Coach, a one Michelin-starred pub.
Great drinks, great atmosphere and the food is both delicious and really reasonably priced considering the quality.
Visit the butcher’s counter, pick your desired cut of meat (with the help of the butcher-chefs) and take it to the grill to be cooked how you like it!
Steak, burgers or hotdogs, the choice is yours – just make sure you wash it down with a lovely drink too in their cosy pub!
Another Tom Kerridge haunt, this is a very popular and buzzy pub that the Keeeps team love.
If you’re a wine lover, head to the Oarsman, a contemporary Bistro and Pub based on Spittal Street, which has an extensive list of fine and rare wines for you to sample. The food is amazing too and is recommended by Michelin.
Image credit: The Oarsman
Built in 1727 and one of the oldest pubs in Marlow, it’s one of the best places for traditional pub grub and a few beers. Tucked away near the river, this is a local’s favourite.
For a relaxed but lively night out, head to Chequers for some great live music and atmosphere!
Enjoy a selection of wines in the welcoming bar area, with some delightful cheese and charcuterie sharing boards. The range of wines is great and prices very reasonable.
Craft beer, live music and events, pizza…what is there not to love? Based on the High Street, it should definitely feature on your list of pubs and bars to crawl over the weekend.
4. Breathe in the countryside in the parks in Marlow
Higginson Park is the main park in the centre of Marlow, is adjacent to the river, and home to the “Pub in the Park” festival that is held in May every year. It is located close to the suspension bridge at the bottom of the High Street (so it is very close to our Pottery Store and Studio).
There is lovely café for you to sit and enjoy a coffee, whilst the kids burn off some energy in the huge children’s playground or you stroll around the park and down to the river.
Set behind Liston Court off of the High Street, this lovely little picnic spot is perfect if you have grabbed a takeaway bite from one of the amazing delis in town, such as Gails, Satollo’s, Chez Ben or Laurents. Don’t forget your picnic blanket!
Walk off the delicious food and drink at Marlow Common, a beautiful nature reserve which is just north of the town centre, around a 30–40-minute walk away.
Many people visit to explore the woodland and to see the old First World War training trenches.
Fun fact: in the 19th century the Medmenham Tile Company made beautiful, high quality, art nouveau ceramic tiles at Marlow Common.
Sadly the old brick kiln was demolished in the 1960s but you can still see some of Medmenham Pottery’s tiles today in one of the bathrooms at nearby Danesfield House Hotel.
5. Go for a stroll by the Thames
Thames Path Marlow Lock
The trail next to the Thames runs at its full length for 184 miles. The stretch in Marlow crosses through the graveyard of All Saints Church. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and you’ll pass the historic Marlow Lock which is a very pretty sight to behold.
Image credit: Visit Thames
Take a boat out for hire
Visit Cookham, Hurley or Henley and take in the best of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire with picturesque villages, stately homes and historic bridges, all as you float peacefully on the water.
6. Explore the artisan eateries and deli’s of Marlow
Enjoy some freshly prepared Italian food, including freshly baked ciabattas and focaccias as well as a range of meats, cheeses and salads.
Enjoy with a chilled class of Italian wine or an Aperol Spritz. We’re not drooling, you are!
New to Marlow High Street, but immediately popular with locals, Laurent’s offers patisserie perfection as well as amazing fresh coffee. Perfect for elevenses.
Head to Spittal Street, which is just off the high street and browse the fine wines and artisan food products in this gorgeous delicatessen. Take some home with you to keep the weekend going.
London based bakery Gail’s has recently moved to Marlow, and their freshly baked pastries, cakes and bread are a must-try. Grab a coffee and a pastry and go for a walk around Higginson Park – perfection.
7. Top up your wardrobe with delightful clothes boutiques
Update your wardrobe with some French curated, chic and timeless pieces.
Created by two best friends Francesca and Sian, you’ll find your wardrobe staples, along with seasonal trends and comfortable, fun pieces.
There’s not just independent brands either, Marlow High Street is home to lots of your favourite quality chains. We’re talking the likes of Jigsaw, Toast and Mint Velvet for you to have a browse in.
We wouldn’t forget about the fellas! Both Hewitts and Repertoire have a vast array of men’s clothing and accessories, from top and emerging brands.
8. Visit Rebellion Brewery
The chalky water which runs from the Chiltern Hills give Rebellion Beers their distinctive and delicious taste.
Brewing since 1993, they have a shop and a tap room where you can sample lots of different beers (as well as wines and spirits if beer isn’t your thing!).
Open 6 days a week, visiting Rebellion Brewery in Marlow is highly recommended for when the sun is shining!
9. Marlow Regatta
If you’re visiting in June, you may well be in time to witness the Marlow Regatta.
Whilst the Henley Regatta is a little better known, Marlow Regatta is run by Olympic Legend Sir Steve Redgrave and if the weather is good, a perfect occasion to go picnicking with a few treats from the various delicatessens!
10. Soak up the history
Marlow is an old Georgian Market town, and this means there is so much history caught up in its architecture alone.
The White House, where the Keeeps Pottery Store and Studio is based, was built in the 1730s and features beautiful Tuscan columns to the front.
Elsewhere, the Marlow Suspension Bridge is a particular highlight, a grade 1 listed and built between 1829 and 1832, the bridge is best viewed from the water below but also has a lovely view over the water as you walk over it.
It has featured in many films, most recently George Clooney’s 1930's period piece, “The Boys in the Boat”.
Keeeps is running pottery classes from Thursday to Saturday every week so why not come and spend the weekend and sample everything Marlow has to offer, whilst getting creative with us in the pottery studio!
We hope this blog gives you a bit of inspiration when planning your trip to Marlow. If you are considering a trip to Marlow, we’d happily give some recommendations – just drop us a line in the comments below or call us on 01628 397000.