Top places to live in Buckinghamshire Marlow
Well-heeled Marlow is a dead cert for city dwellers thanks to the super-speedy London commute, fabulous shopping and Michelin-starred foodie scene (courtesy of local boy Tom Kerridge). Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
You know those houses that are just ready to move into, no work needed, not even a lick of paint? Yep, that’s Marlow. The original escape for Londoners due to its close proximity, stunning Victorian architecture and riverside locale, overtime it’s cultivated all the mod cons of city life and has a vibrant social scene that’s great for families (the local Jam Theatre for kids and Pub in the Park that originated in Marlow), an excellent foodie and shop offering all ready to enjoy.
You can’t mention food in Marlow without talking about Tom Kerridge’s Michelin-starred The Coach and The Hand & Flowers (the only pub in the UK to hold two stars). Other great gastro fare comes from The Chequers (a meaty haven) and The Royal Oak just on the outskirts, plus The Oarsman gastropub on Spittal Street is set to reopen mid-Sept 2021 with revamped interiors and an experienced team at the helm. If it’s brunch you’re there’s the The Ivy Marlow (stunning interiors), and the cool industrial café Coopers – a real insider haunt, tourists will never find it! Atul Kochhar’s Sindhu, in The Compleat Angler Hotel, has stunning views of Marlow weir alongside its modern Indian menu and Satollo, tucked away in Liston Court, has a great local rep for its Italian food and spill-onto-the-courtyard atmosphere.
Excellent (but not for your credit card). A mix of high-end high street hits – Mint Velvet, Office, The White Company, Sweaty Betty, OKA – and a clutch of independents. Marlow Bookshop, Brookes fashion boutique, new indie wine merchant Grape Expectations and for a more ‘country-chic’ tip Really Wild (yes, Kate Middleton is a fan) are all strong options. Two miles away in Little Marlow you’ll find one of the best interiors destinations outside London – Home Barn is a treasure trove of unique and vintage finds beloved of glossy interiors editors. If you’re travelling a little further afield, luxury outdoor designer outlet Bicester Village is a 40 minute drive away.
In Marlow, there are lovely walks aplenty through Higginson Park and along Marlow Lock and suspension bridge. National Trust Cliveden and it’s gorgeous formal gardens is just a 15-minute drive away (the venue hosts a fantastic literary festival too). The nearest posh hotel is Danesfield House Hotel and Spa (the Clooneys held their wedding reception here), five minutes down the road. Greys Court, one of the loveliest National Trust properties in the area, and privately owned 850 year old Stonor Park with its children’s play areas, festivals and foodie events are both 15 minutes away. The outdoor adventure centre Longridge, just over the Marlow bridge, is super-popular with kids for its water sports and legendary climbing wall.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
On average you’ll be forking out £686,748 – less for a terraced house (£528,327) and much more for a detached (£923,370), based on the past year.
There are several OFSTED outstanding schools in Marlow including Danesfield Primary School and Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School. Across in Wycombe is high-achieving Royal Grammar School for boys, and excellent independent options nearby include Godstowe, also in Wycombe, and prep schools Caldicott in Farnham Royal, High March in Beaconsfield and St Mary’s in Henley.
BEST KEPT SECRET
The wild orchids at Bisham Woods (in season May to June). Drive seven minutes out of central Marlow and you’ll reach the Woodland Trust site that inspired The Wind in The Willows. Also look out for primroses, bluebells (stunning when in season) and wild strawberries.
34 miles. The fastest train from Marlow Station to London has one change and is 46 minutes. Season tickets from £3,836. Alternatively, drive to High Wycombe or Maidenhead (10 – 15 minutes) for a speedier 26 or 16-minute commute. Driving takes one hour.
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