Not quite still life in Marlow


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Thames near Aston

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Bisham Abbey

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Marlow Circular

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Marlow Circular walk

The Thames path in the morning, a classic pub for lunch, gentle hill afterwards.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Updated: Thu, 17-Jan-19

Date # Post
Sat, 21-Jul-18 13

Saturday Walk Marlow Circular

Marlow Circular T=2.8

Length: 13.4 miles/21.6km 4 out of 10

The morning is an easy walk along the Thames Path, followed by a hilly afternoon through woods back to Marlow. There are shortcuts that end in Henley.

Trains: Take the 09.57 Didcot train from Paddington (Ealing Broadway 1005), changing at Maidenhead 1034 to get the 1038 Marlow train from platform 5B. Return trains are hourly at xx06

Lunch: Lunch is at Flower Pot in Aston, with its large garden and food all day 9.9km (6.2 miles) into the walk

Tea: Various options with a pub by the station: The Marlow Donkey
13 on a hot muggy day which made the 12 miles, that most opted for, an arduous affair. Herds of detectorists and white deer were spotted in the fields leading to the Flowerpot. Still some flowers and butterflies too. Service in the Flowerpot seemed efficient given how busy it was, I didn't hear many whimpers of discontent. In the afternoon, Homefield Wood was teeming with wildflowers and butterflies (for the lepidopterally minded, big orange ones and little blue ones). Then back to the Marlow Donkey where some of us indulged in a half pint or so of selected beverages.
6 did the full mile Marlow Circular, 5 walking the regular 13.4 mile main walk, 1 doing the alternative ending so 14.8 miles.
Just in case anyone is doubting my maths, 'lucky'13 caught up with us at the Flower Pot.
As the representative of the lepidoterally minded, I felt it my duty to visit Homefield Wood and check out your report. The big orange butterflies are silver washed fritillaries: lovely to find another place where they flourish, so thanks. The blue ones were Common Blues, for once living up to their name. That so many flowers have defied the drought is a wonder.
Sat, 01-Jul-17 14

Saturday Walk - Marlow to Marlow or Henley

Book 2 Walk 8 - Marlow Circular or Marlow to Henley-on-Thames
Main walk - Marlow Circular - 13.4 miles/21.6km
Alternative ending in Henley - 9.4 miles/15.2km

This walk follows a beautiful stretch of the River Thames in the morning, with a stop at Aston for lunch. In the afternoon you have a choice of routes from Hambledon Lock - either cross the river to return to Marlow via wooded hills, or for a shorter walk continue along the Thames Path to Henley-on-Thames.
Trains: Take the 9:57 train from London Paddington (10:05 Ealing Broadway) to Maidenhead arriving at 10:34 and head straight to platform 5B to catch the 10:38 to Marlow, arriving at 11:01.
Return trains from Marlow at xx06, from Henley at xx01. For the Henley ending you will need a day return to Henley, and possibly a single from Maidenhead to Marlow.
Lunch: The Flower Pot, Aston (01491 574721) is 6.1 miles / 9.8km into the walk and offers traditional pub food plus a selection of stuffed animals. Food is served all day on Saturdays. An earlier stop after just 3 miles/4.9km is Ye Old Bell Inn, Hurley (01628 825 881), which is rather more upmarket but this time of the year has a less formal outdoor Summer Kitchen - details here.
Both Marlow and Henley have plentiful tea options, check the walk notes for a few suggestions.
I hope that the train is on time as 4 minutes to connect at Maidenhead is a bit of a worry
The connection is usually held ie the Marlow branch departure is supposed to connect with the train from Paddington. Do be quick to cross to the other platform when you arrive at Maidenhead, though the footbridge is towards the front of the train, from memory.

If the Paddington train is very late, the connection may not be held: the Marlow branch is single track and so they can't keep the train waiting forever or the whole schedule for the rest of the day will be thrown out. But for a few minutes they would hold it, I am sure.

Anyway (famous last words!!!!) we have always made the connection in the past. If not, you might look at how much a shared taxi would be. Or you could take along the instructions for the Maidenhead to Marlow walk (which is also very nice) as a back up.....
Best not end your walk in Henley but instead do the circular walk. I believe the Henley regatta remains in full swing on Saturday and the town is likely to be more than a tad busy.
I'm driving on Saturday to the marlow walk, so if it's changed @ the last minute due to train delay, could someone going on the walk post their mobile number so if no one turns up @ the station i'll know why. no smart phone or computer @ home, so it would help to have the info ahead of time.

also, would the flower pot @ aston still be the lunch pub if you switch to the maidenhead walk?
If you switched to the Maidenhead walk you would have lunch in Cookham
I'm also driving to Marlow, so at least one companion provided.
14 on this walk hoping to have a nice day with a short walk we all opted to finish at Henley with a pleasant flat stroll to finish 
The weather was warm breezy grey until late when the sun came out
Before I go on this report is long because our day was very long and I have written this whilst on the train
The blazered brigade and the fascinatord females ( sometimes not much more ) were in throngs around Henley so the walk was far from pleasant ( more of a queue) for the last 2 Ks but great from a voyeurs 'point of view' with lots of the young enjoying on trend food and drink and chatting animatedly whilst rowers sliced through the very calm Thames being chased by a blazered umpire and film crew in a boat with an engine good lord those rowers were fast.
Whilst we watched the women's coxless 4 teams ( UK under 23 against Nottingham Uni ) lining up before the off one of the women in our group noted that they were 'very fit' . The men demurred knowing that should they make a similar comment then castigation opprobrium, contempt etc etc.
But I am getting ahead of myself here as before all this happened we walked out of Marlow on flat lands by the Thames to The Flower Pot for lunch and nare saw a soul on or by the river .
Lunch at the Flower Pot was so so though the man who had steak and kidney pudding expressed himself delighted with his choice.  The waiter come pot boy said that they could seat 500 and today was quiet say 100 sitting in the garden drinkin and eatin. Thus we were served quickly and fairly efficiently though you needed to keep your ears open for your number or you may miss it and the waiter would take your meal back in again.
After lunch the walking was hard but very stimulating, visually more varied than any previous walk that I have been on I suspect. i
Cake and tea in The Chocolate Gallery revived 8 of us before our major travail of the day. 
So fascinators off to those 6 who didn’t bother stopping for tea and presumably got home without any delays.
Bloody trains
Suffice to say a taxi for 8 of us from Twyford to Reading and then a very slow train to Waterloo
Arrived back in Waterloo nearer 8 than 7 having finished the walk around 15.30
For all that, good fun and company thanks fellow wanderers.

I Strain
Sat, 30-Jul-16 16

Saturday Second Walk - Summer riverside idyll

Book 2, walk 8 - Marlow Circular
Length: 13.5km (8.4 miles) to 21.6km (13.4 miles)
Toughness 4 out of 10 (1 out of 10 for shorter riverside option)
9.57 train from Paddington (10.05 Ealing Broadway), to Maidenhead, arriving 10.34: changing there (cross the footbridge quickly!) for the 10.38 to Marlow, arriving 11.01.
For walk directions click here.
Buy a day return to Marlow, unless you plan to do either of the Henley endings (see below) in which case buy a day return to Henley. This should be accepted to Marlow (point out it is the same price as the Thames Branches Day Rover, if that still exists) but if not you will only have to pay from Maidenhead to Marlow.

What better way to spend a high summer's day than walking along one of the most beautiful stretches of the upper Thames?
The morning of this walk does just that - though with a few twists and turns for variety (such as inland diversion through the village of Hurley, which still looks a bit like the monastery it originally was).


For most people, the most convenient choice will be the quirky Flower Pot in Aston, 9.9km (6.2 miles) into the walk: on such flat terrain you should reach it by 1.30pm or so: it stops serving food at 2.30pm (or did last time I checked).

An earlier option, 4.8km (3 miles) into the walk, is Ye Old Bell Inn in Hurley : it is possibly a bit posh for us, but I see on its website that it sometimes has a summer kitchen with outside tables. It might be a good choice for the shorter walkers (see below) who don't want to be rushed.

There is also a tea kiosk at Hurley Lock, just before the village,

Very fast walkers might make it to the Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden, but this is 13.2km (8.2 miles) into the walk, and stops serving food at 2.30pm

In the afternoon

you have three choices:
- continue on the river into Henley, another beautiful section of Thames Path - 5.7km (3.5 miles) from Aston, making a total walk from Marlow of 15.6km (9.7 miles). To do this follow the main walk to Hambleden Lock and then the Thames Path from there (no directions needed).
- go over low hills into Henley, 3.6km (2.2 miles) after Aston, making a total walk from Marlow of 13.5km (8.4 miles): for this you need the directions for Book 2, walk 7 - see here - you only need the last two pages

- continue with the main walk, 11.7km (7.3 miles) after Aston, which crosses the river to Hambleden and then has a nicely contrasting section through wooded hills back to Marlow.


Lots of options in Marlow, some open quite late. On the main walk, Hambleden village has a shop that serves tea and cakes and has an outside table or two. In Henley, the Chocolate Cafe just beyond the bridge is the usual choice. Plenty of pubs in both Henley and Marlow.

Trains back

06 past the hour from Marlow (till 21.06, then 22.16), 24 past from Henley

Difficult to say exactly but I think 16 on this walk: 13 at the start and at least three late starters. The weather was cloud clearing to plenty of sunshine. A pleasant morning walk along the river. Just before lunch a beautiful meadow of flowers and butterflies. The Flower Pot in Aston was busy but produced food so quickly it boggled the mind. There was a big contingent of leather clad bikers (ie motorbikers) who departed with thunderous engine revving.

One person then decided to reverse the morning of the walk, possibly to visit the charming village fete we had seen starting up in Hurley. If any went on to Henley I do not know. But certainly a good contingent of us went on to Hambleden, where we had a nice tea on the tables outside the village shop, and on through the woods to Marlow. Here on the "boring kilometre" along a wooded valley there were loads of flowers and my companion spotted an elusive silver washed fritillary butterfly. A tiny side trip to the Homefield Wood nature reserve revealed other flowers and butterflies.

I know some ended with drinks in the Marlow Donkey and got the 7.06 train. Three of us stayed on to have a wonderful Indian meal at Maliks in the High Street, sat at a lovely upstairs table by an open window.
Wed, 20-Jul-16 8

Midweek day walk Marlow to Henley-on-Thames

Marlow to Henley

The Thames Path with a gentle hill in option 1 and Thames Valley meadow land.

Book 2 Walk 8

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 3 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 9:57 am train from London Paddington to Marlow changing at Maidenhead. (Don't forget that Baker Street tube trains are not stopping at Paddington until mid-August)
FAQ: Does the train stop at Ealing Broadway? Yes it does departing 10:05 am

Meeting point : Marlow Station at 11:01

Tickets : There is a Thames Branches Day Ranger for £12-90 with a rail card (which would allow you to travel back via Reading), otherwise I'd suggest a cheap day return to Henley-on-Thames and be prepared to pay for a single from Maidenhead to Marlow

Brief Description

I had hoped to post a Dover to Deal walk, but the trains to that neck of the woods are on the fritz and the replacement bus journeys a wee bit too long.
Anyhow, as it looks like a right scorcher on Wednesday, here's a gentle stroll in the Thames Valley with Old Father Thames providing a pleasant backdrop.
As usual you may find full details here where I've posted option 2 (Marlow to Henley).
This option has two possibilities.

  1. Via Remenham Hill with Lunch at the Flower Pot
  2. Via the River Path with Lunch at the Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden

I suggest walkers decide which option best suits the majority at Marlow Station

Suggested Lunch stops

Flower Pot Country Inn in Aston t: 01491 574721
The Stag and Huntsman in Hambeledon t: 01491 571227

Suggested Tea stop

The ever popular Chocolate Theatre Café in Henley t:01491 411 412


OS Explorer : 171 and 172

Return train times

Trains return from Henley-on-Thames to Paddington at the following times ...
16:20 | 17:09 | 17:46* | 18:17 * via Reading
You will need to change at Twyford
At last a sensible walk avoiding southern region trains. Intend going from Ealing Broadway.
Don't temp fate Marion FGW (now GWR)don't have the best claim for punctuality and reliability!
Hope to go jfk
On the subject of tempting fate Ive just returned from Weymouth using South West trains £16 fare and spent 4 hours getting there courtesy of signal failure at Basingstoke. 6 hours getting back as the signalling problems are still ongoing and coincided with a drunken brawl involving police action. No connecting trains at Clapham Junction resulted in taxis being required to get home and insufficient numbers of cabs being available to the cab line service due to so many passengers being stranded throughout the south west network. Got home eventually at 3.30am!!! Check your homeward service on line before staying late for drinks and supper after our walks as there are ongoing engineering problems with a number of train companies currently.
Yes, I went to Eastbourne yesterday and unwisely relied on the last train home. Total meltdown. The train was delayed, no staff available to tell us why and when some appeared they more or less shrugged. Complete disorder. Finally a driver turned up and took us back to London but since we would arrive after the last tube, I changed at Clapham Junction hoping for a Waterloo train. An extraordinary scene there with all the mainline Waterloo trains severely late due to the problem Marion describes and signal delays at Feltham affecting local trains. I eventually got home at 2am by night bus.
8 of the train with one Walker tempting two others to join. One explained he had to drive the train back to Maidenhead and the other, although a walker, explained she lived in Marlow and had other tasks to attend to. Nice try C!
Weather started slightly overcast developing into the forecast scorcher
Two were tempted into Burgers in Marlow High Street and all set forth to the Flower Pot. One dallied at Hurley lock for a welcome cuppa and caught up with most others at the Flower Pot. The Pub sports a two year old African Grey Parrot, which whistles a number of tunes (and words) learnt of the locals. It also has a great garden (the Pub that is).
The heat continued to build, but walkers refrained from throwing themselves in the Thames and three staggered into the "Angel on the Bridge" at Henley for a welcome cuppa/Brakespeares finest.
I'm happy to report the trains ran on time and no tracks melted.
A real sizzler of a day though.
Fabulous weather and lovely stretch of the Thames jfk
Sat, 20-Feb-16 2

Saturday First Walk - Henley to Marlow

Henley to Marlow via Hambleden

Length 10 miles, 3 out of 10

The first part of the walk is from Henley via Hambleden Circular here, and the second part from the Marlow circular here. You are advised to use the download instructions, especially for pre 2011 editions of the book. The Marlow Circular has the overall instructions, but essentially Henley to get you to the Stag & Huntsman, and Marlow after that.

Travel Get the 09:41 from Paddington (0949 Ealing Broadway) Oxford Train. Change at Twyford (arr 1039) for the Henley train 10:50 arriving 11.02. There is an 0957 train via Reading, which involves getting a train back to Twyford from Reading but it has a higher fare. Buy a return to Henley which should be OK from Marlow, though you may have to buy a single from Marlow to Maidenhead.
Return trains from Marlow are xx:06 changing at Maidenhead.

Lunch The Stag & Huntsman in Hambleden (food until 2.30pm)

Tea As well as the places in the instructions, there is a pub right by the station - The Marlow Donkey - which also does food.


Henley finds much favour with our valiant walk posters.
I would like you explain me how work this group, how many people usually go,...
All is explained here

How many people usually go? It varies. 5 to15 is a good bet, but it can be less or more. None of us ever know till we turn up. Good weather helps numbers, of course, but I can't count the number of times I have set out on a day of wind and rain and thought "I will be the only one on this walk" only to find a dozen people waiting on the platform.
Apparently only two people did this walk. 2
Sat, 12-Dec-15 6

Saturday First Walk - The Thames and wooded hills

T=2.8.b Book 2 Walk 8b - Henley to Marlow
Length: 16.2km (10 miles) or 14.1km (8.8 miles)
Toughness: 5 out of 10 - three short but steep climbs

9.42 train from Paddington (9.50 Ealing Broadway) to Twyford, changing there (arrive 10.40, depart 10.50) for Henley, arriving 11.02

Buy a day return to Henley-on-Thames, which will usually be accepted for return from Marlow.

Walk directions - you will need both Book 2 walk 7 - click here - and Book 2 walk 8 - click here

This composite walk starts with the morning of Book 2, walk 7 Henley via Hambleden - a pleasant route along the banks of the Thames and over a low range of wooded hill which you follow as far as lunch in the cosy Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden.

There is a 2.1km/1.2 mile short cut on this route if you want to take it - this is reduces the total walk length to 14.1km/8.8 miles

The Stag & Huntstman is quite a busy and popular pub, so it is not a bad idea to ring and book a table when you set out. (We have always managed to squeeze into it somehow, however.) You should get there about 1pm, or 12.30pm if you take the short cut.

In the afternoon you could of course continue with walk 7 back to Henley (4.3 miles after lunch), but a nicely contrasting route is to switch to Book 2 Walk 8 Marlow Circular from point [6] onwards for a five mile walk across the wooded hills to Marlow, which has lots of cheerful tea options.

Trains back from Marlow are at 06 past the hour.
6 on this walk and the weather=grey but dry
We took the easterly side of the river (river on our left) out of Henley to avoid the swamp land on the other side and it was mainly a tarmac surface all the way in the morning . The weir that we crossed on route is excellent but after discussing it amongst ourselves we realised that no one knew why it exists something to Google when we got back. Just looked it up Jerome K Jerome used to live nearby as did his newsagent Mr W H Smith
Before lunch in Hambledon we wandered around a covered Christmas market in the school hall we all had a nose but none of us put our hands in our pockets. The home made gifts seemed to lack inspiration and the free range meat was far more expensive than from
Lunch was had by all 6 in The Stag and Huntsman with two of us enjoying an excellent stuffed breast of pheasant.
Rumour has it that one of the walkers commented shortly after lunch how surprisingly unmuddy the day was so that put the carbosh on such pleasant walking surfaces .
The afternoon was horrendously slippery and muddy
There was a lot of banging going on (country sports?) as we approached Heath Wood but thankfully it was all finished by the time that we got there with just a lot of people mainly wearing tweed with guns wandering off looking sheepish and piles of dead birds carnage. Seeing as I had had pheasant for lunch my feelings were mixed.
The 3 steep hills became 4 due to us not paying attention to the directions and a total walk of 9.6 miles so tea in Marlow was well deserved but somewhat disappointing due to slow service meaning that we had to rush it only one train an hour and we didn't want to miss it
Lovely crowd and lovely day
Sat, 03-Oct-15 14

Marlow Circular

Marlow Circular
TOCW2 walk 8, 21.6km, 13.4 miles, 3 out of 10.

This walk follows the Thames path for the first 8km (5 miles), passing the ancient village of Hurley, little changed since the days when it was a Benedictine Abbey. Lunch is in Aston or Hambleden, both quaint riverside villages. By contrast, the afternoon takes you up over the wooded hills that frame the Thames Valley, and then down into the well-preserved town of Marlow for tea.

For those wanting a shorter walk after lunch, you can continue on the Thames path to Henley.

Get the 0957 Oxford train from Paddington (Ealing Broadway 1005) changing at Maidenhead (1034) to get the Marlow train at 1038 from platform 1. This is a shuttle service, so will almost certainly wait if the train is late. It also changes direction at Bourne End. Return to Marlow.

Return trains are hourly at xx06.

The Flowerpot in Aston after 6 miles, which has a wide choice, or the popular Stag & Huntsman (lunch till 2.30pm) after 8.2 miles in Hambledon.

Most likely The George & Dragon Inn as the teashops will probably be closed. It is 610 metres to the station from here.

You are recommended to use the download directions instead of pre 2011 editions of the book.


A total of 14 today. This includes one late catcher upperer and two mid walk divergers. cloudy warm later with glimpses of sun Flowerpot ok. Cake sale in Hambleden. Dry underfoot, no probs. Lots of pheasant in the woods.
Sat, 09-Aug-14 0 Marlow Circular
Sun, 01-Jun-14 7 Marlow Circular
Sun, 01-Jun-14 Marlow to Henley, via Remenham Hill
Sat, 16-Nov-13 17 Marlow to Henley, via river path
Sat, 25-May-13 17 Marlow to Henley, via river path
Sat, 02-Mar-13 10 Henley to Marlow
Sun, 14-Oct-12 Henley to Marlow
Sat, 28-Jul-12 Marlow Circular
Sun, 29-Apr-12 Marlow Circular
Wed, 07-Sep-11 Marlow Circular
Sat, 18-Jun-11 Marlow Circular
Sun, 06-Mar-11 Marlow Circular
Sun, 06-Mar-11 Henley to Marlow
Sat, 09-Oct-10 Marlow Circular
Sun, 11-Jul-10 Marlow Circular
Sat, 04-Jul-09 Marlow Circular
Sun, 05-Apr-09 Marlow Circular
Sat, 06-Sep-08 Marlow Circular
Sun, 15-Jun-08 Marlow Circular
Sun, 11-May-08 Marlow Circular
Sat, 16-Feb-08 Marlow to Henley
Sun, 01-Jul-07 Marlow Circular
Sat, 23-Jun-07 Marlow Circular
Sat, 24-Mar-07 Marlow Circular