Maidenhead SL6 1EW
This 6-mile linear march out of central Maidenhead will take us over fields, hills, woods, the River Thames and into the charming town of Marlow.
Advance booking is not required, but if you plan on attending this walk, please indicate this on Meetup if you can, so others can see that there will be plenty of people going.
Pace: medium. Ascent: 100m.
From Maidenhead station, we will march north up the rising A308 road out of town. We shall abruptly come out onto some arable fields, crossed by footpaths. The rising land offers some pleasant views of the surrounding countryside. From the fields (where we may glimpse some fairy rings) we will briefly enter some woods before finding the A308 again. Luckily we only have to cross it briefly to re-enter the trees and cross Cookham Dean Common, a National Trust meadow of long grass. We will cross the road again to climb up our steepest ascent into some thicker woods, laced with narrow, misleading footpaths. We enter Bisham Woods and (if your guide doesn’t get you lost as he got himself lost on the recce) continue along a straight, way-marked trail into Quarry Wood. We should find ourselves on the curve of Quarry Wood road. This part of the walk requires the greatest care, as we will have to walk along 600 yards of open road before finding the pavement at the bottom of the hill. From there, it is a straight mile along the road; sheep-filled meadows on either side with the hulking woods looming at our backs.
At the end of the road, we turn right and should be greeted immediately by the remarkable Marlow suspension bridge, which we only need to cross to enter the town! After admiring the Thames on either side of the bridge and the striking All Saints Church in front, refreshment awaits us immediately after crossing. Despite its name, Burgers of Marlow is actually a Swiss artisan bakery that also does teas, coffees and chocolate. For beer lovers, there is the George & Dragon pub next door or a little way down the street, there is the Crafty Taproom.
The walk ends in Marlow. You are free to explore this pleasant town. To return to Maidenhead, we only need to turn right at Burgers and Marlow Station is a few minutes down Station Road. Trains are hourly and offer a 20 minute journey along a charming branch line (with views of the Thames and surrounding countryside) back to Maidenhead.
By public transport
There are regular, quick trains between Reading and Maidenhead. The 10:37 train from Platform 14 gets you to Maidenhead for 10:53. Trains on this branch line run once every half hour. Once back in Maidenhead, you can change onto a train back to Reading.
Singles from Marlow back to Maidenhead at the end of the walk are about £5, but if travelling from Reading it’s cheaper just to buy a return to Marlow even though you’ll only use part of the outward journey.
There is parking at the station on Shoppenhangers Road (parking fees apply). After parking, turn right out of the park and head along the road until you come to the station’s South exit. We will be meeting at the North entrance, so turn left and cross under the bridge. On finishing in Marlow, the branch line will take you straight back to Maidenhead station.
- Please bring a packed lunch and a drink.
- It might be muddy – please wear suitable footwear.
- Please feel free to contact the leader with queries about the walk, or if you are delayed on the day.