10 things to see and do in Marlow and Bourne End
PUBLISHED: 12:07 20 June 2016
Maureen McLean went for a wander through the two towns, taking her camera round corners and down lanes on a journey of discovery
The fruit market
Our first stop in Bourne End is at The Fruit Market on The Parade, but this place is about much more than getting your five a day. Last year The Fruit Market beat 8,000 other stores to take the title of ‘Independent Retailer of the Year’ in the 2015 Fresh Awards. It’s been a mainstay of the Bourne End offering for 20 years and you’ll find great value choices for hanging baskets and bedding plants.
Furniture recycling shop
Here’s an intriguing family business right next to Bourne End Station, offering both secondhand and antique furniture as well as brand new furnishings. The frontage may look small, but there’s a 3,000 sq ft showroom including hand painted furniture, retro items, vintage clothes and other items.
The golden girl
We’re pleased to see the double postbox in Marlow High Street is still gleaming nearly four years after it was painted to mark the success of Marlow Rowing Club’s Paralympian rower Naomi Riches in Team GB’s mixed coxed four at Eton Dorney in 2012.
We head down Cores End Road in Bourne End towards Wooburn for the fascinating La Maison. The store specialises in French antique furniture and decorative items. So you’ll find spectacular mirrors, chandeliers, armoires and much more. Their speciality means they also provide a hire service to the film and television industry, so expect to discover some unusual items.
The naked girl
So many of us drive or walk past the statue of a carved nymph at The Causeway, Marlow, but while it’s instantly recognisable even some residents of Marlow don’t know the story behind ‘The Naked Girl’.
It’s a memorial to American theatrical producer Charles Frohman, erected by friends nearly a decade after his death in the sinking of RMS The Lusitania by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland in 1915. His was one of 1,198 lives lost that day.
New Yorker Frohman, who produced Peter Pan and many other hits, loved England, and Marlow in particular. He was a regular visitor from the late 1890s, with actress Pauline Chase who played Peter Pan. She had a home at Farnham Common and was regularly seen driving the Rolls Royce fame brought her. Pauline and other English friends erected the memorial, which is now cared for by The Marlow Society.
Last year the 100th anniversary of his death was marked with wreaths laid there.
Whatever else you do during a shopping and dining visit to Marlow, a visit to Liston Court with its pretty little shops, including a host of independents, is an absolute must. It’s just off the High Street, between Spittal Street and Institute Road, in an area once used for stables.
The Queen’s Head
We can’t leave Little Marlow without a visit to the pub known as ‘Marlow’s Little Secret’. It’s a 16th century pub in a pretty setting with a fantastic modern day menu. Whether you go for a delicious light lunch or the full a la carte experience, this one won’t disappoint.
The Rebellion Brewery Shop
We’re nipping down to Bencome Farm in Marlow Bottom for our next shopping alert. Much as we love their ales, the brewery shop is a gem with lots of local produce including Burgers bread, chocolate treats from Chocca Mocca of Bourne End, Chiltern mayonnaise, Chiltern rapeseed oil, Chilli Chutney of Wendover, sausage rolls and scotch eggs from Kirsty’s Kitchen, Aylesbury, fresh farm eggs, honey and a host of Windy Mills treats, all hand pickled in Marlow. Of course you’ll find some splendid drinks to enjoy alongside your pickled eggs or onions!
The shop opens Monday to Saturday 8am to 7pm. See rebellionbeer.co.uk
Bourne End has more than its share of decent pubs and eateries, including The Garibaldi and The Walnut Tree, both in Hedsor Road, Riverlight in Wharf Lane, The Black Lion on Marlow Road, two Indians courtesy of The Coriander and The Last Viceroy, and a popular Chinese in Kongs. We’ve been told by quite a few people that a trip to The Last Viceroy is particularly recommended.
Here’s another one that it’s easy to drive pass and quickly admire, but this spot in Bourne End has an important story about community action and democracy. Once the site of a pub called The Nag’s Head, the small piece of land was acquired by Bucks County Council and kept looking neat by former parish council chairman Penny Walsh and her husband, Brian.
Local uproar greeted plans to build shops and flats on it. The land was eventually bought by the parish council, who look after it, using plants provided by Flowerland in Hedsor Road. The millennium was commemorated by a four-dialled pillar clock being installed there.