What To Read On A Trip to The Chilterns
What makes The Chequers one of the most popular hotels in Marlow is that it’s ideally situated; our picturesque setting close to the banks of the River Thames is also moments away from the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Unsurprisingly, these scenic spots have inspired many a Great British author over the years, with some legendary literary works set in Marlow and the beautiful Buckinghamshire area.
If you’re planning a visit to this part of the world, book a stay at The Chequers and pack the following rollicking reads…
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Much-loved children’s author Roald Dahl wrote most of his books in Great Missenden, not far from Marlow. One of his most successful novels, Matilda, was set in a small village in Buckinghamshire. It tells the story of a child genius with telekinetic powers which she uses to get her own back on her neglectful parents and a horrible headmistress. Thankfully, it was a work of fiction, so there’s no chance of bumping into the terrifying Miss Trunchbull at The Chequers, or in fact any of the hotels in Marlow.
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
This classic English comedy was originally intended as a travel guide for Victorian holiday makers, who used to enjoy nothing more than spending a few days relaxing by the river. When the editors got their hands on the manuscript, they took out the more serious stuff, leaving only the amusing anecdotes about three friends travelling the length of the Thames from Kingston to Oxford. Of course, Marlow receives an honourable mention; it’s described as “one of the prettiest river centres.” We couldn’t agree more!
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
This terrific tale follows the adventures of four animal friends – a mole, a rat, a badger and an exuberant toad – and has its origins firmly in Marlow and the neighbouring area. Apparently, author Kenneth Grahame based Toad Hall (the fictitious home of the ostentatious amphibian) on Harleyford Manor, just down the road from our Thameside town.
Enigma by Robert Harris
This espionage thriller is set at Bletchley Park, the Buckinghamshire country house famous for its role in the Allies’ code-breaking efforts during the Second World War. The book is a page-turner that’ll keep you guessing and fans of the novel will definitely want to pay Bletchley a visit. It’s around an hour’s drive from The Chequers, which, dare we say, is one of the best hotels in Marlow. You don’t need to be a spy to uncover that.
Dusty Answer by Rosamund Lehmann
This coming-of-age classic from 1927 follows the romantic entanglements of a privately educated Buckinghamshire girl as she heads off to university in Cambridge. At the time of publication it caused quite a stir; while one leading critic raved that it was “the sort of novel Keats would have written,” others were shocked, calling it a “corrupting influence”. Saucy stuff!