This is one of the very attractive stretches of the river and rich in heritage. After the most famous lock there is Cliveden Reach and a diversion from the riverbank to pass through Cookham, made famous by artist Stanley Spencer. The way is then along the edge of rare marshland before turning a corner into the attractive Chiltern town of Marlow.
Maidenhead: Roux at Skindles, Mill Lane (off bridge opposite towpath). Tue-Sun 11.30am-1.30pm; breakfast Fri-Sun 8.30-10am.
Maidenhead: Jenner’s cafe in Riverside Gardens. 8am-5pm (Oct-Mar 8am-3pm; winter weekends 8am-4pm).
Cookham: The Ferry Inn by bridge. 11am-10pm.
Cookham: Teapot Tea Shop, 1-2 Clieve Cottages, High Street. 10am-5pm.
Cock Marsh: The Bounty pub. Open all day Easter to September 12-11pm and winter weekends 12-dusk. Food served until 8pm.
Maidenhead: Sheephouse Manor, Sheephouse Road, SL6 8HJ (01628 776902).
Maidenhead Bridge (Taplow side): Bridge Cottage Guest House, Bath Road, SL6 0AR (01628 626805).
Maidenhead: National Rail.
Cookham: National Rail.
Marlow: National Rail.
Maidenhead: The Library, St Ives Road, SL6 1QU (01628 796502).
OS Explorer 172 (Chiltern Hills East).