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TOWNS & PLACES OF INTEREST

Ascot Racecourse -Ascot Hospitality offers award winning cuisine and elegant service of a supreme class, designed to meet the expectations of our discerning clientele. There are a wide range of carefully tailored packages with different styles of service designed to suit all tastes. The combination of horseracing and fine dining is not only a thrilling partnership but perfectly timed to ensure a relaxed and leisurely programme. With a race every 30 minutes, hosts and guests can view horses in the majestic 8,000 capacity Parade Ring before placing bets, then cheer home their horse and jockey. Ascot Racecourse has a spectacular and unrivalled choice of fine dining restaurants as well as 262 private boxes all overlooking the race track. http://www.ascot.co.uk

Bekonscot Model Village - Hilarious, eccentric, exceptionally English, full of big model trains and crammed with thousands of little model people, houses and moving stuff, it’s time you made a visit.   http://www.bekonscot.co.uk/

Bibury Trout Farm - http://www.biburytroutfarm.co.uk/

Broadway Tower Country Parkis one of England's outstanding viewpoints and at 1024 (312m) above sea level, it is the second highest point on the Cotswold ridge. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, high in the rolling Cotswold Hills, Broadway Tower surveys an expanse of some of the very best of the Cotswold countryside in a 62 mile radius. There is plenty of wildlife and an array of wild flowers in the summer with "bambies" from June are a real highlight for visitors. http://www.broadwaytower.co.uk/

Burford Garden Centre - At Burford, you will be able to explore a world of beautiful, hand-picked products for your home and your garden. We are at the same time a home interiors store, plant nursery, gardening store, food market and children's emporium. We are all about knowing our stuff, Inside Out. Our style is best described as Perfect English, a little bit eccentric and eclectic. Our products are individual yet reassuringly familiar, beautiful yet perfectly understated.   http://www.burford.co.uk/site/index.cfm

Cotswold Wildlife Park -  is set in 160 acres of parkland and gardens around a listed Victorian Manor House and has been open to the public since 1970. The Park is home to a fascinating and varied collection of mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates from all over the world and aspires to show animals to people - so that they can come to understand and respect all forms of wildlife; to understand what is special about each species, and how the various species have evolved over very long periods of time, adjusting to survive in habitats from many parts of the earth.  http://www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk/

Cotswold Farm Park -   The Cotswold Farm Park is the “Home of Rare Breed Conservation” set high up on the Cotswold Hills in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Our comprehensive collection of over 50 breeding flocks and herds of British rare breed farm animals was established by Joe Henson and his business partner John Neave, in the late 1960’s when many of our traditional breeds were faced with imminent extinction. Besides being a vital “shop window” for the work of rare breed conservation, it is an important breeding centre for many of the animals we keep. http://www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk/

Dorchester on Thames - a charming,  historic village sits at the confluence of  the rivers Thame and Thames,  just 9 miles south of Oxford. As well as being a marvellous place to live,  it is also the ideal centre for exploring some of England's finest countryside,  loveliest villages, stateliest of homes and oldest seats of learning.    The Chilterns,  Berkshire Downs,  Blenheim,  and Henley,  as well as Oxford are all within easy reach  .http://www.dorchester-on-thames.co.uk/

Great Coxwell Barn - Former monastic barn was a favourite of William Morris, who would regularly bring his guests to wonder at the structure. Note: no WC, narrow access lanes - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-greatcoxwellbarn

Henley-on-Thames - The town is overlooked by a beautiful Chiltern landscape of wooded hills and green fields. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the very heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers, particularly on market days, with a Farmer's Market once a month. Shoppers also enjoy browsing the town's many boutiques, gift shops and restaurants. Founded in the 12th century, and best known for the annual Royal Regatta, https://www.hrr.co.uk/. Henley attracts some of the world´s finest rowers. Statues of those great Olympians Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent greet visitors to the town´s award winning River and Rowing Museum.  http://www.visit-henley.com/

The Kenton Theatre is the fourth-oldest working theatre in the country. It is a Regency gem, set in the heart of Henley-on-Thames, with a warm, friendly and cosy intimacy that makes you want to come back. Our policy is to provide a varied programme to suit all tastes, featuring professional touring companies as well as local amateur societies and dance groups.  http://www.kentontheatre.co.uk/

The Loddon Brewery - After several months of searching, we finally found a suitable building for the brewery as we came across an old brick and flint grain store on the main site of Phillimore farms, Dunsden Green. Three months of extensive renovations then followed in order to transform the barn into the brewery you see today. It then took another two weeks to install our custom built brewery plant. We now have a 20 barrel brew plant which is capable of producing up to 100 brewers barrels (28,800 pints) of beer each week.

Our beautiful brewery shop opened in 2013 and stocks eight different bottled beers, Loddon merchandise and preserves. You can also collect our award-winning draught beers in 3.5, 9, 18, 36 and 72-pint containers. We also have a license to sell beer straight from the barrel, so why not pop up to the brewery for a pint of your favourite Loddon beer? https://loddonbrewery.com/brewery

Mapledurham House & Watermill. The house and watermill are open to the general public (including groups) on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to the end of Septermber. After centuries of turmoil, Mapledurham House now enjoys a more peaceful existence. Full of the treasures of an exciting history, a visit to Mapledurham House makes for a fascinating and pleasant day out. The Old Watermill at Mapledurham is the only mill on the Thames that is still operational. A mill on this site has been producing high quality stone ground flour since the time of the Domesday Survey. The beautiful riverside church of St Margaret's contains the 'Bardolf Aisle', the final resting place for the Lords and Ladies of Mapledurham House since 1395. Please note that we do not normally allow dogs at Mapledurham.  http://www.mapledurham.co.uk

Marlow is a very attractive riverside town, with an interesting range of shops, pubs and restaurants. For non retail relaxation, there is the very pleasant and green Higginson park with imaginative play facilities, and connection to the Thames Path and rural walks.  http://www.towncentreguide.co.uk/ 

The Mill at Sonning is a delightful theatre, an absolute little gem set on the river.  It provides an appealing theatrical experience that includes a warm welcome with an excellent dinner in the restaurant before watching the play in the intimate auditorium.  With much of the original structure retained, this 18th Century Flour Mill has been converted into a renowned Dinner Theatre. Patrons enjoy a fresh home-cooked meal - with not a microwave in sight! - before watching the performance in our 215 seat air conditioned auditorium. Pre-dinner drinks with a view of The Thames or watching the working Waterwheel in the bar, is an added treat. http://www.millatsonning.com/index.html

Midsomer Murders  Contrary to popular belief, Midsomer is situated a short distance outside of London and is easily reached for a relaxing short break. So if you watch Midsomer Murders and think “that place looks lovely, I wonder where it is” – you’ve found the right place. The real Midsomer Murders locations are spread across South Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire where towns and villages have names every bit as wonderful as their fictional counterparts. We've included two self-drive and guide trails to ensure you see the most featured and picturesque locations that will seem oh-so familiar. They include stately homes, parish churches, town and village buildings and more than a few hostelries. There are companies offering the option of guided Midsomer Murders tours, where you can sit back and enjoy the view as a knowledgable guide tells you everything you need to know. There's no need for map reading or sat-nav systems and you miss nothing. http://www.visitmidsomer.com/ 

Legoland - At LEGOLAND® Windsor the entertainment is certainly hands-on. Children aged 3-12 can take to the road, soar through the skies and sail the seas in complete safety. With over 50 interactive rides, live shows, building workshops, driving schools and attractions, all set in 150 acres of beautiful parkland, LEGOLAND Windsor is a different sort of family theme park. http://www.legoland.co.uk

Oxford, The City of Dreaming Spires, is famous the world over for its University and place in history. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and since the 9th century an established town, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years. http://www.oxfordcity.co.uk/ 

The Look OutOver 90 exhibits to entertain children and adults alike. Enjoy 1,000 hectares of Crown Estate woodland with nature walks, cycle trails and an adventure play area. We have an outdoor seating area for picnics next to the adventure playground. Please note, unfortunately we do not have an indoor picnic area. Relax in our coffee shop and visit our gift shop with its fascinating range of products including pocket money items for the children. http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/lookout 

Windsor  - itself is home to two of the UK’s Top 20 visitor attractions – Windsor Castle and Legoland Windsor – but there are many more to visit and enjoy throughout the borough.  Why not add Eton College, the Changing of the Guard, the Savill Garden, Ascot Racecourse, Royal Windsor Racecourse plus many others, to your itinerary for the perfect trip?  http://www.windsor.gov.uk/




RESTAURANTS

Compleat Angler, Marlow. Stylish, luxurious, romantic; the award winning Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel is a magical riverside retreat. Within easy reach of Heathrow airport, but quietly nestled on the banks of the River Thames, it's the perfect spot for taking to the water - we even have our own private launches and boats for hire. The hotel is an inspired choice to host your next meeting or event, and perfect for fairy tale weddings, too. If food is your passion, then you'll be spoilt for choice here; the Macdonald Compleat Angler has not one but two award winning restaurants, both offering gourmet fine dining in stunning surroundings. After a long day exploring the delights of the local area, relax in our luxurious four star en-suite accommodation, next to the cascading waters of Marlow Weir. http://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-compleat-angler/

Crooked Billet, Stoke Row, Henley on Thames - The Crooked Billet in Stoke Row is now one of England's finest and most traditional country inns. It is hidden well off the beaten track, down a narrow winding lane, and nestles between beech and oak with a backing onto meadowland.  Paul Clerehugh took over The Crooked Billet in 1989 and quickly gained a reputation for providing excellent food. Paul, a self-taught chef, has not changed any of the original features that give the pub its unique character and charm. Inglenook fireplaces, low timbered ceilings, flagstone floors and old, scrubbed, pine tables all remain and there is still no bar - beer is drawn directly from casks in the cellar. http://www.thecrookedbillet.co.uk/history.htm

Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons.  The modern French menu at Raymond Blanc's two-Michelin starred Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons restaurant has been described as 'a twist of imaginative genius' and the cuisine is undoubtedly the focus of every guest's visit.  The quality of the food stems from the freshness and purity of its ingredients. The two-acre kitchen garden produces 90 types of vegetable and over 70 varieties of herb, which are used in Le Manoir's kitchen. Raymond Blanc has been a champion of the organic movement for the last 20 years and comments 'flavour alone would be a reason to buy organic food, quite apart from its freedom from additives'. http://www.manoir.com/web/olem/le_manoir_restaurant.jsp

Loch Fyne Restaurant, Henley. Formerly the Old Jazz Café, this lovely restaurant retains much of its original charm and is perfectly situated in the town centre, overlooking the market square. A café-bar for daytime coffees and evening drinks is at the front of the building – the bright, airy restaurant is at the back.  We have an extensive à la carte menu with fresh, seasonal dishes to suit all tastes and perfect for all year round – come and visit us soon. http://www.lochfyne-restaurants.com/restaurants/henley-on-thames

The Fat Duck, Bray.  The Fat Duck has been awarded three Michelin stars and was voted Best Restaurant in the world in 2005.  A self-taught chef, Heston Blumenthal's route to the top has been an unconventional one, involving rule-breaking, unusual experiments and an exploding oven. http://www.thefatduck.co.uk/Heston-Blumenthal

The French Horn, Sonning has a long and illustrious history spanning 200 years of hospitality, from 19th century coaching inn right up to its current incarnation as luxury restaurant with rooms. Good food is a passion that has been passed down through many generations of the family. Originally from Whitstable in Kent, the family’s great-grandfather and grandfather (Bernard Walsh) were both oystermen.   We spend a great deal of time sourcing our produce, be that fabulous beef from Orkney, fresh fish hand picked at Billingsgate market or hand dived scallops from the Hebrides. The service is every bit as exceptional as the food; we strive to ensure that dining at the French Horn is an outstanding experience in every way. http://www.thefrenchhorn.co.uk/dine.htm

The Giggling Squid. Freshly cooked Thai food in a delightful, old timbered building. A Thai tapas menu is available at lunchtimes. Booking is recommended.  http://www.gigglingsquid.com/branches/henley.html

The Greyhound, Rotherfield Peppard, provides an excellent dining experience in the picturesque setting. The stunning 17th century country pub with quaint pretty cottage-garden is both contemporary and charming. To dine in the timber barn at night is particularly atmospheric with exposed beams, stripped wood floors and candle light.  Recently reopened this fantastic restaurant owned by Antony Worrall Thompson offers a wide menu predominantley featuring grilled meats and fish. The restaurant serves only the best quality food cooked as simply as possible.  Service is good and staff are very attentive. The new 'recession proof' menu is noticeably cheaper than the previous menu, but quality hasn't been compromised.   www.awtrestaurants.com/greyhound/default.htm

THE MILL AT SONNING is a delightful theatre, an absolute little gem set on the river. It provides an appealing theatrical experience that includes a warm welcome with an excellent dinner in the restaurant before watching the play in the intimate auditorium.  With much of the original structure retained, this 18th Century Flour Mill has been converted into a renowned Dinner Theatre. Patrons enjoy a fresh home-cooked meal - with not a microwave in sight! - before watching the performance in our 215 seat air conditioned auditorium. Pre-dinner drinks with a view of The Thames or watching the working Waterwheel in the bar, is an added treat. http://www.millatsonning.com/index.html

THE PLOWDEN ARMS.Set in beautiful countryside on the main road between Henley on Thames and Reading the Plowden Arms is a delightful, old traditional country pub with real log fires. The food menu focusses on high quality, favourite and forgotten dishes from bygone eras. There is also good selection of traditional ales and carefully selected wines.   http://www.plowdenarmsshiplake.co.uk/

The Spice Merchant, Henley. Located in a traditional rustic-framed building on edge of the glorious River Thames and at the finish line of the Royal Regatta, the award-winning Henley restaurant boasts a glamorous and picturesque setting that sets the scene for enjoying Indian cuisine at its finest.  Henley is not like other Indian restaurants in Oxon, or indeed, any other Indian restaurant you may have been to. While you will find all of the much-loved traditional dishes, Henley will really open your mind with its vast choice of modern and creative regional speciality dishes, all of which are the masterpieces of our Oberoi-trained chefs.  http://www.spicemerchantgroup.com/restaurants/henley-on-thames/

Villa Marina, Henley on Thames. Interesting Italian food (not pizzas and pasta) in well appointed surroundings. Staff are very pleasant and provide excellent, yet unobtrusive, service. A lunch time menu of three courses, with a lot of choice, for £16.50 is great value. Worth booking – it gets busy! http://www.villamarina-henley.com 




STATELY HOMES & MUSEUMS

Ashmolean Museum - the world famous museum of art and archaeology - visit http://www.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/

Blenheim Palace  - is home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.Set in 2100 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown, the magnificent Palace is surrounded by sweeping lawns, award-winning formal gardens and the great Lake, offering a unforgettable day out for all.Blenheim Palace is a unique example of English Baroque architecture. Inside, the scale of the Palace is beautifully balanced by the intricate detail and delicacy of the carvings, the hand painted ceilings and the amazing porcelain collections, tapestries and paintings displayed in each room. On the first floor ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’ brings to life enticing tales from the last 300 years.Situated in Woodstock, just 8 miles from Oxford, the Palace was created a World Heritage site in 1987.  http://www.blenheimpalace.com/

Buscot Park - Family home of Lord Faringdon, who continues to care for the property as well as the family art collection, the Faringdon Collection, which is displayed in the house. Consequently, despite the grandeur of their scale, both the house and grounds remain intimate and idiosyncratic and very much a family home. They also continue to change and develop ¿ nothing is preserved in aspic here! Outside a new water feature, Faux Fall, by David Harber. Inside, contemporary glassware by Colin Reid and Sally Fawkes. Note: administered on behalf of the National Trust by Lord Faringdon www.buscotpark.com

Chastleton House - A rare gem of a Jacobean country house, built between 1607 and 1612 by a wealthy wool merchant as an impressive statement of wealth and power. Owned by the same increasingly impoverished family until 1991, the house remained essentially unchanged for nearly 400 years as the interiors and contents gradually succumbed to the ravages of time. With virtually no intrusion from the 21st century, this fascinating place exudes an informal and timeless atmosphere in a gloriously unspoilt setting. There is no shop or tea-room, so you can truly believe you have stepped back in time - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chastleton

Cogges Manor Farm Museum - is a traditional manor and farm set beside the Windrush River. With a history which stretches back to before William the Conqueror, it has a unique heritage of settlement and cultivation by barons, bishops and squires. Sympathetically preserved in a time when farming and food production was moving from older methods to the advent of machines, it is a truly unique and special place.   http://www.cogges.org.uk/

Farnborough Hall - Honey-coloured stone house with exquisite plasterwork and treasures collected during the Grand Tour, surrounded by the fine landscaped garden. Note: occupied and administered by the Holbech family - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-farnboroughhall

Grey's Court - An intimate family home and peaceful estate set in the rolling hills of the Chilterns. This picturesque 16th-century mansion and tranquil gardens were home to the Brunner family until recent years. Reopening in 2010 after two years of closure for conservation work, the house exudes a welcoming atmosphere with a well-stocked kitchen and homely living rooms. The series of walled gardens is a colourful patchwork of interest set amid medieval ruins. Other buildings from earlier eras include the Great Tower from the 12th century and a rare Tudor donkey wheel, in use until the early 20th century http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-greyscourt

Mapledurham House - Away from the distractions of town, business or busy hotels, Mapledurham is an oasis of peace, natural beauty and history which can be an ideal venue for fun corporate events, dreamy weddings or just a good day out. - http://www.mapledurham.co.uk/index.php

River & Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames.  The Museum has three main galleries devoted to the River Thames, the international sport of rowing and the town of Henley on Thames.  The Wind in the Willows is a permanent exhibition that brings the story to life using 3D models, sets, music and an audio guide.  A programme of Special exhibitions in the Treasures gallery, Lord Kirkham gallery and on The Wall ensure there is always something new to explore, often providing unique or unexpected insights into one of our main themes.  http://www.rrm.co.uk

Stonor Park - one of England’s oldest manor houses, situated in one of the most beautiful settings, owned by the same family of the same faith for 850 years. The house contains a remarkable collection of family portraits, beautiful stained glass, old Master Drawings, European Bronzes, an early 19th century wallpaper of Paris as well as contemporary ceramics from England, Denmark, Korea & Japan. The house, garden, old hall tea room & gift shop are open from April until the end of September. The park, with its herd of fallow deer, is also open by way of a public footpath throughout the year, from where there are stunning views of both the house and surrounding countryside. http://www.stonor.com