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Explore Wind in the Willows country

This pretty Thameside village between Maidenhead and Marlow has inspired many writers and artists over the years. It's most closely associated with Sir Stanley Spencer, one of the greatest British painters of the 20th century who lived in the village and used its landscapes in many of his works. The Stanley Spencer Gallery is a must-see if you're into British art. Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame also grew up here, and the tranquil riverside setting inspired the classic children's book.

Uncover a history of scandal at Cliveden

This former haunt of royals, film stars and politicians is remembered as the place where the Profumo Affair began. You can tour the ground floor of this opulent country mansion on certain days to see where John Profumo and Christine Keeler met. The grounds are open all year round. The exquisite gardens reflect the grandeur of a bygone era. See quirky topiary in the Long Garden and colourful floral displays in the Parterre.

Relax on a cruise down the Thames

Take a boat trip from Cookham to Henley, home of the famous regatta, breathing in the stunning scenery of the river. Pass Winter Hill, the gateway to the Chilterns, and Medmenham Abbey, where a secret society met in the 18th century. Catch the colourful Swan Upping Ceremony if you're visiting in July. Looking for a cheap hotel Near Cookham? Travelodge Maidenhead Central Hotel is less than 3 miles from the village. Travelodge Beaconsfield Central Hotel is also close by, and handy for Heathrow Airport.