We had no idea until recently that the grounds of Danesfield House Hotel & Spa are open for anyone to visit. With over 65 acres of woodland, parkland and formal gardens, including stunning views of the River Thames, it’s a great place to stretch your legs and step back in history.
We caught up with Grounds Supervisor Dan Lawrence who was more than happy to show us around. He explained that Danesfield House sits within the site of one of Buckinghamshire’s oldest hillforts, said to be dated from c. 400-150 BC. With a very high embankment on two sides the fort would have had far reaching views across the valley over the Thames. The views really are quite spectacular.
Of course, the hillfort no longer exists but other historical features of the grounds do, including the statues, fountains and waterfalls created out of Pulhamite rock. This is an artificial rock invented by James Pulham of Pulham & Sons in 1830. Very little Pulhamite rock exists these days which adds to the interest of these gardens.
Used by the RAF during the second world war the officers formed the infamous Hell Fire Club. The members created the Hell Fire Run, a distance of 1 mile, around the grounds. You can walk (or run) this route today which takes you past all the stunning features that have remained largely unchanged over the years.
Independently owned, this luxurious hotel on the edge of Marlow allows us to wander freely through their beautiful gardens. With plenty of seating in tucked away corners it felt like we were on holiday, the sound of the babbling brook all we could hear. Next time we will be grabbing a cool crisp Sauvignon from the bar and watching the sunset.
Returning to the castle-like hotel we sat on the terrace enjoying a well deserved cup of tea, taking in our beautiful surroundings.
We can highly recommend a visit.