About Marlborough

For accommodation information see below

A view of Marlborough rooftopsMarlborough is a delightful, unspoilt market town set among the rolling hills and white horses of rural Wiltshire, yet within easy reach of London and other parts of the UK. It provides a unique blend of archetypal English town and cosmopolitan culture.

Marlborough has a wealth of delights to entertain the visitor but the name is perhaps now synonymous with the famous public school at its western end, with its ever popular Summer School. The town’s motto is ubi nunc sapientis ossa Merlini – “where now are the bones of wise Merlin” – and legend has it that the 62ft high mound in Marlborough College is the burial site of Merlin and that the name of the town, Marlborough, comes from Merlin’s Barrow.

Today Marlborough is a vibrant, bustling community with chic cafes, restaurants, hotels and fashion shops, charming arcades and alleyways and historic architecture. With one of the widest high streets in Europe and historic churches at each end, the town contains the charming 17th Century Merchant’s House with its historic treasures. St Mary’s Church bears battle scars from skirmishes of the same Civil War era.

Marlborough is linked with Gunjur in The Gambia and the cultural life of the town reflects the coupling of the quintessentially English and the cosmopolitan. Local crafts and foods at the twice-weekly markets (held since King John’s decree of 1204) sit happily alongside visiting international stalls with their produce and at the October food festival.

Every July the renowned International Jazz Festival brings big name musical draws and the flavour of New Orleans, Chicago or Paris as well as hosting some excellent young and local talent.

A view down Marlborough High Street from St Peter's Church

Great writers are a product of Marlborough too. William Golding’s life at his house on The Green is vividly portrayed in his novel The Pyramid. Other famous literary sons include John Betjeman, Siegfried Sassoon and Louis MacNeice, so the town is a perfect home for the Literature Festival in September. This is now firmly established on both the Marlborough calendar and national literary schedule.

Come and stay in Marlborough and you’ll have a wonderful base from which to explore the surrounding countryside: Savernake Forest where Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn, the Kennet and Avon Canal, the Ridgeway, the World Heritage Site of Avebury, Silbury Hill and Stonehenge – all are within close proximity. Further afield, Salisbury, Bath, Oxford and Cheltenham are easily accessible for day trips, but then you may just want to stay right here!


Below is a list of hotels in Marlborough and some B&Bs outside the town – these have been recommended by others. For more accommodation choices please look at the Visit Wiltshire website.