Discover Maidenhead, a historic market town located on the London-Berkshire border, making it a top spot for commuters looking to balance city and countryside living.
The town was first put on the map by the great engineer Brunel, who built Europe’s largest railway bridge in 1838. ‘The Sounding Arch’ made way for the arrival of Great Western Railway connecting Maidenhead to Paddington. In more recent years, Maidenhead’s status as a commuter hotspot has been strengthened by the opening of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail).
While transport connections that make getting into London easy is one of Maidenhead’s key selling points, this commuter town has a lot more to say for itself.
So if you’re asking yourself, where to move out of London? Keep reading to discover what’s magic about living in Maidenhead:
Maidenhead sits within the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, meaning that if you move here, you’ll be sharing postcodes with the royals! Neighbouring towns include Windsor, Eton and Marlow, and it sits in between Berkshire’s larger towns of Reading and Slough.
For those coming to Maidenhead from Central London, the journey – which is just shy of 30 miles (48km) – takes 35 minutes on average. There are 125 weekly direct rail journeys between Maidenhead and London Paddington and the new Elizabeth Line has created even more routes that carry on right through to Canary Wharf.
You’re also only a 20 minute drive, or 40 minute train ride, from Heathrow, putting the world at your feet.
Located on the southwestern bank of the River Thames, it’s no surprise that much of Maidenhead life centres around being on, or nearby, water.
For a relaxing day exploring the river bends, boating on the Cliveden estate offers skippered cruises, self-drive electric launches, rowing boats and canoes.
Boulter’s Lock and Ray Mill Island are two charming spots on the Middle Thames with eateries where you can watch boats (and the world) go by.
There are plenty of things to do near Maidenhead as you venture along the Thames Path to Windsor passing Dorney Lake – you might even catch a sporting event taking place. Once you arrive, Windsor has a wide variety of attractions to make it a full day out: Windsor Castle, The Long Walk, Windsor Great Park, shopping and riverside restaurant and pubs.
Back in Maidenhead itself, you can explore the new waterways on foot by taking part in the ‘Maidenhead Memories’ sculpture trail, which features eight pieces of public art celebrating the area’s heritage.
North up the river, just outside Cookham village, is the stately Cliveden House. Set upon 376 acres of National Trust grounds, this luxury hotel and country club has a superb spa and decadent dining for a special treat.
For family-friendly things to do in Maidenhead, don’t miss the highlight in the calendar: the Maidenhead Festival in Kidwells Park. Hosted in July – by the community, for the community – this free event brings live music performances, stalls and street-food, fairground rides and fireworks to the centre of town.
Image credit: Sculpture trail, Shanly Homes
If you’re a foodie, then this corner of Berkshire really is the place to sink your teeth into.
Maidenhead town centre offers a great selection of pubs, restaurants and cafes, with popular spots on the waterside including Coppa Club and artisan bakery, Bakedd. At this end of the high street you’ll also find Sauce & Flour, a pasta bar restaurant with an authentic, homemade menu to rival Padella (if you know, you know).
Take a turn onto Queen Street and discover Seasonality which received high praise from legendary food critic Grace Dent. Set up by a husband and wife team, its intimate setting, seasonal menu and passionate staff has all the ingredients of a good neighbourhood restaurant. Head a few doors down for a pre or post-dinner aperitif at The Borough with its extensive wine list and cocktail menu.
At Boulter’s Lock, The Boathouse sits on its very own island and is the perfect alfresco spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A seven minute drive (or 40 minute stroll) to Bray takes you to gourmand’s paradise. This pretty riverside parish quietly boasts two three-Michelin-starred restaurants (P.S. there are only eight of these in the UK).
The Roux brothers’ Waterside Inn offers exquisite tasting menus and fine wines in a picture perfect spot on the banks of the Thames. Down the road is Heston Blumenthal’s pioneering restaurant, The Fat Duck, where molecular gastronomy provides a feast for the senses and takes you on a culinary adventure.
Image credit: Heston’s flaming pudding at The Fat Duck
As well as having great access to rivers and waterways, Maidenhead is surrounded by countryside, so you are spoilt for choice when planning routes for dog walks, a Sunday ramble or challenging hike.
Maidenhead is not far from the Chiltern Hills, a recognised Area of Outstanding National Beauty. In addition to hiking and biking trails in quintessentially English countryside, you’ll discover historic market towns, pubs and farm shops.
Local National Trust site, Maidenhead and Cookham Commons spans 843 acres and boasts a wide variety of landscapes – from dense woodlands to wildflower meadows.
The Cliveden estate in Taplow, also owned by the National Trust, is set high above the Thames affording incredible views and manicured gardens.
Image credit: Cliveden Estate, National Trust
Over the last few years, Maidenhead has seen significant investment with a series of large scale developments helping to breathe new life into neglected buildings and enliven the town centre to strengthen the community.
A restoration project called Chapel Arches has brought back the waterways that once ran through the town centre, creating a picturesque waterside leisure destination with restaurants, cafes, a F45 gym and amphitheatre.
Another large scale project is One Maidenhead, soon to be launched by build to rent specialist, Get Living.
This new neighbourhood is bringing 429 brand new apartments for rent in Maidenhead within a new public realm featuring public art and is less than five minutes’ walk from the station.
In addition to an exciting new retail offering on the doorstep, One Maidenhead’s residents will have access to co-working spaces, gym and roof terraces as well as all the added Get Living resident benefits.
Homes to rent at Get Living’s One Maidenhead neighbourhood, coming soon
So, if you’re looking at London commuter towns that offer more than just frequent and fast trains to the capital, look no further.
Living in Maidenhead gives you that quaint, waterside lifestyle and access to rolling hills of the Berkshire countryside, instilling a slower pace of life. All the while, Maidenhead and its surrounding villages have plenty of things to do for active, culture seekers.
And with new developments bringing even more retail, restaurants and leisure facilities to the town centre, alongside a new collection of apartments to rent in Maidenhead, the town is on the up.
Take this as your sign to move to Maidenhead. We’ll see you there.