Just 30 miles west of central London, Maidenhead is undergoing a revival, thanks to a major town centre regeneration project and a Crossrail link.
Maidenhead is in the prestigious county of Berkshire. The large town sits next to the M4, dubbed the Silicon Corridor because of the large number of technology and financial services companies located there.
It is less than 30 miles west of central London, making it an ideal place to settle if you’re a commuter. The new Crossrail network, recently named the Elizabeth Line, is soon to improve transport links even further. From December 2019, four trains per hour will ferry you directly from Maidenhead to central London.
Unsurprisingly, a knock-on effect for house prices has been predicted. The current average property value of £550,000 is likely to rise – particularly in the vicinity of the train station (check the latest prices here).
Living in Maidenhead: what to expect
Maidenhead is in prime commuter territory. And, once the new Elizabeth Line is operational, you will be able to benefit from faster and more frequent train services to the capital and Reading. This will reduce travel times by up to 20 minutes.
It is not the only improvement planned. Crossrail has inspired a £230m regeneration project, including new shops, offices, restaurants, up to 225 apartments and a central public space at King Street and Queen Street in the town centre. It is due for completion in 2019.
Maidenhead also boasts large homes, good schools and an enviable position on the banks of the River Thames, surrounded by picturesque villages and countryside. It's encircled by parks and is only a short drive from the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Where to start your property search
In town: Maidenhead’s property market is brimming with choice. It boasts plenty of large, luxurious properties in areas such as Bath Road and the exclusive gated cul-de-sac – The Fratons. The most sought-after homes are located on Sheephouse Road, Islet Road, Court Road and the main A4094.
The Chiltern Road area is also particularly popular for its large houses and proximity to the ‘outstanding’ Oldfield Primary School.
Look at the town centre and Grenfell Park for Victorian and properties dating back to 1920-30s and the outskirts of Maidenhead for modern houses.
Keep an eye out for new housing estates too, which are springing up across the Maidenhead area. Several new-build apartment complexes, for example, are located close to the train station in the town centre. Ideal if you’re a young professional, the apartments at Chapel Arches, Trent House, Courtlands, Craufurd Rise and The Loftings, among other developments, offer modern, luxury living.
Suburbs: Maidenhead is surrounded by several suburban villages. The best known is Bray, home to Heston Blumenthal’s famous restaurant The Fat Duck. Here, you will find a mix of modern apartments, large family homes, sprawling luxury estates and characterful period properties. The village is linked to the town, just a mile and a half away, by the exclusive riverside Fishery Estate.
Picturesque Pinkneys Green offers a close-knit village community, whereas Woodlands Park on the south west edge of Maidenhead is a more built-up alternative that still offers direct access to the countryside.
Slightly further afield is Cookham and its adjoining areas of Cookham Rise and Cookham Dean. Cookham was deemed to be Britain’s second richest village by The Daily Telegraph in 2011. It is the place to look for stately detached homes set in large grounds.
Getting around Maidenhead
By rail: Maidenhead train station is located on Station Approach close to the town centre. It has regular direct services to London Paddington (40 minutes), Oxford (45 minutes) and Reading (20 minutes).
As of December 2019, four Elizabeth Line trains per hour will allow you to travel straight to central London. Two Elizabeth Line trains per hour will also run between Maidenhead and Reading. You will be able to reach Bond Street in 41 minutes, Liverpool Street in 48 minutes, Canary Wharf in 55 minutes and Reading in 12 minutes.
By car: The M4, located south of the town, provides direct access to central London and a junction with the M25.
The M40 is also less than 10 miles away to the north of the town, leading to Oxford and Birmingham.
By air: Maidenhead is a convenient location if you’re a regular flier: it's just 30 minutes from Heathrow Airport by car.
Gatwick, London Luton and London Oxford airports are also within easy reach of Maidenhead.
Things to do in Maidenhead
Cultural: Maidenhead Heritage Centre on Park Street tells the fascinating history of the area. It also gives you the opportunity to fly a Spitfire via a unique simulation machine.
For gigs, theatre performances, visual arts, comedy, classical concerts, family shows and various classes and workshops, try the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts on Altwood Road. It also has a café-bar for lunches, main meals, coffees and interval drinks.
In Cookham, the Stanley Spencer Art Gallery houses the world’s largest collection of paintings, drawings, personal letters, photographs, press cuttings and books by the artist of the same name, who spent most of his life in the village.
Outdoors: Maidenhead’s Thameside location and beautiful countryside surroundings are two of its biggest draws. Head out on riverside walks to Cookham and Marlow to the north, and Bray, Windsor and Eton to the south east.
Enjoy views of the ‘Sounding Arch’ railway bridge, which features in JMW Turner’s famous painting, 'Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway'.
Boulters Lock, which has been captured on canvas by Edward John Gregory, is another favourite beauty spot. Ray Mill Island is nearby and has a cafe, picnic area, play area, aviary and guinea pig enclosure.
Riverside Gardens on Ray Mead Road is popular with families, thanks to its crazy golf course and playground. And the National Trust’s Cliveden estate in nearby Taplow has formal gardens, secluded glades, woodland walks, maze and Storybook Play Den.
Shopping: Search the roads stemming from the High Street to find specialist shops and quirky boutiques. And for more popular stores, try the Nicholsons Shopping Centre, which has more than 60 shops, including high street behemoths Next, WHSmith and Argos. Maidenhead also hosts several regular and visiting markets.
Food and drink: Nearby Bray is the place to go for high end, experimental cuisine. The world-renowned restaurant The Fat Duck holds three Michelin Stars and aims to give an unforgettable experience. Previous dishes have included unusual plates of snail porridge and 'Sound of the Sea'.
The Waterside Inn, also in Bray, serves high end French food. It's run by Alain Roux, part of the famous Roux dynasty, who has a particular passion for tempting desserts.
Closer to home is a mix of Italian, Indian and Mexican restaurants, such as Francesco's and Chutney Jacks. The town centre also has cosy gastro pubs, such as The Hand & Flowers (not to be confused with the one in Marlow), which serves classics such as homemade scotch eggs and rump steak.
A couple of miles west of the town lies Maidenhead Thicket, which contains the Iron Age enclosure of Robin Hood’s Arbour. It was once a haunt for highwaymen during the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, it's a rich woodland wildlife habitat with five miles of footpaths.
5 reasons to live in Maidenhead
Close to London, Oxford and Reading
Excellent transport links, including international travel
Major development, including a Crossrail service
Plenty of spacious family homes and large luxury properties
Attractive Thameside and countryside surroundings
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