Maidenhead is a pleasant residential town located on a beautiful stretch of the Thames, near Boulter's Lock, one of the longest and deepest locks on the river.

Boulter's Lock
Boulter's Lock © Philip Halling (CC2)

Although much of the old town has been drowned-out by modem development the area along the riverside retains much of its original charm. During the Edwardian period the town was a popular destination for London's theatre folk and an important stage-post on the London to Bath Road.

Maidenhead's attractive stone bridge across the Thames was constructed in 1777 to replace a much older wooden structure. The road leading from the bridge has many fine Georgian buildings and two almshouses dating from 1659 and 1895. The riverbank is a popular boating centre where boats can be watched or hired and regular cruises operate downstream to Windsor. The Maidenhead Rowing Club usually holds a regatta on the Saturday before the late summer Bank Holiday.

Just south of the town bridge is a railway bridge built in 1838 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It boasts the largest span of brickwork in the world, comprising two arches, each stretching 128ft. The scene was famously rendered by Turner in his artwork 'Rain, Steam and Speed'.

The town is a good base for touring the surrounding area. Maidenhead Thicket, to the west, is a large area of wooded countryside that was once a notorious haunt of highwaymen, even in daylight. It is now safely managed by the National Trust. Boulter's Lock and weir, a mile upstream from the town bridge, is a historic beauty spot with pleasant walks along the towpath. The National Trust's Cliveden gardens can also be visited a few miles upstream, beyond the lock at Taplow.

Map of Maidenhead

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