In the 18th century, Maidenhead was considered one of the busiest coaching stops in the UK. On peak days, some ninety coaches passed through the town, halting for a night’s rest before tackling the highwayman hotspot of Maidenhead Thicket by morning. The arrival of rail in 1838 spelt the end of the stagecoaches and heralded the start of a new age, captured beautifully in the two-arch railway bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. On a quick a visit to the structure, yell in the right-hand arch, known as the Sounding Arch, and enjoy its fabulous echo. The bridge is also the subject of Turner's Rain, Steam and Speed painting.
Maidenhead town centre is only a five-minute walk from the train station with Nicholsons shopping centre and Maidenhead Heritage Centre must-see attractions. Maidenhead also offers tremendous walks along the River Thames towards the villages of Cookham, Marlow and Bray, the latter a culinary destination with the Roux Brothers' Waterside Inn and Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck offering world-class menus.