Cookham, Bray & Taplow

Maidenhead is surrounded by wonderful villages, highly sought after by those looking for pretty villages and towns within easy reach of London. Consequently, this area is rich with choices for dining and activities. There’s plenty to explore in this area.

Culture & Entertainment

 Cliveden House, Taplow

This Grade 1 listed stately home, owned by the National Trust, has a rich history including plenty of scandalous behaviour relating to the John Profumo affair. The grounds stretch for 376 acres alongside the River Thames. Watch out for seasonal events including outdoor theatre, bonfire night and Christmas events. The Relais & Châteaux hotel is worth visiting for dining.

 Nordon Farm, Maidenhead

This wonderful arts centre has a packed schedule of events for all ages including theatre, workshops, fitness and creative arts.

Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham

If you’re an art lover, the Stanley Spencer gallery in Cookham is a lovely little museum with a changing schedule of exhibitions.

 

             

 

Dining out

 You’re spoilt for choice in this area! We’ve summarised some of our favourites below:

Caldesi  Restaurant, Bray – Outstanding Italian cuisine from this renowned chef, a real hidden gem.

The Fat Duck, Bray – Michelin starred and once voted the world’s best restaurant, their inventive menu is legendary. Aside from the hype, it’s a fantastic dining experience.

Peking Inn, Cookham – Contemporary Chinese food, long established and serving genuinely tasty, fresh food.

The Boathouse at Boulters Lock, Maidenhead – Vibrant restaurant with wonderful views and a great menu. The terrace is a fabulous spot on a sunny day.

Spice Forte, Cookham – Fresh Indian food in a contemporary setting.

The Waterside Inn, Bray – Founded by the Roux brothers, The Waterside Inn offers fine dining with a solid reputation and lovely setting.

Cliveden House, Taplow – This Relais & Châteaux hotel has several dining options, all with inventive menus, stunning décor and beautiful views.

The Ferry, Cookham – This lovely riverside spot is popular with locals for drinks and nibbles. Cosy inside in the winter, you’ve always got a great view.

 

           

Parks & Recreation

 Bray Lake Watersports

This 50 acre lake offers sailing, windsurfing, wingsurfing, paddle sports and open water swimming, year round. With a clubhouse, sports shop and café, the centre is open for members, drop-ins and available for events.

Thames Path Walk

This is a beautiful stretch of the River Thames. Maidenhead to Cookham is an established stretch with a lovely 6 mile circular walk with The Ferry in Cookham an ideal halfway point for lunch or drinks.

Boating Along the River Thames

It speaks volumes that Cliveden appears several times! The Electric Boat Company hire self-drive or skippered boats from the banks of the River Thames at Cliveden. They have a choice of electric boats, rowing boats, Canadian canoes and a pedal powered boat. Ideal for exploring this beautiful stretch of the river.

Cliveden Club, Taplow

With a private mooring and access to exclusive events, this members’ club is a cut above. With the prerequisite gym and spa facilities thrown in, the Cliveden Club could well sprinkle your time in this area with a bit of magic.

Village Cricket

Just like a scene from Midsomer Murders, Bray and Cookham cricket clubs are picture perfect, ideal for players and spectators.

Shopping

Maidenhead town centre has a reasonable choice of chain and independent shops. On the outskirts of the town you’ll find several retail parks with DIY, home interior and sports shops.

The surrounding villages have some specialised shops including the charming Cookham Arcade.

For a broader choice, Windsor, Reading, High Wycombe and Slough all offer larger shopping centres within a 10 to 30 minute drive.

 

Schools & Education

 Independent Schools

St Piran’s School, Maidenhead

This forward thinking school is co-educational, for children aged 2 to 11.

Herries Independent School, Cookham Dean

Preparatory and nursery school, co-educational for children aged 3 to 11.

Claires Court School, Littlewick Green

With a broad range of recreational activities, this school is co-educational for children aged 2 to 18.

Holyport College, Holyport

Bordering Bray, this independent school is for 11 to 19 year olds, for day and boarding students.

Residents of this area often choose schools in the Ascot/Sunningdale area. To find out about these schools click here.

State Schools

 Oldfield Primary School, Maidenhead

On the border of Maidenhead and Bray, this state school is for 5 to 11 year old mixed gender children. Rated outstanding by Ofsted.

St Lukes CofE Primary School, Cookham

This village school services Church of England primary children. Rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Braywick Court Primary School, Braywick

Between Maidenhead and Bray, this school teaches children of 2 to 11 years of age. Rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Newlands Girls School – Outstanding

Near Pinkney’s Green, Newlands serves girls aged 11 to 18. Rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Furze Platt Senior School, Furze Platt

Mixed gender, this school has academy status and is for 11 to 18 year olds. Rated Good by Ofsted.

Location & Connections

The M4 runs through Maidenhead

The A404 heads north to the M40 at High Wycombe

Maidenhead train station is on the Crossrail route heading to London Paddington in as little as 24 minutes, or to the west it connects with Reading in as little as 14 minutes.

Taplow train station also heads to London Paddington albeit on a slower train, reaching London is 34 minutes or more.

 

Discover….

If you’re planning a trip to the area, below is a suggested itinerary to take in the local area:

Pre-walk brunch

Boathouse, Boulters Lock

Boulters Lock Island, Maidenhead SL6 8PE

The Boathouse is beautifully located right on the River Thames with lovely views. They have a fantastic menu for healthy and/or indulgent breakfasts.

 

National Trust Walk

Cliveden House

Cliveden House, Taplow, SL6 0JF

This Grade 1 listed stately home, owned by the National Trust, has a rich history including plenty of scandalous behaviour relating to the John Profumo affair. The grounds stretch for 376 acres alongside the River Thames. With beautifully manicured grounds, this is a great spot for a long walk with beautiful views.

Afternoon tea

Cliveden House

Cliveden House is a five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel and spa with plenty of fabulous dining options. They’ve one-upped the usual afternoon tea menu with roulades, tarts and divine cakes, all inspired by the history of the estate.

An artistic pause

Stanley Spencer Gallery

High Street, Cookham SL6 9SJ

If you’re an art lover, the Stanley Spencer gallery in Cookham is a lovely little museum with a changing schedule of exhibitions. Located on Cookham High Street, maybe take a wander down the road while you’re there. Cookham has a smattering of small shops and some well rated restaurants. No wonder this is such a popular village!

Dinner

Caldesi

Old Mill Ln, Bray, Maidenhead SL6 2BG

A real hidden gem, this Italian restaurant serves the most divine food, freshly prepared on site. While Bray is well known for its many Michelin starred restaurants, Caldesi snaps at their heels and is well worth a visit, and much easier to book!

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