The Maidenhead urban area includes urban and suburban regions within the bounds of the town, called Maidenhead Court, North Town, Furze Platt, Pinkneys Green, Highway, Tittle Row, Boyn Hill, Fishery and Bray Wick; as well as suburbs in surrounding civil parishes: Cox Green and Altwood in Cox Green parish, Woodlands Park in White Waltham parish, and part of Bray Wick in Bray parish. Bray village itself is still just about detached. Immediately surrounding Maidenhead are to the east, on the opposite side of the river, the village of Taplow. A few miles further on is Slough. To the north the Cookhams (Cookham Village, Cookham Rise & Cookham Dean). Also in this area is the wealthy area of Pinkneys Green. These lie south of the Berkshire-Buckinghamshire border, which is formed by the River Thames (which then bends southwards to form the Maidenhead-Taplow border). To the south is the village of Holyport. Continuing by road to the South-East leads to the town of Windsor.
Maidenhead's industries include: computer software, plastics, pharmaceuticals, printing and telecommunications. The town is also a boating centre. The Maidenhead Rowing Club hosts the Maidenhead Regatta which, along with the Marlow Regatta and Henley Regatta, is often seen as a testing ground for olympic rowing athletes. Maidenhead has often seen winners go on to represent the United Kingdom at the Olympic games. Maidenhead was home to the conference that agreed on the Maidenhead Locator System standard.
Research by the New Economics Foundation rated Maidenhead as an example of a clone town. It offers reasonable High Street shopping facilities including Nicholson's Centre, a shopping centre on the site of Nicholson's brewery. The town also offers an 8-screen Odeon multiplex cinema, a leisure centre (with swimming pool), called the Magnet, and a bowling alley. There is also Norden Farm Centre for the Arts (an arts centre including a theatre). Help with shopping in the town centre can be provided by the Shopmobility service on the ground floor of Nicholson's car park.
The (Brunel-built) Great Western Railway passes through the town, calling at Maidenhead railway station and offering links to London and stations towards Bristol. It passes over Brunel's Maidenhead Railway Bridge (known locally as the Sounding Arch), famous for its flat brick arches. Maidenhead Station is the beginning of the branch line from Maidenhead to Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and is one of the proposed termini for the London Crossrail scheme.
Currently, rail services are provided by First Great Western who took over the Thames Trains franchise in 2003/4.
The A4 runs through the town and crosses the Thames over Maidenhead Bridge. The town lies adjacent to junction 8/9 on the M4 motorway (accessed via the A404(M) and A308(M)). The M4 and M40 are linked by the A404(M)/ A404 which skirts the western side of Maidenhead.
The River Thames runs half a mile to the east of the town centre, and York Stream, which runs through the town centre, connects to the Thames via a system of disused waterways. A renewal scheme is in progess (October 2007) to reopen these waterways. The Jubilee River, part of the flood defence scheme, begins above Boulter's Lock nearby. Berkshire College of Agriculture is based in Maidenhead. Maidenhead Grammar School was converted into a (boys) comprehensive school in the 1970s, and renamed Desborough School. Maidenhead High School, similarly, became Newlands Girls' School. To the western side of the town is Altwood C of E Secondary School and also Cox Green Secondary School. Maidenhead is also home to St Piran's School, Claires Court School (boys), The College (girls), Highfield (girls) and Ridgeway private prep schools; as well as Furze Platt School which caters for junior to college level students; Furze Platt Infant School for younger children and Courthouse Junior School. There is also a primary catholic school situated near Altwood C of E Secondary School called St Edmund Campion Primary School.