Moving to Reading: Area Guide

Alan Aksenenko
By Alan Aksenenko
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Reading is made up of a diverse and lively community. The town is a mere 30 minutes away from London and thus an ideal location for commuters who look to get away from the busy city life and adopt a more relaxing lifestyle. That being said, Reading has a lot to offer its residents and visitors, including a busy nightlife, rich history, excellent schools, as well as many cafes, restaurants and pubs. 

Where is Reading?

Area of Reading

Reading is a town in Berkshire built upon the confluence of the rivers Thames and Kennet. It is roughly 40 kilometres south of Oxford and about 65 kilometres west of London. Reading’s link to the M4 corridor puts in a very convenient location that gives easy access to neighbouring Bristol, Cardiff and Swindon.

A brief history of Reading

The origins of Reading can be drawn back to the early stage settlements of Anglo-Saxon settlers, who arrived in the UK around the 8th century. Throughout the middle ages, Reading grew thanks to its convenient location in between other developing settlements and, of course, through the town’s accessibility by the river. Reading’s population increased significantly following the development of ironworks around the 18th century, and during the 19th century, the town saw further growth as a manufacturing centre. Throughout both World Wars, Reading did not succumb to significant damages, which contributed to its continued growth.

An in-depth look at Reading

Who lives there?

As it stands, Reading has a population of around 170,000 people and is a very diverse town, with reports issued in 2010 noting that there are 150 different languages spoken there. A large part of Reading’s population is made up of families and professionals commuting to and from London.

Types of property in Reading 

Homes in Reading

Reading offers a wide range of property types, including Victorian and Edwardian era homes. The average house price is £309,000, with a detached house costing around £590,000, and a semi-detached house around £370,000. Smaller properties, including flats and maisonettes, are on the market for approximately £245,000. The average rental cost for Reading’s town centre is currently around £1,150pcm, with listings for one-bedroom flats costing around £700pcm, two-bedrooms starting from £900pcm and three-bedrooms coming in at £1,450pcm. One of Reading’s more popular areas is Earley, which is very in demand with young families. The average property price is at around £416,000, and the average rental costs stand at £1,250pcm.

Reading transport

Reading train station

Reading is very well located, offering convenient transport links to neighbouring cities and London. The town itself is well serviced by an efficient bus and train system, and for those that may look to travel abroad, its proximity to Heathrow and Luton airport make Reading a great location. Reading’s buses operate all over town and at high frequency – although operations run at a reduced service at night and on weekends. The Reading trains station is one of the country’s busiest, besides London’s train stations, and enables Reading’s locals to get to London in only 30 minutes. Finally, Reading is located right by the M4, giving drivers a convenient link to Bristol, Swindon, and Cardiff.

Restaurants and shops

Reading has a wide variety of shopping options, including high street boutiques and retailers in locations such as Broad Street. With over 80 stores, Reading also has the Oracle arcade, a dream shopping location catering to most people’s need. For those that want to support local, sustainable farming, the monthly farmers’ market in Hosier Street is most definitely worth checking out, too!

Pau Brasil

Reading is made up of a diverse and lively community. The town is a mere 30 minutes away from London and thus an ideal location for commuters who look to get away from the busy city life and adopt a more relaxing lifestyle. That being said, Reading has a lot to offer its residents and visitors, including a busy nightlife, rich history, excellent schools, as well as many cafes, restaurants and pubs. 

Tutu’s Ethiopian Table

This restaurant is run by no other than Tutu, who has been serving food from her home country to Reading’s locals for many years. The various meat and vegetable stews are all delicious and cater to different tastes, with most dishes coming with a side of Injera – a sourdough pancake. 

Reading Festival

People at Reading Festival

For the last 50 years, Reading Festival has offered three days of fantastic music and a unique atmosphere to festival-goers from all over the world. It is the second-largest music festival in the UK – bested only by Glastonbury – and is the world’s oldest pop music festival, with line ups including big-name performers such as Kendrick Lamar, the Foo Fighters and Post Malone. 

Moving to Reading

Reading is a town that accommodates all cultures and beliefs. The frequent train services to London make it a great place to live for those looking to remain outside of the capital but be able to commute to work in just about half an hour. Finally, the diverse range of homes, excellent schools and shopping opportunities make Reading a great place to start looking for a new home. 

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