Everything you need to know about living in Reading

Everything you need to know about living in Reading

Reading has long been lauded for its easy access to London for commuters and vibrant employment status in its own right.

Add into the mix its suitability for families and it's easy to see why Reading was named the second best 'city' in the UK in the 2018 PwC Good Growth For Cities index.

But what else makes Reading so brilliant? Parkers has run the rule over this Berkshire gem...

Living in Reading

Reading offers something for everyone, but it is its commuter links that make it an attractive proposition for workers and investors alike.

And that appeal is showing no signs of waning, particularly with the Crossrail project looming closer, which will reduce journey times into London even further.

A Championship football team and Championship rugby at the town's Madejski Stadium also make the town a haven for sports lovers.

Property in Reading

The town's rapid growth following the arrival of rail services has left a large stock of Edwardian and Victorian properties, including large detached family homes and rows of traditional terraces.

The town's development hasn't stopped, either, and plenty of new-build flats and apartments have sprung up close to the town centre.

Buyers looking for a more suburban purchase have plenty of 1950s properties to chose from in places like Tilehurst, Woodley, Theale and Earley.

Reading house prices

According to Zoopla, prices in Reading have experienced a slight dip over the past 12 months, with Brexit uncertainty largely to blame.

But with employment buoyant and the town's commuter links set to improve even further, Reading is brilliantly placed to withstand any political and economic turmoil 2019 may throw at it.

Average property price: £421,070

Renting in Reading

The vast majority of Reading's rental stock is one and two-bedroom flats, with four and five-bedroom houses also available.

The town's high employment levels and university have attracted buy-to-let investors aplenty down the years, while the arrival of Crossrail has seen a further influx more recently.

Average monthly rent: £1,525

Reading transport links

Just 40 miles west of London, Reading's location next to the M4 motorway makes it ideal for a car commute into the capital, or west to South Wales.

We've already highlighted Crossrail, which will cut journey times into Bond Street (55 minutes), Liverpool Street (61 minutes) and Canary Wharf (67 minutes), but with the Reading-to-Paddington fast service already zipping commuters in London in just 30 minutes, the town is already well catered for on the transport front.

Employment in Reading

Referred to as the commercial capital of the Thames Valley, Reading offers a host of employment opportunities from global businesses to smaller enterprises with potential growth.

As well as international computer firm Microsoft, which has an office in town, Reading is also home to Huawei, Bang & Olufsen, Sage, Virgin Media, Xerox, ING Direct, Yell Group and Prudential.

For retail workers, John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser have department stories in town, while The Oracle shopping centre and Broad Street Mall are home to a multitude of chain stores.

Primary schools in Reading

While Reading's top grammar schools and private schools often steal the headlines, the town also boasts so excellent primary education.

The best of the bunch are the Ofsted 'Outstanding' rated All Saints Junior School, Emmer Green Primary, Aldryngton Primary, Geoffrey Field Infant School, South Lake Primary and Caversham Primary.

Shopping in Reading

If you're looking for high street brands then the Oracle Shopping Centre has them all under one roof.

Apple, H&M, Phase Eight and Topshop are among the top retailers in the Oracle, while those looking for something a little more unique will find dozens of independent retailers in Harris Arcade.

Eating out in Reading

The pick of Reading's best restaurants has to be the London Street Brasserie overlooking the stunning River Kennet.

Known as LSB by loving locals, the eatery has gleaned several awards, including Michelin recognition, thanks to dishes like pan fried sea bass, roast sweet potato, lemon parsley butter. crispy capers and the English classic beer battered haddock, tartare, chipped potatoes, mushy peas.

Away from LSB, a number of independent coffee shops have sprung up in town, including Nibsy's in Cross Street and Picnic at Market Place.

Things to do in Reading

If you don't fancy taking in a football or rugby union clash at the Madejski Stadium, there are some more peaceful areas of Reading to be enjoyed.

Lovely walks along the River Kennet in the warmer months are a delight, while Palmer Park and Prospect Park are places to relax while the kids enjoy the play park at Palmer Park or miniature railway at Prospect Park.

Music lovers will be well aware of the long-standing Reading Festival at Richfield Avenue. Held this year on the August Bank Holiday weekend, the festival's headliners include The 1975, Post Malone and Foo Fighters.

Things to do with the kids

Reading's brilliant M4 location and rail links mean theme parks Thorpe Park, Legoland Windsor and Chessington World of Adventures are not too far away.

But there are plenty of things to do with the little ones in the RG postcode, too.

The Reading Mystery Treasure Trail is great fun for children and adults - and the two-hour trip around collecting clues will certainly keep everyone occupied!

The Reading Climbing Centre and Teamsport Indoor Karting, meanwhile, are superb options for those with slightly older children.

If you are looking at moving to Reading, take a look at our available properties or get in touch with one of our offices who will be more than happy to help with any questions you have on the area.