Reading Area Guide
Dating back to Roman times, Reading has grown and developed around the confluence of the river Thames and river Kennet to become a major economic and social hub.
Located on the cusp of Berkshire and Oxfordshire, Reading not only offers the hustle and bustle of 'city’ living but also immediate access to rural rolling countryside - providing a wealth of riverside walking and cycling routes, together with easy access to the Berkshire Downs and Chiltern Hills.
The area is steeped in history, with Reading Abbey at its heart. Founded in 1121, by King Henry I, it changed the shape of the community, making Reading the most important town in the Thames Valley. Now in ruins, standing within Forbury Gardens, the Abbey's past can he explored at the Museum (together with Britain's full-size copy of the famous Bayeux Tapestry - displayed in its magnificent entirety in a purpose-built gallery). There is also an Aviation Museum and the, internationally recognised, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) - housing the national collection.
Moving forward to the modern day; the town hosts one of England's largest annual music events, ‘Reading Festival’, which proudly showcases many of the top popular music artists.
Most cultural and sporting tastes are catered for, including access to horse racing at Newbury and Royal Ascot, and Championship League football club, 'the Royals', play out of Reading's premiere Madejski Stadium.
With an increasing population, now approaching 350,000, Reading's greater urban area continues to grow. Cited amongst the 'top ten' of UK shopping-destinations, it incorporates a centre bustling with major retailers, Department stores, and designer/bespoke outlets. Together with its own Theatre (the ‘Hexagon’) and Concert Hall, as well as vibrant bars/eateries, giving a nightlife alternative to London. Moreover, award-winning restaurants nestle within some nearby country villages.
Reading railway station is a leading hub on the Great Western line, offering all routes to the West and Wales, links to the Midlands and the North, and a fast and regular service to central London (36 miles east of Reading) directly to Paddington in 25 minutes. The adjoining bus interchange serves all local urban and rural routes. RailAir provides a dedicated non-stop coach service to Heathrow Airport (25 miles). Reading recently introduced the innovative ReadyBike service, part of the Borough's programme to improve sustainable transport.
Benefitting from, world-renowned, Reading University, the area also offers an array of excellent Private and State Schools, with many achieving “Outstanding” recognition from Ofsted.
An historic commercial centre, Reading and its surrounding area has evolved in more recent years to become Britain's leading 'Silicon Valley’, with three primary Business Parks, being UK headquarters to international technology corporations such as Microsoft, Oracle and Fujitsu, together with other global IT companies, and those representing the world of Insurance and finance (e.g. Prudential, ING and Barclays), and principal offices of the 'big four' Accountancy firms, as well as home to an array of other multinational and important national businesses (e.g. the British Gas Group).
If you are thinking of Letting or renting in the Reading area, contact Kings' Reading Lettings Office.
(NB: Parts of the Thames Valley may be prone to seasonal flooding, however flood prevention measures are always in operation.)