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History and Culture

The name ‘Reading’ is derived from ‘Readingas’, an Anglo-saxon tribe, which is said to have the literal meaning of ‘The Red one’. The earliest known written record of the existence of this town, is found in the ‘Anglo-saxon Chronicle’ where a description of the first ‘Battle of Reading’ was stated and how an Army of Danes in the late 870’s were left undefeated by an army led by King Ethelred and his brother.

The prosperity and growth of Reading was built on the foundation of Reading Abbey, founded by Henry I and where he was buried. As a result the town became a pilgrimage for many making the place an historic sight.

In the 18th Century, Reading was a well established town famous for its brewing trades and Iron works. As a result of these trades and thanks to better designed turnpike roads- also known as toll roads, Reading was able to develop its roads and establish major coaching routes from London to Oxford and the West County.

Why move to Reading?

This Urban growing town has been voted one of the best places to make a living and work in the UK. With its close relationship and involvement in the tech industry, it is home to major headquarters of a company such as Microsoft.

Being so close to London and having great commuter links, it definitely has its drawbacks on the housing prices. According to Rightmove, ‘properties in Reading had an overall average price of £376,038 over the last year. The majority of sales in Reading during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £397,954. Terraced properties sold for an average of £315,629, with flats fetching £233,129’. As for renting, the average price is set at £1,004pcm, according to home.co.uk; but prices do vary depending on the area, size and features of a property.

Reading is also a university town, therefore there is no shortage of pubs, bars, restaurants and activities to do while in the town. But if that’s not your thing, then don’t worry, the list doesn’t end there. Reading also doesn’t disappoint when it comes to nature-sque locations; Just a 4 minute walk from the Oracle (town centre), is the Forbury Gardens, where you can enjoy a nice warm picnic under the company of nature’s finest birds and great views of the surrounding monuments.

Transport

Having close proximity to large airports and cities, Reading offers excellent commuter transport links of trains and buses/coaches (within and outside), ideal for people looking to escape the chaos of the city and commute from a quieter neighbourhood with less competitive housing prices.

With many train services such as The Great Western, Southwestern Railway and Cross Country operating at the station, you can get to London at a mere 30 minute train ride and other major cities/towns in less than an hour, making Reading Station one of the busiest stations after London.

Things to do in Reading

The Reading Festival:

Active for 76 years is one of the world’s oldest running music festivals, alongside Leeds Festival, which is still popular to this day. The genre of music includes Alternative, rock, metal, hip-hop, dance and pop. This event takes place simultaneously with Leeds Festival from Friday to Sunday of the August bank holiday, making it a whole weekend of fun and craziness.

The Oracle:

This is a large indoor shopping and leisure mall located in the middle of the town centre located on a short 11 minute walk from the Reading Trainstation. This is the ultimate destination for shopaholics and foodies as it is surrounded by over 90 stores and a variety of restaurants, suited to your tastes and needs. A franchise of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, Jamie’s Italian and many other mouth-watering restaurants are located right outside the Oracle, along the Riverside, where you not only can enjoy the food served to you but you can also enjoy it with a magnificent view of the River Kennet, which streams right in the middle of surrounding restaurants. 

The Reading Museum:

The Reading Museum, located in the town centre within the Reading Town hall, holds the very history which made Reading town what it is today. From (now) virtual tapestry tours and galleries to artistic creative art packs and exhibitions of historic events and crafts, they do it all. And when you need a little break from all of that you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee in one of the cafes within the Town hall.

Reading Education:

For a lot of parents/guardians or soon to be parents, we know how important it is for them to ensure that their children get the best education possible. So we have put together an Ofsted report of some of the schools in Reading that are high on their rating, to show you the different options available.