New homes in Reading
Whether you’re shopping in the town centre, visiting museums or enjoying a walk in the local countryside, there’s plenty to see and do close to your new home in Reading. With great transport links into London and beyond, Reading could be the perfect place for you and your family to settle.
A quick history
Reading started to grow in Saxon times, around the 6th century, and in 871 it was captured by the Danes. In the Middle Ages, a market was set up in the town, with goods transported to London via the River Thames. The town prospered thanks to the large numbers of travellers who passed through on their way to Bristol, and pilgrims visited to see the abbey.
Industry in Reading grew around cloth and wool-making, but the 18th-century wool-making had declined and was replaced by nail, silk, brick and tile making. The town was rebuilt in a more elegant style, and the streets were paved. Later, brewing and biscuit-making became major industries in Reading.
By the 1900s, the town was thriving. Many evacuees arrived in Reading during the Second World War, but it was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in 1941. The M4 opened in 1971, putting Reading on a major transport corridor in and out of London.
Business and industry
Reading has a thriving economy, with a number of major employers headquartered in and around the town including Microsoft UK, Thames Water and Oracle UK. Other employers in the local area include Prudential, the University of Reading, 3M and the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
Things to do in the area
If you enjoy discovering local history and culture, there’s lots to see in Reading including the Museum of Berkshire Aviation, Reading Museum, the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology and REME Museum of Technology. There are lots of historic sites nearby include the 12th century Reading Abbey and the Georgian manor Basildon Park, which is run by the National Trust.
For families moving to the area, there are lots of great kid-friendly attractions in and near the town including Forbury Gardens and Dinton Pastures Country Park. Reading Climbing Centre, Central Swimming Pool, Skiplex Endless Indoor Ski Slope and Burley Lodge Equestrian Centre are also popular with youngsters.
If you’re a sports fan, you can watch London Irish play their rugby matches and Reading F.C. play football at Madejski Stadium. In the evening, The Hexagon hosts drama, comedy, music and dance, while iconic rock bands visit the town every August Bank Holiday weekend with the arrival of Reading Festival.
Travel and commuting
Whether you’re visiting friends or commuting each day for work, you’ll benefit from Reading’s excellent transport links by both road and rail. The town is just off junction 11 of the M4, while Reading train station has services to London, Bristol, Cardiff and more.
If you’re venturing to London, the journey takes just 30 minutes by train to Paddington or one hour by car. Oxford can be reached in 45 minutes by car or train, while Swindon is a 45-minute train journey away or 50 minutes by car. Southampton is a 50-minute train journey or one-hour 10-minute drive from Reading, while Birmingham is one hour 30 minutes away by train or one hour 50 minutes by car.
When you’re going on holiday or taking a business trip, Heathrow Airport is only a 30-minute drive away.