Located in the county of Berkshire, Reading had an estimated population of 156,000 in 2011. Its origins can be traced back to early Anglo-Saxon settlements in the area. It developed largely thanks to its convenient location on routes between the east and west of the country, with river, road, and rail traffic passing through the town — the River Thames and the Kennet & Avon Canal both flow through.
Reading is an affluent town with good levels of employment and lower than average crime rates. Many people choose to live in Reading and commute to London for work, often because real estate costs are lower outside the capital.
The town also benefits from being situated on the “M4 corridor”, an expression which refers to the way the M4 motorway connects a range of flourishing towns and cities from London through Reading, Newbury, Swindon, Bristol and Cardiff.
Today, it is rapidly becoming a UK version of Silicon Valley with the high level of investment from the technology sector.
The UK’s climate is heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the warming effects of the Gulf Stream. Being well away from the west coast of the UK, the south east of England enjoys some of the driest weather in the country, and tends to be less windy than the west.
Whereas parts of the north east of England can get over 3000 mm of rainfall per year, in Reading you would expect to get less than 1000 mm of rainfall annually. January is typically the coldest month, with minimum daytime temperatures averaging 3°C. The warmest weather typically occurs in July, with an average of 20°C.
There is a wide choice of property types to rent or purchase in Reading and the surrounding area. If you would like to be in a central part of town, there are a number of sought after areas where you will find stylish apartments, such as Queen's Wharf and St James Wharf.
The leafy suburb of Caversham in the northern part of Reading is often regarded as one of the best areas to live in and has a good mix of property. There are large older houses from the late 1800s and 1920s as well as spacious, more modern houses built during the 1960s and 1980s.
There are also many attractive villages and small towns in the surrounding area. Just seven miles north of Reading, you will find Henley on Thames, an affluent town best known for its annual Royal Regatta, which is one of the key events on the UK’s sporting and social calendar. Similarly attractive is the neighboring town of Marlow, also situated close to the Thames.
For more details on the rental or purchase process in general, as well as addition info on related topics such as utilities, please take a look at our articles on Housing and Accommodation in the UK.