We are in West Berkshire, about midway between Bristol and London and about 20 miles south of Oxford. The whole area is served by The Royal Berkshire Hospital, one of the largest foundation trusts in the country.
Reading is a vibrant town on the River Thames. It has a lively town centre including the Oracle, a modern shopping centre with over 90 high street shops. The riverside area was developed in 2004 and has become a pleasant collection of restaurants, bars, coffee shops and a cinema built around the river.
Reading also boasts 2 museums as well as several theatres, arts and concert venues. There is a bowling alley, a variety of night clubs and all manner of sports facilities from gyms, lesiure and exercise pools, running, diving, raquet spots, netball, hockey, football, rugby clubs and so on. The river provides the opportunity to row or kayak and there are nearby sailing clubs. Reading’s Madejski stadium is home to both Reading FC and London Irish rugby team and is a large part of Reading life.
It is a family friendly town with numerous pleasant parks, and a variety of good child care options. The local schools are well rated and in particular Reading Boys School and Kendrick School for Girls (secondary) are some of the few remaining state grammar schools in the country. They consistenly feature in the top 10 schools in national leauge tables.
Nearby Bracknell hosts the John Nike Lesiure Centre with its ice rink, dry ski slope, toboggan run etc as well as Bracknell Forest with one of the largest lesiure pools in the UK, Coral Reef, “Go Ape”, orienteering and mountain bike trails and a science centre for children. Henley is 20 minutes to the North, a delightful town with small shops, riverside walks and intimate restaurants not to mention the annual regatta.
Reading can provide exciting city centre living while at the same time being small enough to allow for an easy commute from the surrounding countryside. London Paddington is easily reached by trains taking 25 minutes and leaving more than 6 times an hour. Heathrow airport is half an hour away by car or bus, and Gatwick airport an hour by car or 90 minutes by train.
Newbury is a beautiful market town, the administrative seat of rural West Berkshire, the town centre bisected by the picturesque Kennet and Avon canal.
It has a variety of historical buildings, 2 theatres, a museum and a brewery open to visitors. Newbury racecourse is within a mile of the town centre and hosts a variety of special events as well as horse racing. As in Reading, the water is a big part of Newbury life and boats from rowing boats to barges can be hired on the canal. Newbury Spring Festival takes place for two weeks in May each year with many musicians and jazz, classical, opera, family events, visual arts and music of the world.
Newbury has a pleasant shopping district, both with shops within the historic centre and a purpose built shopping centre – Kennet Shopping. There are a variety of restuarants of various cuisines, bars, a few clubs and a cinema.
Schools are good ranking above the national average for both primary and secondary schools.
Within easy reach of the town are Highclere and Donnington Castle as well as the Ridgeway and the Downs for country walks and pleasant country pubs.