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Living in Reading
Students at the University of Reading are in a large and diverse town which is well-known as a shopping destination. It also has excellent transport links to London and just about anywhere.
We really like students, and we wouldn’t want to start unfairly stereotyping you, but it has to be said that you have a certain reputation for enjoying a drink and a party. With that in mind, we thought it only fair to give you a heads up on two festivals based in Reading. The first is the CAMRA Beer and Cider Festival, which lasts for five long, tasty days. The other one is, of course, the annual Reading Festival (one half of the Reading and Leeds Festival) which brings a deafening blast of rock music into the Berkshire countryside. This is one of the biggest music festivals in the country and every year thousand of people flock to the area to hear top class bands perform.
It’s not all partying though. Sports fans will be pleased to know that the Thames runs through Reading, with numerous rowing races and regattas on it, and landlubbers can take to the streets as part of the 15,000 strong Reading Half Marathon. There are also professional football, rugby and basketball teams, and a velodrome and athletics track at the Palmer Park Stadium.
The nearest cinemas to campus are the Vue, and the smaller Showcase Cinema. There’s also The Hexagon, a multi-purpose centre used for music, theatre, sport events and performing arts. Clubs in the town are centred around Bridge Street and Friar Street, with a range of different musical tastes catered for, and the two big malls are the Oracle and Broad Street Mall, which are at different ends of the same road, with the rest of the high street shops between them.
Reading also has a frankly alarming number of paintball sites in and around the area, which could be the very thing to work out that exam stress. Then again, that Beer Festival could probably do the same job with a lot less running around.
But I have no money
- On yer bike: Reading is on the end of the Kennet and Avon Canal, so if you need to get away from your desk for a few hours, or take someone on a romantic (but cheap!) date, what could be nicer than a stroll or bike ride along the canal?
- Dress up Queen Victoria: A statue of the magnificent monarch reigns just behind M&S on Broad Street. Occasionally she gets a traffic cone for a crown, but we’re sure you can do better than that. Don’t forget to send us the results; she may not be amused, but we certainly will be!
- Reading Abbey: The ruins of this massive abbey are almost a thousand years old. Spend a while poking around, collect some mates for a game or two, or just take along a picnic.
- Oxford: 30 mins by train. For the culture
- Bournemouth: Just under 2hrs by train. For the beaches
- London: 35 mins by train. For everything else!
Read Reading Reviews
As it's near London you can expect the cost of living in Reading to be more than it would be nearer the north. In the town centre there are a variety of shops, restaurants and nightclubs, however there isn't much else in the way of entertaining daytime activities. It took us a while to find a decent bowling alley, swimming pool and little things like that. The public transport is usually consistent, but the student buses tend to be crowded. The're plenty of choices for nightclubs in Reading but the best two by far are Q Club and the Student Union.
Although its a fairly expensive city to live in, you can understand why when looking at the range of shops, clubs, bars and how easy it is to get between all of these. Reading has greatly improved over the past 20 years and there are many lovely places to explore.
Reading is a great town because it is accessible from most places due to being a station along multiple train routes. The night life is great, there is a student night all weeknights, bar Wednesday due to the Union, at multiple venues. While slightly lacking, there are alternative club nights of Skint Mondays, Propaganda (tends to play a lot of the same indie/alternative songs from circa 2006-2010 most weeks, but that's kind of its charm), also there is the Purple Turtle bar for a 'quieter' alternative evening. Reading also has an extensive selection of restaurants and all the key chain shops and bars. The only downside to this is that Reading fails to have many independent or quirky shops..
After coming from London, Reading is a similar town, with less hustle and busyness. With the Oracle and also Reading town centre, there's plenty of shopping choices, and you can get pretty much anything you'll need in town. Plenty of buses running regularly, as well as Reading Station which is well connected to the rest of the England. Also only about 30 mins away from Heathrow airport if you need to fly, so can't fault the public transport. There are also several clubs throughout town to go to.
Reading isn't so bad, it's got the high end stores but also the cheap and cheerful ones we love, there's supermarkets close by and all the big ones are close. Nights out in reading are good fun, if you up for that sorta thing, I've never had a massive problem and always enjoyed my night out !
Great shopping centre and great links to London, but a bit difficult to navigate around. Nights out are all fairly crowded, clubs entry price is expensive but drinks are usually a decent price. Don't eat out much as it's quite far but there's a few good places in the shopping centre.
The Oracle has all the shops and eateries you need, from Primark to Hollister. Buses run regularly and are cheap (£2.40 return). There are 5 or 6 main clubs in town all offering different student nights - there is always something for everyone.
Great place to live - town centre is awesome, every shop and restaurant you'd want. Perfect Public Transport with easy connections from Reading's Train station - 25 minutes to London, or easy connections elsewhere in the country.
brilliant 24 hour bus service between town and university. The town centre has a wonderful vibe with all the shops and restaurants you want with most restaurants situated along the canal with beautiful views
living is quite expensive but in line with southern prices in general