Living in Reading
Reading was named the UK’s best place to live and work in the Good Growth for Cities 2015 Index and is also ranked among the country’s top 20 shopping destinations.
With two indoor shopping centres – the Oracle and Broad Street Mall – you will find plenty of high street favourites, such as TK Maxx, Hotel Chocolat, Next, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer, as well as plenty of smaller independent shops waiting to be discovered in Reading's many side streets and arcades.
Reading is packed with places to eat, and has plenty to satisfy every appetite and budget. The Riverside area of the Oracle shopping centre is a buzzing destination in the evening, with a diverse mix of restaurants and bars overlooking the water, along with a 10-screen cinema. There is a different student event almost every night of the week, from clubs, gigs and rock nights to live global music, salsa dancing and comedy nights.
Things to see and do in Reading
The Reading Festival, known around the world, attracts over 87,000 music fans each year but it's not the only festival in town; Reading also hosts jazz, real ale, comedy and even comedy-writing festivals throughout the year.
For history lovers, Reading’s 1,400-year heritage offers a unique insight into English life over the years. You can explore the ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and burial place of Henry I, King of England; the Forbury Gardens, a nationally-acclaimed Victorian formal garden; and a 30-minute train ride will take you to the dreaming spires of Oxford.
The University’s own Museum of English Rural Life, due to reopen in autumn 2016 after £1.8 million Heritage Lottery-funded refurbishment, houses the most comprehensive national collection of objects, books and archives relating to the history of food, farming and the countryside. There are also two other museums based on campus, the Cole Museum of Zoology and the Ure Museum of Greek archaeology.
Your guide to Reading and the surrounding area
Things to see and do on campus
On the Whiteknights campus there is a wide range of shops, the student union, lots of places to eat and a 24-hour library.
The Union’s shop, Campus Central, is open seven days a week during term time and offers meal deals, vegetarian and gluten-free sandwiches and wraps, takeaway Fairtrade coffee and tea, and freshly baked goods. It stocks a full range of groceries, including fruit and vegetables, frozen meals and toiletries. You can also buy bus tickets, stamps, lottery tickets and official University merchandise.
The University is recognised as one of the best places in the country for rowers to study; its world-class boathouse facility on the River Thames offers professional coaching and a rowers’ fitness gym. SportsPark, located on the edge of the beautiful Whiteknights campus, offers extensive indoor and outdoor facilities, including four squash courts, two football pitches, two rugby pitches, five floodlit hard tennis courts, one hockey pitch, a lacrosse pitch, American football pitch and two cricket squares (one county standard and one synthetic). The sports hall caters for a wide range of activities, including eight badminton courts, two volleyball courts, two basketball courts and indoor cricket nets. The 145-station VO2 fitness studio covers two floors and features a cardiovascular zone and resistance zone.
Find out more about accommodation options at ONCAMPUS Reading
||From £155 per week
|Membership to the University Sports Centre:
||£20 per month (Unlimited Gym and Classes)
||Free across campus and included within accommodation rent
|Travel/Transport ‘Reading Student‘:
||There is a regular 24-hour bus service
running from Reading town centre to the University
and across campus.
From left to right: Café Mondial, Monterey Lounge, Mojo’s Bar, 3sixty