The Sunday Times recently named Reading as the best place to live for first time buyers. It’s something we’ve known all along, of course, but it’s a great excuse to find out why the Sunday Times and our own team love where we live so much.
The Sunday Times looked for cities across the country that offered the most to people buying a house for the first time. This is now a wide range of ages, incomes and family situations, so the paper looked at property prices, broadband, air quality and transport links, as well as leisure activities.
Why did Reading come up top?
Reading stood out with its historical background, amenities, nightlife and tech focus. The article listed Reading University, Reading FC, Reading Festival and the new builds that are flourishing to help first time buyers.
For leisure activities, the Sunday Times highlighted Thames Lido, the grade II listed open-air pool that has recently been reopened with heated water, two saunas and funky restaurant, as well as the diversity of shopping experiences and the fabulous historical and cultural activities you can enjoy, such as Forbury Gardens and the Abbey Ruins.
As well as the fun stuff, there’s also the nitty gritty of living and working in such a great location. There are 300 trains a day to London, and you can be there in 25 minutes. Crossrail will also improve journey times, bringing commuters to London Liverpool Street within an hour. Basingstoke, Southampton, Heathrow and Gatwick are all close by and well served by motorways and train connections.
Don’t forget Slough and Langley too. Close by to Reading and with the same great transport links, they are great for first time buyers.
Why do we love Reading?
As great as the article was, we do think they missed off a few other Reading highlights.
The Oracle is a fantastic shopping destination. With a great range of shops and restaurants, it’s the go-to place for people around the area. There are also great seasonal activities, with beach bars, ice rinks and much more. There are also some great markets including two street food markets and vegan market every month!
The venues of the Hexagon, 21 South Street, and the Rising Sun Arts Centre provide places to find great music, theatre, comedy and the arts. Reading also has several choirs and orchestras for those more classically minded.
We have some fantastic museums too. The Museum of English Rural Life is a fascinating day out with immersive galleries, a café and gardens. Reading Museum offers the famous British Bayeaux tapestry, as well as collections telling the story of Reading and its place in the world.
The Abbey Quarter has recently been created to bring together the unique, cultural heritage that exists within the former grounds of Reading Abbey, once one of Europe's largest royal monasteries. The quarter includes Reading Museum, the Town Hall, Reading Gaol, St. James' Church, St Laurence's Church, the Forbury Gardens, and the remains of Reading Abbey, a Grade I listed and Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Looking at Reading or Langley as a potential new location? Looking to buy your first house? Contact our Reading office on 0118 966 0055 and the Langley office on 01753 593888