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Moving to Reading

Washington
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Moving to Reading

My husband and I (and my 2 kids) will be moving to the Reading area in the summer. I read some suggestions already as far as suggested places to live in the area. Any update from December when the posts wre written?

Also... Is it conceivable to live in Maidenhead and work in Reading? I don't know the area at all and maybe the traffic is just too bad...

Also... any school recommendations for the Reading area and/or Maidenhead area ? Both my kids are in good public schools right now but I'd like to read any good suggestions for state/independent schools. Thank you!!!

Hampshire, United...
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1. Re: Moving to Reading

Hi, I live half an hour from Reading, so only really know it for leisure purposes. There is a lot of development going on in and around Reading; you might like to look to the south of Reading.

Do you have a particular reason for suggesting Maidenhead? It's about half an hour away, so you can almost double that time for rush hour times. If you have a car, you may like to consider some of the villages; Pangbourne is very nice as is Henley-on-Thames. Wokingham is a small town, but has a pleasant feel to it.

As for schools, look at www.ofsted.gov.uk/ (unhelpfully, it suggests you need to put in a specific postcode, but you can get around it by putting the town's name into the search box).

All schools have to be inspected every 5 years or so, and these reports are public, so you can see whether the inspectors consider the schools to be very good down to 'failing'. There are a couple of excellent independent schools in Reading. But I may have got them muddled up. But try Kendrick's and / or the Grammar School (if you have girls that is). I think it's Kendrick's I'm thinking of, but one of them is VERY high-achieving and do put a lot of pressure on the girls. However, there are some very good state schools too. Word of warning - the very good schools are over-subscribed, so you may be as well to find the school of your choice and move to be within the school's catchment area, rather than find the house first, and then look for schools.

Do you and / or your husband have a chance to come to the UK before the Summer to have a weekend exploring the area? Not a bad idea.(And do check out Henley anyway, as it's very pretty - and expensive!)

Also check out www.upmystreet.com which will give you information about the areas you're looking at, including crime statistics, what type of people live in the area (eg students, OAPs, young professionals etc); you can look at properties for sale and compare prices.

Good luck with the move!

Washington
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2. Re: Moving to Reading

Thank you for your reply!

On the Maidenhead mention, I had thought of asking as I had read that it's close enough to London without being in the city itself - basically a nice town with good train service to/from London (but then I'm sure that Reading and around have good access to the city).

Hampshire, United...
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3. Re: Moving to Reading

Yes, Reading has very good access to London (Paddington); also out of London down to Bath and Wales, I believe, and also - most importantly - to my little town of Blackwater!

How old are your children? (Just wondering re: the schooling issue)

Washington
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4. Re: Moving to Reading

Schooling seems to be the interesting issue for us! Thank you in advance. My girls just turned 6 and 9. So in September one would enter what is called here 1st grade (6/7 yrs old) and my oldest would enter 4th grade (9/10 yrs old).

reading berkshire
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5. Re: Moving to Reading

Although Reading is not the nicest of the towns in the Thames Valley Area, we moved here a year and a half ago with my husbands job and have settled down very well - it is so convenient for everything - the town has pretty much all you want, you are near the countryside and just hop away from London if you want a night out at the theatre (trains can take only 30 mins). We moved from a really nice part of London and both had jobs in London so we were very spoilt for trendy local bars and restaurants and all the amenities but we chose Caversham Heights to settle - it's quiet,civilised, child friendly and has a good selection of houses with a quick bus link (15 mins or so) to Reading town centre where I work. It's to the north of Reading giving direct access to Henley and Oxfordshire but still near enough to Reading if you are working there. Traffic in and around Reading can be bad - unless you are the Maidenhead side of Reading I would not recommend it - getting along the M4 early is a nightmare. You would be better off in the Henley Side of Reading. If you are wanting to be near Reading centre (good fast train links to London) I would recommend the "University" area or Caversham Heights (there are some very nice family homes but you have to keep an eye out - why don't you rent for a while first to get a feel ? try www.rightmove.co.uk to check out houses in all areas - most of the local estate agents advertise there) . If you want more rural, you can go out to Oxfordshire (the Oxfordshire border is just up the road from me) and veer towards Henley - house prices higher but some lovely properties and Henley itself is one of my favourite small towns near here. Good shopping bars and restaurants. As for schools, I am just having my first but the free primary schools in the Caversham area are some of the best around. For secondary schooling, most people either try for the grammar, then decide if to pay or not. As the other post says, try the Ofsted web - they give you a full list of schools.

I hope this helps.

Berks UK
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6. Re: Moving to Reading

My boyfriend and I both work in Reading (Green Park which is behind the stadium off J11 of the M4) and live in Wokingham. Our commute is about 20/30 mins in rush hour and because we are going out of London the traffic isn't normally that bad. The middle of Maidenhead can be a pain in the mornings/evenings so you might want to think about moving to the centre.

As to schools there are a number of good schools around the area both state and independent.

The state ones I know with good reputations are:

Piggott (catchment: wargrave and twyford)

Borlase (catchment: Marlow)

Kendricks (ALL GIRLS) (catchment: Reading and a bit beyond; it's grammar so I'm not sure what the rules are)

Reading Boys School (catchment: Reading and a bit beyond; the boys grammar school)

I am sure that there are loads more.

Independent ones (I only know about the senior bits of them but I think they all have prep as well):

St Joseph's Convent School (Central Reading) - all girls; not highly pressured; was music and sport orientated when I was there. Left in '96 though. family atmosphere; wouldn't recommend if you want science

Abbey School (Central Reading) - all girls again; bit more pressured but do really well in results and I know lots of people who were very happy there.

Queen Anne's (Caversham) - all girls (I think) it's boarding but takes day pupils; meant to be very good

Presentation College (West Reading) - all boys; run by monks. Knew lots of boys who went there all did really well; not highly pressured.

Shiplake College (Shiplake) - I think it's only seniors; all boys. Amazing facilities (river at bottom of grounds); academics not the strongest string to the bow. All the boys I knew from there loved it.

Luckley-Oakfield (Wokingham) - mixed; don't know a lot about it apart from the fact that people have spoken about it being good.

Bradfield College (Bradfield) - boarding but takes day; amazing location and facilities. Not most academic in league tables but has golf course; mini greek amphitheatre and other facilities to commend it.

Sorry this is very subjective and I am sure many would disagree with my synopsis but it's one point of view anyway.

Word of warning; some of the villages like Wargrave where I grew up don't have very good public transport so when your children get older they will be asking for lots of lifts. Also; most people go to the local school; we moved into the area when I was 11 and I have no friends from the village as I didn't go to the local school. Your children might be more gregarious than me but it might be worth considering.

London, United...
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7. Re: Moving to Reading

If you want to live in Maidenhead because of the links to London, then to be honest the links from Reading are better, because all the fast trains to the west head straight to Reading as their first stop, so on a good day its 25mins from Reading to Paddington and there are loads of trains. They are busy in the morning as alot of people commute into London and the reverse is true in the evenings.

In Reading I would either live in Caversham or University are (mind you estate agents seem to claim half of Reading comes into these areas, so get yourself an A to Z map, so you can check the road and exact location), always come back on here and double check the rd ifyou want.

I'm afraid I'm no good on schools, but I have been told Caversham primary is quite good,

ireland
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8. Re: Moving to Reading

do you know anything about living in Newbury? Not too concerned about schools (my daughter is only 2 yr) but looking for a place to live for a few years and rent when we move on......

Berks UK
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9. Re: Moving to Reading

Newbury is quite a nice town; it's not as big as Reading and isn't on a fast route into London by train but has lots going for it.

It's a bit dominated by a couple of the big employers; Vodafone and Bayer but that could work in your favour when it comes to rent as there should always be corporate lets wanted.

The villages around Newbury are lovely.

Sunningdale, England
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10. Re: Moving to Reading

My husband and I just relocated to the area about 2 months ago. We decided to live in Sunningdale, I work in Winnersh. Reading has great shopping but is not a good area to live, and depending on why you are moving the Sunningdale/VIrgina Water area has 2 american schools. We do not have kids, but everyone who relocates for a company here targets this area. Work permits do not allow you to have access to public funds hence no public schools (so my company has said) Anyway, we love this area and maidenhead is completely drivable. The issue is traffic and with the price of gas it is cheaper and faster to take the train most places.