Known widely for its annual festival and great transport links with London, Reading is also a city with a rich history, appealing tourist attractions and a booming economy.
Based in Southern England, surrounded by the likes of Swindon, Oxford, Basingstoke and London, Reading is a large town belonging to the county of Berkshire. Although Reading has its own distinctive qualities, and a proudly diverse community of over 150,000 who collectively speak in 150 different languages, the town also has a ‘commuter’ population. The town is intersected by the A33, which connects to the M4. This enables car travel to all the locations already mentioned, and more. About half an hour outside the capital by train, it is an important location within the London commuter belt too. It is, therefore, a popular destination for corporate travellers, leading to high demand for Reading serviced apartments. International commuting from Reading is also straightforward thanks to the nearby London Heathrow Airport.
The River Kennet also runs through the town, before eventually connecting to the Thames which intersects Reading in the north. The Thames is not the only iconic attraction in Reading either. The University of Reading, one of the best in the country, is not far southeast of the town centre whilst the state-of-the-art, multi-sports Madejski Stadium and its 24,000 capacity is situated in the south. Both students and sports fans can appreciate how furnished housing in Reading can situate themselves as close as they need to both these iconic sites. Short term accommodation in Reading is also available and popularly used for the annual Reading and Leeds Festival. The event has an approximate attendance of around 90,000 people each year between the 23rd and 25th August.
Doubts over Reading’s capability to support business and corporate travel is immediately erased amongst those who realise the area is home to many global organisations, such as Microsoft, John Lewis, SSE and Oracle. The stats do not lie regarding Reading either. The Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index found, after collecting ten years of data, that Reading was the number one location for economic success and well-being in the UK. This data reflected Reading’s high performance in aspects such as employment, health, start-up businesses and the environment. Furthermore, Reading has also been ranked in the top twenty-five most attractive locations for foreign direct investment across Europe. The appeal of the town as a hub for business is evident, and the need for corporate housing in Reading is an unexpected consequence.
Why has Reading enjoyed such economic and business success then? It is down to the people and the town’s infrastructure. People relocating to stay in corporate accommodation in Reading join one of the UK’s best workforces. Reports, such as the Centre for Cities Outlook, ranks Reading sixth for productivity, third for highest average weekly wage and home to the eighth best-qualified workforce, all in the UK.
These rankings do not come without government intervention and support. A recent £800 million investment into the Reading station has enabled it to become a commuter transport hub. Former Bus Operator of the Year, Reading Buses, effectively manages intercity travel in Reading too. Collectively, practical transportation facilities, commuting connections and an outstanding workforce all create a wonderful business environment, which enables great success for the several business parks dotted across the area and slightly beyond. These parks include Arlington, Green Park and Winnersh Triangle. Staying in our short term accommodation in Reading can ensure guests are situated within the close vicinity of these business parks and the town centre.
Popular believe suggests the first settlements to stand in Reading came in the sixth century. The Saxons travelled along the River Thames and Kennet to find what they considered to be an appropriate settling place. It was during the Viking Age of the ninth century though that Reading truly came to light in English history. The Danish fought the English over the land when it was previously known as ‘Readingum’. Another significant turn in the town’s history came after the land, which was described as a typical small town in the Domesday Book, was introduced to the foundation of the famous Abbey in 1121. As well as founding the abbey, Henry I was also buried within its grounds. It changed the town’s fortunes, becoming increasingly prosperous and a popular place to live throughout the Middle Ages. The ruins still remain and can be easily visited from practical Reading aparthotels.
By 1525, Reading had become the largest town in Berkshire with a population of over 5,000 people. Since then, history suggests Reading enjoyed continued amounts of flourishment. Major iron works throughout the eighteenth century put the town on the map. Successes of surrounding areas, such as Bath, filtered into Reading too. What’s more, is Reading was able to navigate the impacts of the World Wars relatively unscathed. This ultimately enabled the town to grow further. This included further housing developments, the construction of shopping facilities and the rise of new industry. Nowadays, Reading is of the bigger towns and urban centres in the UK. It still yet has city status though despite many attempts to be a stronghold of Berkshire.
Reading is one of those cities that you can’t help but enjoy while you’re there. There is, of course, a great deal of choice when shopping and eating out. Ideally placed extended stay apartments in Reading can help guests make the most of this, in the long term. However, the town also has a rich history to be explored.
A good place to start would be the Reading Museum. Serving the community since 1883 and based in the Town Hall, the museum solely showcases the history of the area through extensive galleries and a collection of fascinating artefacts. As the cliché goes, ‘it is fun for all the family’ and is also free to enter. The Reading Abbey, however, is its own historic attraction close to the town centre. As mentioned before, the Abbey has played a huge part in Reading’s rich history. Its remains are the most significant evidence of town life throughout the Medieval period. Considering Henry I founded the Abbey “for the salvation of his soul” and the souls of his family, the ruins are a huge part of Reading’s royal history and exhibit 900 years of fascinating history.
Those using our conveniently located serviced apartments in Reading can also make the most of having the River Thames nearby or can get out into the beautiful Berkshire countryside. The River Kennet, flowing from the south of the town offers a range of relaxing spots. Popular is Waterloo Meadows which has an abundance of greenery and is a great representative of the great outdoors. Alternatively, the Caversham Court Gardens, Christchurch Meadows and King’s Meadows are all connected to the River Thames in the north of the town. These public spaces are all blessed with wonderful woodlands, beautiful floral days and plenty of open green space. Its places such as these, accompanied by the rivers, which enable busy corporates or newly relocated families to relax and enjoy the local environment.
All in all, the Berkshire town of Reading has all anyone would need to feel at home. Whether travellers are visiting for leisurely or business reasons, the town, as a whole, can accommodate anyone, with the help of our range of practical Reading serviced apartments.
Reading’s connections to London are emphasised further by its close vicinity to London Heathrow Airport (LHR), which is around forty-five minutes away from Reading’s town centre by car. Heathrow’s Terminal train stations also make it easily accessible from Reading.
Alternatively, Farnborough Airport (FAB) is just over twenty miles south of Reading and is purpose-built as a gateway for business aviation to London. Gatwick Airport is also a further thirty miles to the southeast of Reading. From many of our Reading city apartments, taxi transfers can be arranged for each of these airports.
Reading is served by inter-city and regional train services through the stations of; Reading, Reading West and Tilehurst, which just on the edge of the town’s borders in the northwest. There are also some train stations dotted around Reading’s outer suburbs for those based in further from the city centre. These include Earley, Theale and Pangbourne stations.
Reading has train links to major cities such as; Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Oxford, Plymouth, Exeter, Cornwall, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swansea, Winchester and York.
Visitors to Reading benefit from an excellent bus service. The main bus operator serving the town and its surrounding areas is the company, Reading Buses. This enables bus travel to the likes of Newbury, Wokingham and Bracknell.
More information about bus travel in Reading is available at www.reading-buses.co.uk. Reading also benefits from a Park-and-Ride site in order to make travel across the town centre cheaper and more convenient, particularly regarding parking. This system is also very handy for those planning to watch Reading Football Club, with a Park-and-Ride based just outside the Madejski Stadium.