Skip to main content

Life in Reading town – University of Reading

Show access keys

Life in Reading town

Discover Reading

life-town-boatWith a population of around 235,000, Reading itself is big enough to offer a wide range of shops, restaurants, sports venues and bars, but is still easy to navigate as you settle in. The town has a proud history of welcoming people from across the globe, and international students often comment on the warm atmosphere and multicultural vibe found here.

In short, it's a place with a lot to offer.

The town centre is well within walking distance of the University's Whiteknights and London Road campuses – or take one of the buses from the Whiteknights campus which run every seven minutes.

Shopping for all tastes

life-town-oracleWith two major shopping centres in the town centre – the Oracle and Broad Street Mall – you will find all of your favourite high street stores in Reading. Or if you're looking for something a bit more unusual, there are plenty of smaller independent shops waiting to be discovered in Reading's many side streets and arcades.

Great food, great nightlife

life-town-eatingoutReading 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. And whatever you look for in a great night out, Reading has something for you: clubs, gigs and rock nights, live global music, salsa dancing and comedy nights across town. And of course, there's a different student event every night of the week.

From festivals to football

life-town-festival-1The Reading Festival is known around the world, and attracts over 87,000 music fans each year. But it's not the only festival in town. Reading hosts jazz, real ale, comedy and even comedy-writing festivals throughout the year, too. Venues from the Hexagon Theatre to the South Street Arts Centre have busy arts and drama programmes. And football and rugby fans are well catered for too, with Reading FC and London Irish Rugby Club playing home games in the Madejski Stadium.

Discover London and the UK

    Direct links by train:

  • London Paddington 30 minutes
  • Oxford 30 minutes
  • Bristol 1hr 15 minutes
  • Birmingham 1hr 40 minutes
  • Cardiff 1 hr 40 minutes
  • London Gatwick Airport 1hr 16 minutes
  • Direct links by bus:

  • London Heathrow Airport 40 minutes by direct railair bus

If Reading's not big enough for you, or you just want to get out and explore, then you're ideally placed.

London is just half an hour away by train, with services running late into the night. Rail services also run to nearby major events such as the Henley Regatta or the Royal Ascot horseracing festival, both of which offer a uniquely English experience, as well as providing great casual employment opportunities.

If you want to visit home or friends, or to travel overseas outside term time, Reading is seriously well connected. Trains run throughout the UK from the recently expanded mainline rail station. The M4 motorway, which connects London and South Wales, is on the edge of town. International airports Heathrow and Gatwick are also in easy reach.

We use Javascript to improve your experience on reading.ac.uk, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top