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Moving to Reading - Please advice!

(31 Posts)
Blapclap Thu 22-Oct-20 18:41:47

Hello everyone, I am looking to move to Reading and am here for some advice. We have never been towards that side, new to the country. What do you all think of the area? We will need to commute to Warren Street/Kings Cross.
We like a prep school for our daughter - Caversham prep school.
Will appreciate your advice on good areas, areas to avoid, areas which work for the school and the commute. Really appreciate all the help and the guidance.
Happy to rent for some time ( rent around 1800£ pm) and then buy a 3 bedroom house (budget around 700k).
Any advice at all with be truly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
ILoveFlumps Thu 22-Oct-20 18:46:09

Hi OP, I’m in Reading.
There will be good and bad bits of each part. Caversham itself is predominantly nice, but access to Reading Station over one of the two bridges can a PITA at times.
You could look at parts of Tilehurst. Easy commute to Reading Station, and to Caversham Prep. Also close to St Edwards Prep?
If you have any questions just ask smile

MrsJamin Thu 22-Oct-20 19:22:14

If you're set on Caversham prep and need to commute I'd probably start on Caversham as you've a decent budget for Caversham for a 3 bed eg this or this which is a bit closer to the station and caversham centre but has no driveway.

MrsJamin Thu 22-Oct-20 19:22:57

(St Edwards prep is boys only BTW)

LardonChase Fri 23-Oct-20 14:12:17

Or slightly further out, but a bigger detached house

commutable to both london, and caversham

Blapclap Fri 23-Oct-20 16:18:46

Thanks @iloveFlumps. Seems like the commute to the reading station can be really bad although the distance is not much. Do you think lower caversham is better? Is it a good area?

OP’s posts: |
User27aw Fri 23-Oct-20 16:57:21

Lower Caversham isn't as nice as Upper Caversham. We moved out of Reading to a village with a station, we much prefer being away from the busyness and traffic of Reading. Plenty of private schools and very good state schools around here and 15 mins on the train to Reading station.

Blapclap Fri 23-Oct-20 17:53:04

@lardenchase, looks great. But we will have to travel for the school as well for the station.

OP’s posts: |
Blapclap Fri 23-Oct-20 17:55:22

Thanks @User27aw. Upper Caversham looks lovely. And there are definitely beautiful houses in our budget. I am only concerned about commute to kings cross. Is biking a good option safety wise?

OP’s posts: |
MrsJamin Fri 23-Oct-20 18:31:14

Do you mean biking from Paddington to King's Cross or across Caversham to the station? There's a pedestrian bridge and underpass to the station so it's pretty accessible by bike at the Reading end. Caversham is quite a gentrified version of Reading, not that urban so unless you really want a country life Caversham would suit you very well if you can afford it.

User27aw Fri 23-Oct-20 18:33:39

If you are set on Caversham prep then Upper Caversham is a good option. Yes you could cycle from there to Reading station, distance its fine, very busy roads though and a steep hill down into Reading! What secondary were you thinking of?

ImNotWhoYouThinkIam Fri 23-Oct-20 18:36:37

Biking from Caversham to the train station is easy peasy. Lower Caversham is not as nice as Caversham Heights, but still lovely.

Blapclap Fri 23-Oct-20 20:32:24

@mrsJamin I meant to the reading station 🙂. That's good to know that bike ride is an option to the station. We are working from home right now, but looking at when things go back to normal.
@imNotwhoYouThinkIam, can you please explain not as nice. Is the crime rate higher?

OP’s posts: |
Blapclap Fri 23-Oct-20 20:34:36

@User27aw not looking at secondaries right now. Our daughter is only 5. But i see that there is a good grammar school.

OP’s posts: |
ImNotWhoYouThinkIam Fri 23-Oct-20 20:50:25

I grew up in Lower Caversham so I think it's lovely there too. But its generally(especially on MN) seen as not as nice. Smaller houses, more traffic I think. The heights was always seen as the 'posh' part when I was a child!

The area I live in now is usually mentioned on these threads as somewhere to avoid but I love it here and can't imagine moving!

Curioushorse Fri 23-Oct-20 20:59:45

So Caversham is probably a good starting point, as others have said. If you’re willing to consider other schools (St Joseph’s and Crossfields are both nice) then you could maybe have a look at Earley, which is also a nice area. Earley station goes to Waterloo. Reading station is also still pretty close.

You could throw Shiplake into the mix too. It’s on a branch line- but there are fast trains to Paddington every morning and back every evening. It wouldn’t be much longer to drive your child to school from there each morning than Cavesham itself.

BewareTheBeardedDragon Fri 23-Oct-20 21:04:02

Upper Caversham is not a term used locally. There is Lower Caversham - which has traditionally been less nice though is being gentrified - the houses are generally smaller, more council/ex council houses. With your budget you don't need to look there (unless you want to). Lower refers to the river direction, so Lower Cav runs down river from Reading bridge, although if you go far enough back from the river you get to other parts.

There is Caversham, which is the area from Reading bridge up river, closer to the Caversham centre shops etc. Convenient for the station and for Caversham prep. Walkable or bikeable easily to both.

There is Caversham Heights - which is the naicest area - but you pay for the perceived poshness of it. There are lots of very nice houses there, but also lots of average houses which cost more purely because of where they are. The bits closest to Caversham centre are fairly convenient for the station and the prep still, but it spreads very far out to the Oxfordshire boundary and the outer parts are less so.

There is Emmer Green, which is further out from the river towards and right up to the Oxfordshire boundary the other way that Caversham heights. The boundary between Emmer Green and Caversham Heights is the Hemdean Valley. Depending on how far out you go Emmer Green is still fairly convenient for the station and the prep.

Lastly there is Caversham Park Village - which is a development all built together in the 60s, with walkways throughout the estate and lots of green space. It is again right up to the Oxfordshire boundary between Emmer Green and slower Caversham.

If you're happy to drive to the station, and to school, and to deal with the Reading bridge traffic and extortionate parking at the station then you could consider Sonning Common or Sonning - both villages a short distance outside Caversham. Sonning is small and very posh, not sure how far your budget would stretch there. It is on the river, and suffers from excessive traffic going over its tiny single lane humpback bridge, but is very pretty nonetheless. Sonning Common is a much larger village and you could get a lovely house with a larger garden there than you'd be likely to get in Caversham.

HTH. Good luck 😀

BewareTheBeardedDragon Fri 23-Oct-20 21:08:26

OMG excuse the typos...
to get to Kings x is fairly easy - 25mins from Reading to Paddington and then another 25mins odd on the underground
Eventually I understand there will be a direct fast train to other parts of London - I feel like Kings x may be one of the stops planned, but not entirely sure and also not sure where that project is at.

FinallyHere Fri 23-Oct-20 21:39:49

Some background on Reading to start you off

User27aw Fri 23-Oct-20 23:12:01


*@User27aw* not looking at secondaries right now. Our daughter is only 5. But i see that there is a good grammar school.

The grammar school Kendrick is very good but entry is extremely competitive. I would have a plan B in case she doesnt get in.

MrsJamin Sat 24-Oct-20 08:03:34

Kendrick isn't a normal grammar school, it's a super selective grammar school, girls come from miles and miles around to go there and the bar is ridiculously high. I don't know anyone whose child got in, apart from a family who tutored their child every week from age 5!
Have a look at the crossrail map and where it will stop in London, the connections will improve even more than now. Many people are moving from London to Reading because of it.

Oatbaroatbar Sat 24-Oct-20 08:12:00

Caversham Heights sounds like a good fit and you could find a nice house within budget. (My parents have lived there since 80s and never heard it called ‘upper caversham’ before?!)

I think you’d be in catchment for Caversham Primary which has historically been one of the best and sought after primaries in Reading. I haven’t heard great things about the prep.

Oatbaroatbar Sat 24-Oct-20 08:15:26

What about this?

Oatbaroatbar Sat 24-Oct-20 08:21:36

There are nicer prep and state primary schools in East Reading - St Joes, Crosfields are preps, Readlands, St. Peter’s and Alfred Sutton are the state schools.

if you’re looking for somewhere close to cav prep maybe somewhere around Peppard Road. Or if you’re looking for more rural then Kidmoore End/sonning common.

reefedsail Sat 24-Oct-20 08:45:26

If you don't want town centre living then what about Pangbourne? Has a train station and St Andrews Prep is glorious. It's a 'real' prep as opposed to a primary school with fees. You'd also have Bradfield, Pangbourne or St Gabriels as a back up if she didn't make Kendrick.

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