Districts of Reading - Haslams

Reading has an undeserved reputation for being a dull, industrialised commuter town. People who’ve never visited, let alone thought of living here, are in for a pleasant surprise.

Every opportunity to regenerate has been seized. Reading has benefited from a council that has not been afraid to work with developers at all levels to create a modern town that continues to inspire and attract more investment.

Reading’s future is being shaped according to the strategic vision: City 2020. This sees the town – a European city in all but name – expanding its centre to the north, east and west and aspiring to be a ‘Green City’, with affordable homes for its burgeoning workforce.

The villages of Reading

Like many towns its size Reading has grown intuitively – gradually reaching out to link smaller village communities together into a vibrant metropolitan area, that still contains a number of distinct urban villages, each with a very unique feel.

Caversham / Emmer Green

North of the Thames and more genteel in feel and aspiration. Caversham has an interesting shopping centre, and a surprising number of quality restaurants concentrated around the Prospect Street area. Emmer Green feels more rural as it links the town with the Oxfordshire countryside, and its past life is very obvious thanks to the village green and pond.

Tilehurst

Benefits from its own station (sited between the river and the A329) and a well-loved retail heart. As its name implies Tilehurst was famous as a centre for brick making before Reading’s expansion west made it a key residential centre for the growing town.

Newtown

Following the Kennet as it emerges from the Thames, Newtown was originally built to house the workers at the Huntley and Palmer’s biscuit factory, just east of the town centre. The whole area was rebuilt in the 1970s and is now mostly public sector housing.

Southcote

Mostly post-war residential development of public and private housing on former farmland, just west of the town centre.

Calcot

Major housing developments dating from the 1970s onward, and well located just off junction 12 of the M4. The area was formerly farmland and site of several manor houses.

Whitley

Once a quaint staging post on the main road to Portsmouth, Whitley was the focus of rapid development after the war and is a balance of industrial and residential with several large retail areas, benefiting from the expansion at Green Park and the new A33 relief road.

Woodley and Earley

Earley still retains much of its village feel, particularly in the area known as “old Earley” near the University where some of Reading’s finest Victorian houses can be found. Woodley has a good shopping centre, an industrial park and its own Museum of Aviation. Together Woodley and Earley host some of the largest new housing estates in the UK.

Spencers Wood / Three Mile Cross

Once quiet villages to the south of Reading, Spencers Wood and Three Mile Cross are now burgeoning development hotspots due to their strategic position just off Junction 11. Yet they still retain Victorian charm and a rural feel. Three Mile Cross is famous as the setting of Mary Russell Mitford’s “Our Village”.

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