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    Hi, I'm starting at reading uni in September and am really excited and was just wondering what reading is like as a city. I have looked round the campus but have never been into reading itself. Is it a nice place to walk around and stuff, and does it feel safe? Please be honest , thanks
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    (Original post by AmyAmy123)
    Hi, I'm starting at reading uni in September and am really excited and was just wondering what reading is like as a city. I have looked round the campus but have never been into reading itself. Is it a nice place to walk around and stuff, and does it feel safe? Please be honest , thanks
    As with anywhere, it's safe if you know where to go and where to avoid.

    The town centre is OK, and has a good selection of high street shops so you can go shopping. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, so you won't be short of choice. Once you are inside the boundaries of the town, it has a pretty good public transport system so you'll be able to get around easily enough.

    As someone who has lived nearby, but not in, and has used it regularly for about 20 years, I don't like the place. I personally think it's a bit rubbish and full of idiots, but as ever this is an opinionated and pessimistic review! Considering you probably won't be driving many places, and you'll be making new friends and exploring a new place with them, you'll be OK Enjoy it for the friends and experiences that you have to look forward to, and not for the location itself!
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    (Original post by AmyAmy123)
    Hi, I'm starting at reading uni in September and am really excited and was just wondering what reading is like as a city. I have looked round the campus but have never been into reading itself. Is it a nice place to walk around and stuff, and does it feel safe? Please be honest , thanks
    Hi AmyAmy123,
    Congratulations on your placement and look forward to welcoming you to Reading in September

    There's certainly plenty of things to do do in the town centre to keep you busy from shopping at the Oracle to having dinner at Riverside (Wagamama and Nandos certainly wins the where shall we game every time .)

    Reading also has it's own 'Reading Bike' system and on a sunny day cycling down the Thames Valley Cycle Path (Route 5 is a must!) can be fun too. Amongst other things we have a pretty good Cinema, Trampoline Park, Heagon Theatre and the Madejski Stadium to boot that's close proximity and accessible by bus.

    In terms of evening activities there are a number of venues to choose from and encourage you to explore all the different venues during freshers as you will soon find your personal preferences / favourite night.

    I do also find myself venturing into London because we are only 25 minutes away by train and normally found either getting the last train or first train back in the morning; particularly with a rail card it is very cheap.

    Hope this helps

    Mark
    2nd Year Accounting and Management
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    I live on the outskirts and am also going to Uni this month. Maybe I am biased, but I find Reading a really good mix - the town centre is probably the best around short of going into London, transport links are good, nightlife is good (again, unless you go into London) but yet if you go a little further out there is alot to do/explore in the surrounding towns and villages. I've never felt unsafe here and I have children who go to school here also. It's the type of place that has something for everyone - country pubs or clubbing... country walks... close to London and Windsor...2 cinemas... ice skating either in Slough or Bracknell, which has ski slopes... and every food you can imagine if you know the areas to go to!
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    ....and, despite the (post)modern development of much of central Reading, the town has quite an impressive history.

    It was a major centre in medieval England with Reading Abbey being home to royal weddings (John of Gaunt), burials (Henry 1....they're looking for him in a car park!) and sittings of Parliament (when plague forced them out of Westminster). The 'new' university at Oxford moved to Reading in 1209 for a few years after they were evicted from their home town, and the original University of Reading (University College Reading) was set-up as an extension college of Christ Church College, Oxford in 1892.

    The transition to a Victorian 'red brick' industrial growth town was fuelled by the 'three B's': biscuits (Huntley & Palmers), beer (Simonds, latterly Courage, brewery, where the Oracle is now) and bulbs (Sutton Seeds). H&P had a workforce of 6000 people and an internal railway ferried materials and baked biscuits around the factory complex. Simonds provided beer for the British Army. Charles Dickens gave readings of his books in the Working Men's Institute (now the 'Great Expectations' pub near the Oracle) and was asked to stand as Liberal MP for Reading. Earlier, Jane Austen had attended Abbey School (in the room above the Abbey Gateway) and played in the Forbury Gardens.

    The original University buildings were behind the current 'Old Town Hall', which was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, who lived in Foxholes House (now home to the Law School) and who also designed The Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall. The Palmer Family (of H&P) bestowed a new campus at London Road in 1904 and other financial support....hence the name of the Palmer Building in the centre of the Whiteknights Campus. The film 'Bugsy Malone' was partly filmed in the Huntley & Palmers factory just before it was demolished.

    A useful Web site to follow-up the history of Reading is available at: http://www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/reading.html

    Enjoy your time at the University and spare some time to explore the fascinating history of the town (not a city yet, despite three attempts!)

    Joe Doak,
    Henley Business School
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    If you haven't got the 16-25 railcard - get one! With that it's only £11 for an all-day ticket to London! This includes the underground so you can have a great day out. And it can be very cheap as just bring your own lunch or visit the food market on the Embankment - really cheap good food! (I got 2 cups of tea for £1.50 there!) It's really good food, organic stuff, Deli stuff but is really cheap. And you can do plenty of things in London for free. On another note The Chilterns are lovely and not too far by car.
 
 
 
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