Moving to Berkshire is a wonderful idea, offering a wealth of opportunity and activities for all ages and family groups. There are stunning villages scattered around, along with excellent fast trains aiding commuters with their daily travels. Away from the more expensive commuter pockets, there are several extremely desirable areas to consider with some absolutely breathtaking country scenery and rural delights. Families can also look forward to the excellent sport the county is famous for, as well as some of the many exciting and enjoyable activities to take part in of a weekend. At just half an hour to London, with exceptional industry and education to offer, plus some stunning properties and beautiful countryside, it’s no surprise so many people are looking to move to this exceptional county. If you’re one of those people, this guide will help you feel more knowledgeable about the area you are moving to, and help you with tips and tricks to make the move that bit easier.
Berkshire’s borders moved in 1974 and its border with Oxfordshire, including parts of the River Thames was changed. Berkshire lost certain areas that are now classified as Oxfordshire, but some areas such as Slough became part of Berkshire during the same time. Since that time, and before it, the county has been known as the Royal County of Berkshire because Windsor is within it and Windsor is a Royal Residence.
Famous People From Berkshire
Many notable people have come from Berkshire, from royals to comedians, the county has had many a famous person associated with it.
King Henry I, King Edward III, King Henry VI, Prince Albert Victor and media favourite Catherine Duchess Of Cambridge are all from Berkshire.
George Alexander, Lucy Benjamin, Emilia Clarke, Nicholas Hoult, Kate Winslet and Suzanna Lee are all from Berkshire.
Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais and Lenny Henry are all from Berkshire.
David Cameron is from Berkshire.
Playwrights and Authors
Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen have associations with Berkshire.
Lots of famous people also currently reside in Berkshire in order to commute to London as and when they need to, whilst keeping privacy and a sense of the outdoors in the county.
The economy in Berkshire is booming and many of the big players in global industry have their headquarters in the county.
Reading in particular is home to a lot of technology businesses and corporations including:
Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, Microsoft and Oracle. Xerox, Agilent Technologies, Ericsson, Intel, Sage and Virgin Media all have presence in the area as well.
Other major companies are also set up in Reading with: ING Direct, Yell Group and BG Group holding their headquarters in the area. Prudential, PepsiCo, Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst and Young and Price Water House Coopers all also have a presence in the area.
Slough is another major industry base in Berkshire, and there are many notable head offices in Slough including: Reckitt Benckiser, Mars and Blackberry. Major brands like Amazon, Honda, Nintendo and Black and Decker also hold a presence in the area.
The technical base of Berkshire has to be Bracknell, which plays home to a wide variety of high-tech companies including: Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Siemens, Panasonic and Cognos. Bracknell also houses the headquarters of BMW.
In Newbury Vodafone is a major player in the industry of the entire town and holds position as the main employer in the area, employing thousands of people.
So, if you are moving to Berkshire to advance your own career within its economy, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some of the most influential corporations in the world.
Berkshire is incredibly well known for the sport held within it. It could even be called the sporting capital of the UK. If you are moving here, there is no way to get away from the several sports that have a hold in the county.
Most notable is the horse racing, made most famous by well known racecourse Ascot. Of the 35 major horse races held in the UK throughout the year, Ascot holds 13 of them. Newbury Racecourse, Windsor Racecourse and Lambourn Downs are all major horse racing hotspots in the area.
If you’re more of a football fan, and like to see those running around with two legs rather than four, then you can enjoy the football provided by Reading F.C, or from any of the several amateur football clubs in the area. If rugby is more your thing, Reading is where you’ll find rugby union football, although Newbury have a rugby club that plays professionally. Hockey, both on and off the ice is another major Berkshire sport. Slough and Bracknell both have their own professional ice hockey teams, and there are several land hockey teams across the county, both amateur and semi-professional.
The sporting kudos of Berkshire is fantastic if you are looking to move to the area and have an active family, as it means you have plenty of ways, right at your doorstep to inspire the whole family to get moving and trying out a new sport.
When you move home, education is so important if you are planning on starting a family, or you already have children who need to register at an educational facility. Berkshire’s proximity to London means that particular boarding colleges and schools are an option for families who wish to place their children in boarding school throughout the week, and then have them home at weekends. Alternatively, there are several primary schools around the different parts of Berkshire with varying high levels in the OFSTED reports, including a few with an outstanding mark. There are also lots of private and state secondary schools throughout the county, as well as the University of Reading and University of West London.
Getting around Berkshire is really easy and there are a number of options for you to choose from depending on how you want to get around.
Buses in Berkshire are provided by First Buses and Reading Buses which have extensive routes travelling to counties surrounding Berkshire, as well as all the major towns within the county. Various routes enable tourists to visit all the major attractions, and there are also rural services to areas based more in the countryside.
Mainline train services from Berkshire offer many short and long journey services, including many that take you into London. The journey between Reading and London Paddington takes just half an hour on the train. Cross Country Trains, First Great Western and South West Trains all operate routes from Berkshire.
Berkshire is very lucky in that it has the M4 running through it linking it to London, hence it being on the commuter belt. The M4 also takes you towards Oxford as well via the A34.
Berkshire has some great coach connections to London Victoria which does take around 2 hours for the journey, but is exceptionally cheap if you wanted to get into London for the day and avoid trains or driving.
If you take a lot of business trips overseas, you are only 30 miles from Heathrow Airport if you are located in Reading, which makes travelling overseas very convenient. Heathrow currently flies to over 180 destinations located across 90 different countries.
Buying A House In Berkshire
Berkshire has a wide range of property for you to choose from, which tends to be split into two categories: affordable, and pricey. This is because there are commuter pockets in the county which push the price of properties up astronomically. But if you are moving out of London and still need to commute these may be your best bet for a balanced life. You may have been used to London storage space being at a premium at least in Berks you will get more space for your money. West Berkshire has lots of family homes, a lot of which are full of character and are very traditional. You can choose from quaint little Victorian village houses, listed farmhouse properties and ample estates if you want something traditional, otherwise there are lots of exceptional new builds across the county in a range of styles. Areas close to London like Ascot and Windsor are much more pricey and there are plenty of mansion type properties worth millions of pounds you could invest in if you have the budget.
Things To Do
The county of Berkshire has a lot of incredible activities for you to enjoy when you move to the area, no matter what your taste, activity level or age. When you first move to the area it is a great idea to enjoy some of the more tourist type activities so that you can become acquainted with what the county is famous for. After a while you can then start to enjoy the nuances of the county, and in particular get to know your local area better.
Here are some of the top things to do in Berkshire:
If you’re a Downton Abbey fan then you must get yourself to Highclere where it was filmed. There are official tours running, some of which pick you up in a vintage car so you get more of a themed day out.
If you love medieval history or you want to get your heart rate going, climb up the hill to Donnington Castle and take in the surrounding views.
If you enjoy golfing or would like to try it, Berkshire has some incredible golf courses for you to enjoy.
Go Antiques Shopping In Hungerford
There are some beautiful, unique antiques shops in Hungerford well worth an afternoon of browsing, particularly if you are a lover of antiques and knick knacks.
Visit One Of The Main Castles
Both Windsor Castle and Highclere Castle are absolutely wonderful days out, especially in summer when you can enjoy the gardens.
Go To Legoland
For the children, Legoland Windsor is a fantastic choice and has plenty to do both indoors and outdoors.
Enjoy Swimming & Water Fun at Bracknell Coral Reef
Bracknell has the most amazing water world with amazing features like mini flumes for little children and larger thrill seeker flumes.
Tips For Moving To Berkshire
Moving to Berkshire is a wonderful thing to do and no doubt you will be exceptionally happy when you live there. The only thing is, you have to do the moving bit first which is the tricky part! Here are three top tips to help you move to Berkshire go as smoothly as possible:
- Plan Ahead
Whether you are booking space at your local self storage unit, booking removals companies or packing boxes, plan ahead and get a schedule written out – you will thank yourself for starting early and thinking ahead of time!
- Be Organised With Packing
Packing is so annoying isn’t it? How do you get a house worth of stuff into boxes? It isn’t fun for anybody, but you can make things easier for yourself when it comes to unpacking at the other end, which can be just as stressful if you don’t have a clue where anything is.
With packing, try to be as logical as possible, ensuring each box is sealed and labelled correctly. If you can, number the boxes and then make a list of numbers with the corresponding contents listed. It doesn’t have to be every item but it can just say key items like TV remotes and cables. Some people label boxes by room but this doesn’t always work with lots of miscellaneous items that may be going somewhere different in your new home. Organisation is especially important when it comes to packing for self storage as you need to be able to know exactly where in the unit everything is, so you don’t have to empty the entire place out to find things.
- Be Kind To Yourself!
This is not an easy process by any means, and you should recognise that you’re doing so well, even when things seem to be way too stressful. Just keep focused on the end goal of your new home in Berkshire, and the rest will follow. You can do this!
Hopefully you are feeling a lot more aware of the benefits of moving to Berkshire and you feel even more excited about living there in the near future! With patience, organisation and time you’re going to be extremely happy in your new home in one of the most desirable counties in the UK.