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* Sizes listed are approximate. Please contact the agent to confirm actual size.

Prime Location Berkshire Area Guide

One of the oldest counties in the country, Berkshire is located in the South East of England. Since the 19th Century, the county has also been referred to as the ‘Royal County of Berkshire.’ This is down to the fact that Berkshire houses royal residence, Windsor Castle. Berkshire is incredibly economically important for the UK and has the highest GVA (Gross Value Added) per working resident than any other area outside London. There are six unitary authorities making up Berkshire; West Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead and Slough. Each has its differences.

Although the county on the whole is one of the more affluent in the UK, some areas are more affordable than others. Slough is the most affordable area in Berkshire, although it has the highest crime rate in the county. Reading is amongst the more affordable areas to buy property in the South East but again does have some pockets of deprivation and crime. Windsor and Maidenhead are the most affluent and least affordable areas. Similarly, Wokingham is home to the highest proportion of high earners in the county and West Berkshire is also affluent. 75% of West Berkshire’s land is designated as an area of outstanding beauty, meaning that, although the area is stunning, there is something of a housing shortage.


There are almost 850,000 people living in Berkshire across its 6 districts. These include some of the most affluent in the UK. On the whole this is an economically active area of the country. In Wokingham, the unemployment rate is less than 2%. In Reading, it’s around 3%. County wide, the unemployment is low by comparison to the national average of 7.7%.

This county isn’t particularly ethnically diverse. Close to 90% of residents are white, around 7% are Asian, 2% black and 2% fall into other ethnic categories. Of course this varies from district to district again. For example, in Reading, around three quarters of residents are white whereas in West Berkshire, 95% are white.


There are hundreds of schools in the county across its 6 authorities with varied performance. In terms of GCSEs in 2012, for example, across England and Wales 58.2% of students achieved 5 or more A*-C grades. Only 1 of the authorities within Berkshire underperformed against this national average – Reading (55.9%). Slough and Wokingham were the best performing authorities for GCSEs, with 68.1% and 67.6% of students in these areas respectively obtaining the benchmark 5 GCSEs. This put these two authorities 9th and 10th nationally. There are a number of educational institutions in Berkshire that are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. These include a primary and a secondary in Slough, 2 primary schools in Wokingham and 2 primaries in West Berkshire.

We can’t possibly discuss education in Berkshire without mentioning arguably the most famous school in the country. Windsor is home to the renowned Eton College (better known simply as ‘Eton’). This is a costly independent school for boys, founded by Henry VI in 1440. The school has educated royalty and its most recent notable alumni include Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William. 19 British Prime Ministers have been educated at the school. Perhaps the best known Higher Education institution in the county is Reading University.


The M4 runs through much of the county, which means straightforward access to London from Berkshire. Train stations in most of the towns within the county link the Berkshire towns to one another. The major towns and cities of Slough, Maidenhead, Reading, Windsor, Wokingham and Bracknell have stations with connections to other parts of the country. You can reach Oxford in little over an hour from many stations. From Slough, you can get a direct train to London Paddington and the journey takes just 20 minutes. You can reach London in around 40 minutes from Reading. Reading to Bristol is another direct journey taking less than 2 hours.

Berkshire is well located for international airports, with Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted all accessible by road. There are also direct train services to Gatwick from Slough.

Amenities and shopping

There are several large shopping centres in Berkshire. The Broad Street Mall in Reading has more than 70 shops, cafes and coffee shops. The Oracle is a second shopping centre in Reading with some 90 shops. More recently Parkway at Newbury opened (October 2011), another large shopping centre with a number of High Street names. The Queensmere Observatory is another shopping centre located in Slough.

Each of the districts of Berkshire has its own shopping facilities with something different to offer. Each also has a selection of bars and nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and other evening entertainment.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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