Living in Reading

Below you will find some basic local information that may help you get your bearings and find your feet as a University of Reading Fresher. For a more complete guide to living and visiting Reading, take a look at Living Reading.

Reading train station is just a 30 minute walk from the Whiteknights campus. It has good rail links to cities such as London, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton and Bath. The National Rail website has detailed information about train timetables and ticket prices as well as a useful journey planner.

Discounted rail travel

If you're likely to travel by train regularly and are aged between 16 and 25 years old and/or are a full-time student, it might be worth buying a 16-25 Railcard. It only costs £30 and is valid for one year, giving you a third off most rail fares throughout the UK, including all Standard and First Class Advance fares.

Alternatively, you can save on travel with the Network Railcard. This railcard will save you up to a third-off most journeys in the Network Rail Area. It costs just £30 and is valid for a year.

There are many bus services running to and from the University of Reading, the Halls of Residences and all around Reading. The Reading buses are easy to recognise with their unique colour coded routes and timetables.

The number 20 and 21 buses come from Reading station/town centre and onto campus, in front of Whiteknights House. They run every 10 minutes and go on to ASDA Supermarket in Lower Earley.

The Reading Buses claret 21 bus route, which serves the University campus, runs 24 hours a day and makes getting back to your Hall of Residence safe and convenient after a night out socialising.

You can pick up local bus timetables from RUSU Reception or you can find out complete route details and fare prices on the Reading buses website.

Discounted Bus Travel

Reading buses offer a simplyUni bus card, which can offer you unlimited bus travel during a university term or throughout the year at a highly discounted rate.

For those of you that don’t wish to purchase a simplyUni card, single fares are available from the driver. Alternatively, for occasional travel there is the boostsaver10, which provides 10 discounted single journeys anytime and can be topped up when needed.

For students working late in the library or who are involved in out-of-hours activities, RUSU runs a Safety Bus service that operates on the hour from:

  • 18:00 - midnight Monday to Thursday during the Autumn and Spring Term
  • 19:00 - midnight during the Summer Term.

The bus leaves from the back of the library and students can be dropped off at University Halls of Residence or private accommodation within a defined area. Meet the driver in the library reception 5 minutes before departure time.

As the buses can only take eight passengers at a time, priority is given to lone female students.

You will be required to show your student ID to use the service.

Take a look at the map of the areas the Safety Bus operates in.

Taxis in the UK should be registered with the local government authority. You can hail a taxi (or black cab) from the station. All taxis should know how to get to the University.

RUSU strives to provide our students with a one-stop-shop for everything you may need during your time at university. Within the Union building you will find an eclectic mixture of student-orientated products and services. Explore the union website to find out more.

There is a row of local shops on Christchurch Green, close to the main University entrance on Shinfield Road, including a bakery, cafe, dry cleaners, Natwest Bank branch, hairdressers, pharmacy, an Indian restaurant and some takeaway food outlets. There are also a couple of general stores, some of which sell a range of international foods.

In Reading town centre you will find most standard high-street brands and outlets. Visit Living Reading - Shopping for more information on what's available in town.

There are various supermarkets in the local area including Sainsbury's in the town centre (Broad Street and Friar Street), Tesco on Crown Street, Morrisons on the Basingstoke Road, ASDA Supermarket in Lower Earley and The Co-operative on Erleigh Road and London Road. There's also a fruit and vegetable market on Hosier Street (behind the Broad Street Mall) and a fortnightly Local Farmers' Market at The Cattle Market, Great Knollys Street.

The Students’ Union hosts a Barclays ATM, situated opposite our Student Activities Centre and there is also an ATM outside The Co-Operative shop and the campus branch of Santander. You can also find them outside most main high street banks in Reading town centre.

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