Situated close to Reading, the town of Earley is made up of a number of smaller areas, including Maiden Erlegh and Lower Earley. Its proximity to the large, busy town of Reading makes it hugely popular among those looking for quiet living with quick access to fantastic amenities.
Often considered a suburb of Reading, Earley and its areas have much to offer in their own right. In fact, as part of the Wokingham borough, the RG6 postcode area was rated one of the most desirable places to live in England in 2014.
Housing and transport
House prices in the Earley area currently average at around £323,000 – up 17 per cent over the past 12 months.
As a base for commuting to the capital, Earley is ideal, with direct trains running to London Waterloo in just over 75 minutes. A single change at Reading will get you into London Paddington in less than an hour.
Seeing as Reading is just seven minutes away by train, many people enjoy working in the bustle of the larger town before escaping home to the suburbs. Excellent road links make getting just about anywhere pretty simple, thanks to the location of the M4 and the A239(M).
Schools in Earley and the surrounding areas
Home to some fantastic schools, Earley comes under the Borough of Wokingham for education.
Aldryngton Primary School caters for children aged 5-11. It achieves results well above the national average for reading, writing and maths, and this no doubt contributed to the ‘Outstanding’ rating it achieved in its last Ofsted inspection. In addition, two of its pupils are national champions competing in diving and ice skating.
Hawkedon, Hillside and Radstock primary schools are also within the catchment area, and all achieved a ‘Good’ status.
Maiden Erlegh School is the main secondary school for Earley. Rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, the percentage of students achieving A*-C grades has been consistently above the national and local authority average for the past four years. The sixth form is also very successful, with a 99 per cent pass rate for all exams taken in 2015.
Earley families may also find themselves in the catchment for The Bulmershe School. Its 2015 GCSE results saw one student gain 11 A*s while, overall, 69 per cent of students achieved at least five A*-C grades.
The University of Reading main campus also falls under the Earley area, as it’s situated to the north west of the town. Among the top one per cent of universities worldwide, this heavily research-based establishment brings a wonderful multicultural aspect to the area, attracting students from all over the world.
Earley's sports and societies
Surrounded by green space, with a great selection of parks and open areas to enjoy, Earley offers wonderful walks through the nearby woodlands, past lakes and streams. Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve is perfect for dog walks and provides an idyllic fishing spot. In addition, several of the parks are home to sports clubs offering football and hockey.
For swimmers, Lodden Valley Leisure Centre can be found in Lower Earley. It also offers squash, tennis and multi-purpose sports halls.
Dinton Pastures Country Park, just on the outskirts of Earley, has beautiful lakeside walks and fun activities for the kids, while just a slightly longer drive away, California Country Park in Wokingham offers 40 hectares for walks, wildlife watching and fishing.
Eating and drinking in Earley
There's a great selection of restaurants in the town centre, with the cuisines of Britain, India, China, Italy and more represented well. Unique independent establishments mingle with popular chain restaurants, along with the speedy takeaways you would expect; perfect at the end of a long week.
Residents find they aren't short of choice when it comes to grocery shopping, with an Asda Superstore, Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Iceland, Co-Op and more to choose from. In addition, Earley and Lower Earley are both well-stocked with high street brands and local independent stores.
Community life and culture
Nearby Reading offers a host of family-friendly leisure facilities, including the Ski Plex indoor ski slope, adventure golf courses and indoor play areas. Just down the A3270, Shinfield offers an equestrian centre and plenty of country walks.
Thanks to the university, there are a host of events and culture opportunities nearby, with four museums on the Earley campus, which also hosts film festivals. November sees an annual fireworks event in Laurel Park, with a spectacular display set to music.
Of course, the notable Reading Festival takes place just down the road, attracting rock fans every August bank holiday and bringing in a wonderful cash injection for local business. Thankfully for many residents of Earley, the festival site is situated to the north of Reading town centre, minimising disruption, but happily close enough for those needing to get their musical fix without wishing to camp.
The area of Earley and Lower Earley has a lot to offer residents, both existing and new. As a truly great place to live, the desirable town of Earley could be the perfect choice if you're looking for property in beautiful Berkshire.