Living in Bracknell
What is life like in Bracknell
Bracknell is a medium-sized town in Berkshire that lies around 11 miles away from Reading, ten miles from Windsor and approximately 30 miles from central London.
As such, it is the ideal location for families and young professionals who need easy access to the capital or any of the towns and cities on the thriving M4 corridor. Bracknell is an ambitious town with a high standard of living, and some of its oldest and most uninspiring buildings were recently demolished.
There are plans for a brand new town centre and state-of-the-art shopping centre in their place. Should this materialise, Bracknell will become even more of a sought-after location than it currently is.
Whether people are buying or renting, finding a place to live in Bracknell means they will get much more for their money than in many other neighbouring destinations. With so many exciting plans for the future, now could be the ideal time to get settled in the town.
Bracknell is one of a number of post-World War II towns dotted around the UK, so its history is relatively easy to trace. However, that is not to say there was not any activity on the land Bracknell now stands on much earlier.
The oldest ancient monument is a burial mound at Bill Hill and is said to date back to the Bronze Age. There was also an early settlement in the Iron Age called Caesar's Camp, which was close to where The Lookout Discovery Centre now stands.
From the 11th to 18th century, Bracknell would have been within the former Windsor Forest, which covered all of Berkshire east of the River Loddon. In the Victorian era, Bracknell became a small village with some shops.
It was only after the war that Bracknell's new town was formed. With much of London bombed, new sites for development were required and Bracknell was ideal as it did not mean building over quality farm land.
Although not born in the town, Sean Connery and Queen Victoria are both known to have visited Bracknell. Actress and Tracy Beaker star Dani Harmer was brought up in Bracknell, while Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies joined the local swimming club in the 1980s in order to make a comeback to the sport.
Entertainment, sport and days out
One of the jewels in the crown of Bracknell is its hugely popular swimming centre, Coral Reef. The complex has stood the test of time and continues to be a hit with locals and visitors alike.
Perhaps the cultural centre of Bracknell is South Hill Park, a beautiful stately home that has become a multi-purpose entertainment venue. For theatre, comedy and music there is nowhere better in the local area. It even hosts the Bracknell's Got Talent competition each year.
The Bracknell Bees are one of the UK's premier ice hockey teams so catching a match is always a great way to spend some time in the town. Alternatively, those who want to play their chosen sport have all the facilities they require on their doorstep at Bracknell Leisure Centre.
When it comes to enjoying a day out, it is hard to look beyond London, as it is just 30 miles or so from Bracknell. It means all of the city's most famous sights are only an hour away, not to mention the plethora of events and shows that take place there.
For some time in the countryside, Bracknell residents should head north-west to the North Wessex Downs, where green open spaces make up the majority of the eye-catching landscape.
Eating, drinking & shopping
Bracknell has more than its fair share of great places to eat, with a host of pubs and restaurants found in the town centre. It is also a great place to meet friends for a drink, with pubs and bars scattered throughout.
The town is just seven miles from Heston Blumenthal's famous restaurant, The Fat Duck, in Bray. This is the ideal place for an occasional treat.
Princess Square is the number one shopping destination in Bracknell and features some of the biggest high street names in the UK. The likes of Argos, Boots and WH Smith all boast stores in the complex.
Schools & healthcare
A number of schools – both primary and secondary – are located in and around Bracknell. Primary institutions include Great Hollands, Sandy Lane and Whitegrove, while the nearest secondary school is Maiden Erlegh in Reading.
Anyone with high hopes for their children might wish to encourage them to attend state school turned academy Ranelagh School, which has a high proportion of future Oxford and Cambridge undergraduates among its ranks.
Bracknell Healthspace is the primary medical facility in the town, while there is also the Royal Berkshire Bracknell Clinic available to residents. In addition, a number of surgeries and clinics are spread throughout the local area.
Bracknell enjoys a superb location, offering quick and easy access not only to London, but also to a host of other major business hubs in the south-east. For instance, it is only a short distance from Reading, Woking and Slough.
A direct train service to London runs throughout the day and takes around an hour to reach the city centre. The M4 also offers excellent road access to London, to the west and to south Wales. Within Bracknell itself there is a local bus service, helping people to travel in the town and around the wider area.