Bracknell, Berkshire

A Guide to Living in Bracknell

Originally a large market town in the leafy county of Berkshire, Bracknell has grown to become one of the best areas to live within the London Commuter Belt. Surrounded by an abundance of green space and beautiful countryside, Bracknell is ideally located for the perfect balance between tranquil outer city living coupled with easy access to the bustling capital for vibrant city streets and world-renowned attractions.

 

The local economy is strong due to Bracknell’s thriving commercial centre and excellent employment opportunities, with the area being home to a high concentration of major global companies and technology firms including Dell, Microsoft, Hitachi and Oracle. In fact, Bracknell forms part of the region often touted as the UK’s very own “Silicon Valley” and provides a haven for ambitious working professionals whether working in Bracknell or nearby Reading and London.

UK’s Tech Hub
Home to 27 global tech companies generating a £5.5 billion tech economy

The Lexicon Centre
A brand new shopping centre hosting over 100 retailers, bars, restaurants and a 12-screen cinema

Employment
Bracknell’s unemployment rate is just 3.6%, much lower than the national average of 4.8%

Green Space
Over 150 parks and green areas to enjoy, including a host of walking & cycling paths and outdoor activities.

Extensive Regeneration

Bracknell town centre has undergone extensive regeneration in recent years and continues to do so, transforming it into a lively and exciting area for locals and people from the wider Thames Valley region to enjoy. Bracknell’s regeneration plan spans over 20-years and sees £770 million worth of investment focusing on revamping residential, commercial, and retail space across the area.

Brand New Shopping Centre

The Lexicon shopping centre, which opened in 2017, formed a vital part of this regeneration project and has become the central hub of Bracknell’s shopping and entertainment offer, hosting over 100 retailers such as Fenwick, as well as numerous restaurants, cafes and a 12-screen cinema all under one roof. The scheme won Development of the Year at the 2018 Thames Valley Property Awards and has elevated Bracknell to be one of the best commuter towns near London.

Despite this, average house prices in Bracknell remain far more reasonable than both London and surrounding cities, with average property prices still £48,000 less than Reading.

Bracknell Lexicon

Location and Transport Links: Getting Around Bracknell

Bracknell is part of Reading’s “travel-to-work” area, and because it’s in close proximity to the City of London, property in the town is very popular amongst working professionals who regularly commute into these areas, as well as to Slough and other parts of the South East. Bracknell is situated just 34 miles west of London and 11 miles east of Reading, forming part of what is known as the M4 Corridor. It benefits from easy road access to the A329 and M3.

Distances and journey times approximate and are sourced via Google Maps and the TrainLine.

By Bus

Getting around Bracknell itself is incredibly easy, with a choice of 4 operators providing extensive bus services throughout Bracknell Forest.

By Bike

There is a vast amount of purpose built, traffic-free cycle routes in and around Bracknell town centre, making active travel easy. Cyclists can also enjoy approximately 15 miles of scenic biking rails, including all major parks and green spaces.
Bracknell council have been awarded funds specifically dedicated to improving better bus routes and encouraging more active travel around the Thames Valley area over the next few years. You can find out more about cycling routes around Bracknell here.

By Car

The town is also close to both the M3 and M4. Heathrow Airport is just over half an hour’s drive away and Gatwick in approximately 45 minutes away.

Westmorland Park  7 minutes
Ascot Racecourse  10 minutes
Mill Ride Golf and Country Club  10 minutes
Royal Ascot Golf Club  13 minutes
Dinton Pastures Country Park  16 minutes
Windsor Castle  21 minutes
Reading  22 minutes
London Heathrow  25 minutes

By Train

Bracknell has its own train station conveniently located in the heart of the town, with direct trains to both London Waterloo and Reading departing several times an hour throughout the day. In fact, it takes just over an hour for travellers to reach London Waterloo.

Wokingham  6 minutes
Ascot  7 minutes
Reading  20 minutes
Camberley  33 minutes
Guildford  48 minutes
Windsor & Eaton Riverside  52 minutes
London Paddington  52 minutes
London Waterloo  1 hour 2 minutes


For those living just outside the town centre, Martins Heron train station offers similar travel times:
Ascot  4 minutes
Wokingham  9 minutes
Reading  23 minutes
Camberley  30 minutes
Windsor & Eton Riverside  49 minutes
Guildford  51 minutes
London Paddington  55 minutes
London Waterloo  59 minutes

Things to do in Bracknell

Bracknell Leisure Centre provides a range of facilities, including three swimming pools, a gym and spa, a sports hall, group exercise classes, outdoor sports pitches and athletics facilities. There are also plenty of activities held there throughout the year. Additionally, Bracknell has two tennis clubs, an 18-hole championship course and putting course at Downshire Golf Complex.

For those with young children, there’s a huge array of attractions and facilities nearby will keep them entertained. The Look Out Discovery Centre and the Coral Reef Waterworld, one of the largest interactive water worlds in the UK, both prove popular with local families.

Parks and Green Spaces

As well as an abundance of leisure activities, Bracknell is surrounded by ample green space. In fact, there are more than 150 parks and countryside areas throughout Bracknell Forest offering a variety of walking and cycling trails, wildlife and outdoor events for locals and nature lovers to enjoy year-round.

Along with ranger-led walks, nature photography classes, wildlife surveys and dog shows there’s plenty for all the family to do with BMX and skate parks, play areas, orienteering courses, and sports pitches and courts all within easy reach.

Further afield, Bracknell is surrounded by Swinley Forest and Crowthorne Wood. Both offer scenic walking and cycling trails – providing a perfect oasis from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day living.

Aside from this, approximately £2.6 million will be invested into creating a new country park with a café, play area and water sports facility at Horseshoe Lake.

mill park and pond, bracknell

Drinking & Dining

There are plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants in Bracknell town centre to cater to a variety of tastes. The Lexicon shopping centre alone offers a wide variety of popular food chains, such as Prezzo, Pizza Express and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

Bracknell’s lively culinary scene also includes plenty of independent cafes and eateries, and a host of old, traditional pubs serving comforting pub grub. The Dog & Duck, for example, dates back to 1770 whilst The Bull is celebrated locally for its delicious Sunday roasts.

Employment Opportunities

Bracknell has a population of around 124,200 people (as of 2020) and, according to the Official Labour Market Statistics, only 3.6% are unemployed, compared to 4.2% in neighbouring Reading and 4.8% in the UK as a whole.

Bracknell sits at the heart of the South East tech cluster often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the UK, and hosts over 27 major technology companies generating a tech economy of over £5.5 billion. Naturally, this presents high-paying job prospects within the sector, already drawing over 40,000 workers in the tech industry alone to the area.

 

Tech sector images Bracknell

Schools and Education

There are many high performing primary and secondary schools in Bracknell, all of which have been rated “Good” or “Outstanding” by Ofsted. With a choice of 36 primary schools, such as Birch Hill Primary and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary and 14 secondary schools, such as Garth Hill College, Bracknell and Wokingham College, and Ranelagh CE; Bracknell is the perfect area for families to settle in.

Whilst there are no universities in Bracknell itself, its connectivity enables easy commutes to The Silwood Park campus of Imperial College London, which is just 5 miles to the east of Bracknell town centre. Similarly, the University of Reading is 8 miles to the northwest, and Royal Holloway College 8 miles to the east.

 

Nearby Points of Interest

Ascot Race Course
Just a 10 minute drive
Reading, Berkshire
Just 20 minutes by train
Heathrow Airport
Just 25 minutes by car
London City Centre
London Paddington in just 54 minutes by train

Property for Sale in Bracknell

With its recent regeneration, leafy commuter belt location and excellent transport links to London city centre and the surrounding areas, there’s a reason Bracknell is becoming a popular location for homebuyers. If you’re looking to buy a property in this fast-growing area, you can find out more about SevenCapital’s developments below.

No.1 Thames Valley

Ready to occupy

price from

£199,950

No.1 Thames Valley
Bracknell
1 Bedroom Apartments, Studio
  • 101 open-plan apartments
  • High spec studios and 1-bedroom apartments for sale
  • Floor to ceiling windows for a light, airy living space
  • Vast atrium with two stylish residents wing lounges
  • Quick access to Crossrail for faster London commutes – London Paddington in just 13 minutes.
  • Cash buyer opportunities available
The Grand Exchange

Final Off-Plan Units

price from

£239,950

The Grand Exchange
Bracknell
1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments, Off-Plan, Studios
  • Off-Plan – Estimated Completion 2023
  • 181 spacious apartments
  • High-spec studios, 1 and 2-bedroom apartments for sale
  • Resident-only access to amenities such as a gym, spa treatment rooms and private garden area
  • Entrance lobby with 24-hour concierge
  • Prime location within the London Commuter Belt with hassle-free travel to the capital and Reading
  • At the centre of a £770 million large-scale regeneration project changing the landscape of Bracknell