Situated on the commuter belt in Berkshire County, Bracknell is a good place to consider if you are thinking of moving to the UK or to one of the home counties in England. It is ideal for professionals and young families looking for an area that isn’t as hectic as the inner city.
So is Bracknell really a good place to live? Bracknell is a good place to relocate to as it has affordable housing, offers great people’s work-life balance, has quality transport and low unemployment levels. It’s no wonder the town was ranked as the 19th best place to live in Britain in the annual survey conducted by Halifax Quality of Life.
This post provides all the information you need to make the decision of whether to relocate to Bracknell or not.
Is Bracknell a good place to Live?
Bracknell is a very affluent town in a good location. It’s a quite suburban area and very convenient. The environment is relaxing and beautiful – it is litter-free and with lots of green spaces. There’s even restoration work to some parks including the South Hill Park art centre’s grounds and redevelopment plans in the town centre to stop the neighbourhoods from deteriorating.
Berkshire is well connected, as it has two railway stations – Martins Heron and Bracknell, both of which are on the Waterloo to Reading line. The rail is 20 minutes to Reading and an hour to London Waterloo. The road links are also good with the M4 and the M25 ideally being 15 minutes to Heathrow. The town is also conveniently located between the M4 and M3 and is approximately 10 miles from Windsor.
Bracknell is full of great people and is a very safe place to live. It’s even one of the safest places in Berkshire as far as crime is concerned. The number of people committing crimes is a very small percentage of the population, most of which are known for being recidivists. Antisocial behaviour is very low and crime rates in Bracknell are dropping including big falls in home burglaries, violent crime, and sexual offences. The number of break-ins per 10,000 of the population, for instance, in the town is 21.9 which is quite low when compared to Wokingham’s which is 25.8.
There are lots of splendid primary schools in the Bracknell town. These include St Michael’s Easthampstead, Meadow Vale, Warfield, Wildridings, St Margaret Clitherow Catholic, St Joseph’s which is rated “good” by Ofsted, Whitegrove rated “very good” and Ranelagh which is rated “outstanding.” There are good local independent schools you may want to enrol your kid when moving to city name (Bracknell).
The only institution of further study in the town is Bracknell & Wokingham College which offers courses for adults, school leavers and employers training their staff. But there are other institutions that are in close proximity to the town including The Silwood Park campus of Imperial College London, Royal Holloway College and the University of Reading.
From sophisticated restaurants and stylish eateries to local pubs and café, there are so many places to eat, socialize and interact in Bracknell. Whether you’re taking your family out for lunch or meeting up with workmates and friends for cocktails, Bracknell’s extensive range of restaurants and coffee shops has every occasion covered. For instance, the Eagle Lane at The Lexicon has eateries and cafes that cater for every taste. Shopping lovers will also love the range of shopping facilities available in Bracknell. One of the best places to get your shopping fix is at The Lexicon. This shopping destination has a number of homeware and technology stores and over 100 fashion brands on site.
Is Bracknell a good place to Work?
The town is a great area to work. Its employment rate is at 81%, making it one of the top 10 lowest countries in the UK with a low unemployment rate. The high employment rate can be attributed to its position as a gateway to UK’s own Silicon Valley, Thames Valley. There is plenty of opportunity for young people starting out in their careers, with lots of well-paying entry-level jobs. Despite the ongoing economic gloom, the town is still better than most towns. The average weekly gross earning in the town is £691 which is quite impressive compared to the average wage on £550 in the UK.
Bracknell is home to some of the most well-known companies which offer lots of employment opportunities. Some of these include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Panasonic, Broadcom, Brocade Communications Systems, Avnet Technology Solutions, and Dell, to name a few.
Considering that Bracknell has a great transport system, working in and around the town couldn’t be easier – whether you’ll be working from home, based in Bracknell or commuting out of Bracknell.
Is Bracknell a good place to Buy a House?
Being a developing town, housing is overwhelmingly postwar and ex-council in style. The Old Bracknell is fading away but you can find some old rural houses and some good quality 60s and 70s era detached properties. Good places to find property when moving to the UK is at Roma Hill in the south-west and Warfield and Wick Hill in the North. The good thing is that the old properties are being balanced by new developments that are being planned – nearly 6,000 both urban and suburban.
A 2012 survey conducted by Halifax Quality of Life Survey found that buying property in Bracknell is much easier with house prices earning ratio being at 6.2 which is higher than the average of 5.25 in the UK. However, it’s worth noting that property prices are soaring daily.
The average house price in the town of Bracknell is about £321,731. A five-bed executive house in the suburbs is the most expensive going for about £400,000-£650,000. The prices of townhouses and big detached in the new developments range between £300,000 to £450,000. Semi and large terraces are slightly lower with prices ranging between £190,000-£250,000. One-bed flats which are the most affordable houses in Bracknell are priced at £120,000 with a two-bedroom house going for £160,000. With an average property price of £321,731, Bracknell is considered cheaper than surrounding areas such as Warfield which has an average sale price of £450,565 and Bracknell Forest with an average of £435,586.
If buying a house isn’t in your budget or long-term plan for moving Bracknell, renting is a great option. Rental houses are plenty and quite affordable. The average rent for a one-bedroom house is £933 per month while that of a two-bedroom house is £1,183 per month. A three-bedroom and four-bedroom house have an average rent of £1,486 and £1,983 respectively. For a five-bedroom house, expect to pay a monthly rent of £5,794.
Is Bracknell a good place to Retire?
Being a suburb, Bracknell makes a great place for retirement. There are lots of great retirement properties in the town, most of which are available to people aged over 60. The nice thing is that the properties are offered at a discount if the homeowner purchases a lifetime lease on the property. The discount you are entitled to depends on several factors including age, personal circumstances and the criteria of the property.
For a one-bedroom retirement property, you can expect to pay £130,000. If you qualify for the discount, the size of the discount could be anywhere between 9% and 50% from the full market value of the property. A two-bedroom bungalow goes for £450,000 while a three-bedroom semi-detached house goes for £279,000. For a four-bedroom detached house expect to pay £297,000 and £280,000 for a three-bedroom detached house.
Is Bracknell a good place to Visit?
Bracknell is one of the best places to visit in the UK. Despite experiencing a lot of redevelopments since it was declared a New Town in the mid-20th century, the town still retains many original historic buildings and fascinating landmarks. The town has a lot of attractions, sites, villages and countryside to explore making it the perfect antidote to UK city life. History lovers can check out Windsor Castle – the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, Easthampstead Park and Museum of Berkshire Aviation.
For a family day out, you can take the kids to the Look Out Discovery Centre where they can enjoy more than 90 activities. These include playing with boats in an indoor stream, launching hydrogen rockets, creating music on giant keyboards, making mini animation and building towers with Kapla bricks. Other great places to visit with children are Whoosh Play Centre, Coral Reef Waterworld, and Pope’s Meadow.
Adults can go watch races at Royal Ascot, go horse riding at Tally Ho Stables or learn beer brewing and have a pint at Windsor & Eton Brewery. Shopaholics will love the shopping scene in Bracknell. You can visit the Princess Square Bracknell Shopping Centre which hosts dozens of stylish stores or visit the new Bracknell Market for a variety of street food, baked goods, and fresh produce.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.