Located 40 miles west of Central London, Reading is a large town on the banks of the Thames and Kennet rivers. The town is an intersection of modern and historic and has a lot to offer visitors. Until the 1970s, Reading was known as 'Biscuit Town' because of the Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory, which was once the largest biscuit factory in the world. However, it's not only biscuits that Reading is known for. Several big names have come out of Reading, including actor Ricky Gervais, television personality Jeremy Kyle, actor Kate Winslet and actor Natalie Dormer.
So if you're looking for a range of filming locations, Reading is the ideal place. The town is in easy reach of the serene countryside and provides an array of modern streets and buildings that could make suitable backdrops for your production.
Filming Options in Reading
If you're planning to spend some time filming in Reading, you will probably need some help. Several businesses located in Reading and the surrounding areas are available to help you craft a production that makes you proud.
- Vehicle Hire
If your production requires a large cast and crew, and you've got large equipment to transport, it might be wise to hire a van. Thankfully, Reading has several van-hire companies for you to choose from.
- Makeup Artists
Regardless of the genre of your production, your cast will require makeup so that they look the part. Thanks to its proximity to London, Reading is home to a wide variety of makeup artists that are on hand to help transform cast members.
When you're on set, the last thing you want to think about is finding food for the entire cast and crew. Hiring a caterer allows you to concentrate on the production and let the professionals sort out food and drink.
Filming Companies in Reading
- Berkshire Van Hire
Based in Reading, Berkshire Van Hire has over 25 years of experience providing the surrounding area with cars, vans, trucks and minivans. The company prides itself on offering excellent customer service, high-quality vehicles and affordable rates, allowing its customers to get to where they need to be.
- Anabela Berkshire Wedding Hair and Makeup
For 18 years, Anabela has been practising makeup artistry. She offers her services to those in the Berkshire, London and Surrey areas and has an impressive CV, as she trained at the BBC, where she did film and television makeup, hair, wigs, prosthetics and special effects. Her work credits include Eastenders, the Chelsea Flower Show, Children in Need, I'm a Celebrity and Pride and Prejudice.
- Food For Thought
Food For Thought catering offers services to customers in the Berkshire and Hampshire areas, providing a wide selection of food options to suit a range of dietary requirements. The company offers canapes, finger buffet selections, grazing platters, hot and cold for buffets and BBQ selections. Regardless of the size or nature of an event, Food For Thought can help ensure all in attendance are satiated.
Pros and Cons of Filming in Reading
Reading has a rich history that goes back to the Roman period. The town dates all the way back to the 8th century but remained a small settlement until the early 19th century when Reading's population began to grow rapidly. Despite its rapid population growth, Reading is yet to be classified as a city. In fact, the town is the largest settlement in the UK without city status.
- Proximity to London
Reading is only 40 miles from vibrant London. While the car journey takes an hour and a half outside of rush hour, the journey by train is much more manageable. For example, it takes just half an hour to get into Paddington Station.
- Excellent Attractions
Reading offers several excellent attractions which are enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Basildon Park, Beale Park, Wellington Country Park, Reading Museum and Kennet and Avon Canal are within easy reach of the town.
- Rough Areas
Like all towns and cities, Reading does have its rough areas. It's probably best to avoid certain parts of town. However, Reading has plenty of lovely areas to make up for the less safe places.
Compared to bustling London or busy Bristol, Reading can feel rather sleepy and quiet. So if you're looking for somewhere lively, Reading probably isn't the best place to visit. However, the town does have a lot to offer if you'd prefer somewhere a little less lively.
Reading is known for its ineffective traffic system, causing what locals call 'Carmageddon'. So, if you can, try to avoid Reading during rush hour! But, to be honest, Reading's roads don't flow particularly well even outside of rush hour.
Famous Locations in Reading
- Basildon Park
Located in 400 acres of parkland and gardens, Basildon Park contains a stunning 18th-century house that has been brought back to life after it was derequisitioned after the Second World War. The parkland is loved by locals who visit to take long walks and explore the beautiful gardens regardless of the season.
- Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre
Located southwest of Reading, Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre is a 5th-century Roman town that was abandoned and never reoccupied. As a result, the settlement is remarkably well preserved, allowing visitors to imagine what life might have been like for those who lived there. Archaeologists from the University of Reading have been excavating the site since the late 19th-century. Since excavations began, various items have been found, including metalwork, pottery and animal remains.
- The Museum of English Rural Life
Located near the centre of Reading, the Museum of English Rural Life explores the interesting history of the English countryside. The museum is owned and funded by the University of Reading, and the collections explore the skills and experience of farmers from across the centuries. So if you're looking for something interesting to do one afternoon, a trip to the museum might be on the cards.