As we continue our spotlight journey around the country, this month we will take a look at the market town of Wokingham in Berkshire. Renowned for its silk making industry in the Tudor period Wokingham is the town where the John Gay and Alexander Pope wrote the ballad of Molly Mogg who was the barmaid at the Rose Inn.
Wokingham means “Wocca’s People’s home” and was originally named after the Saxon Chieftain Wocca. Wokingham as a market town dates back to the early 13th Century after it was granted the right to hold a market in 1219. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Wokingham was famous for its bell foundry and church bells for the entire south of England were made there. In the 17th century and through to the early 19th century Wokingham was home to bull baiting and the meat and leather at the end of the baiting was distributed amongst the poor of the town. The practice was banned in 1821 on humanitarian grounds. Silk manufacture was a big industry in Wokingham between 1771 until the last mill closed in the 1820s but it is rumoured that there is still one surviving mulberry bush from those times in one of the gardens in Rose Street. Mulberry bushes were the favourite food of silk worms which were used to make the silk. In the Victorian era, the town’s name changed to Oakingham and it is from this name that the acorns and oak leaves on the town’s heraldic charge come from. These days Wokingham is a hub of software development, light engineering and service industries with a population of around 178,000.
Wokingham is just 40 miles from the centre of London and lies right next to the A329(M) motorway giving it exceptional links to both the M4 and the M3. Southampton is just 51 miles down the M3 and Bristol is just 87 miles along the M4. With easy access to the M25 and on to the M40 Wokingham is well connected to the rest of the country.
Wokingham is just 25 miles from Heathrow airport and its international links around the globe.
The main train station at Wokingham lies on the Waterloo to Reading line which is run by South Western Railway. There are services to London every 30 minutes. Wokingham station also has a semi-fast direct service to Gatwick Airport which takes just over an hour. This service is run by the Great Western Railway
Things to Do In Wokingham
Wokingham is just 8 miles away from Ascot and its world famous racecourse. If you fancy a flutter and potentially attending the world renowned Royal Ascot in June, a trip to Ascot is surely on the cards? Ascot holds race meetings most months.
For the wine connoisseurs out there, just 11 miles to the North of Wokingham lies the Stanlake park wine estate. Producing white wines, Rose, red wines and even fizz you can pop along for a vineyard tour as well as wine and cheese tasting sessions.
Just 3 miles to the West of Wokingham lies the Nirvana Spa which is the perfect place for some grown up pampering. There’s a spa garden, tepidarium, crystal treatment suite, thermal suite, wellness suite, Rasul area and a restaurant.
For a day out in the sun and some adventure golf to enjoy with the family a trip to Dinton Pastures Country Park is a must. Set in 450 acres of land with 7 lakes, 2 rivers, woodlands and meadows, this venue really does offer an amazing day out.
Clearly, being in such close proximity to London and Reading there are plenty of out-of-town shopping opportunities, but Wokingham has a thriving high street centred on Broad Street, Peach Street, Market Place and the historical Rose Street. With all the high street favourites like New Look, Fat Face, Boots and Robert Dyas the shopping area in Wokingham does offer pretty much everything anyone could want. If the high street isn’t quite right for you, the Oracle Shopping centre in Reading will provide anything that is missing and London Waterloo and the London shopping experience is just an hour’s train ride away.
Eating and Drinking
For proper pub grub, rated number 1 on Tripadvisor, the Lord Raglan on Denmark Street, just off of the main shopping area, is a great option. Serving freshly made food with a huge range of independently sourced beers, wines and spirits 7 days a week this pub is a great option when you are hungry for good food.
If you want something more refined, just 6 miles outside Wokingham lies the L’Ortolan. A previously one Michelin starred French influenced restaurant situated in a grade II listed building in the village of Shinfield, the L’Ortolan serves up high end modern French cuisine in elegant and opulent surroundings.
We love a historical pub and thankfully, Wokingham does not disappoint. The Crispin Pub is reputed to be over 400 years old. Serving locally sourced ales, the Crispin is an old fashioned local, perfect for enjoying a quiet pint or two.
Another great “drinkers” pub is the Ship Inn on Peach Street, although they also serve tasty pub food, the Ship Inn also boasts craft lager, seasonal ale, cider, spirit, artisan soft drink, and some exclusive wines.
If our sneak peek at Wokingham has whetted your appetite as a potential new home location, you will want to familiarise yourself with the local property market. According to home.co.uk the average price for a property in Wokingham is £509,345 with a one bed property averaging at £240,578, a three bed family property averaging £521,449 and a large 5 bed family home being sold for an average of £1,107,663.
If you would prefer to rent, the average rent in Wokingham is £1,718 with a one bed property being rented for £1,007 per month, a three bed family home costing £1,966 per month and a large 5 bed family home costing £2,495 per month.
If our spotlight on Wokingham has made you curious about a possible move to the area, please see our current listings for Wokingham. If you would like to speak with one of our local property experts, please follow this link to find contact details for our Wokingham office where our professional and dedicated team will be happy to help.