“ If your halls aren't included here please suggest them. „
I lived in Halls twice during my time in Reading. In my first year I was in The Student Village, and in my final year I lived in Sherfield Hall.
I would recommend neither. The Student Village is a collection of really expensive flats. There are six rooms to each flat, with a joint kitchen/"living area." Living area is in inverted commas because we had no sofa or anything to make the communal area remotely homely. It was like living permanently in a hotel. The bedrooms were a decent size and all were en-suite. The bathrooms were small but pretty much perfect - I remember that I loved the shower; it was ridiculously powerful and could easily fit two for those occasions when you can't scrub your own back. ;)
Sherfield was really similar. It's right next door and was a bunch of flats again. The rooms were smaller than The Student Village, but they were cheaper too. They were again en-suite and the kitchens were shared.
The main reason why I would recommend neither comes down to the complete lack of a student social life within the halls. Yes, individual flats went out and partied, but there was no sense of community like there seemed to be in Childs or other Halls where friends of mine lived.
If you want the student experience - really want the student experience - go to a proper Hall of Residence. Leave the "luxury" behind and rough it like you're supposed to.
The thoughts of my time in Childs Hall brings back many happy and many more hazy memories. I was in this hall during my first year at reading university in 2000/2001 (seems like a lifetime ago).
Rumour has it that both Childs and Bridges were built in the 70's and designed to be temporary accommodation. Well, 40 years on they are still going strong and still serving a purpose as the place where freshers get their first taste of life away from home.
Childs hall is huge, it holds close to 500 students which means 2 things...you will meet a lot of people in your first year, but on the flip side don't expect to get a lot of sleep! Accommodation costs here are on of the cheapest on Whiteknights Campus, I believe mine came to around £1000 per term for a catered room.
There are 4 floors and each floor is separated into units which are self contained and have their own communal bathrooms and kitchen. I don't really have a problem with sharing facilities but there were some mornings (Thursday in particular) when it was like a war zone in the bathrooms. I tried to avoid them as best I could after big nights at the union as you never knew what you might come across.
With the kitchens it was a case of, if something wasn't locked up it was fair game! The kitchens were used mainly as places to have a communal drink up, or eat our take aways at the weekend.
The rooms themselves are basic with a single bed (mine was like a camp bed), desk, chair, bedside table, sink and wardrobe. Bedding is provided and all electricity is included plus you have a phone line available in every room. The room was a fair size and certainly bigger than the room I moved into in my second year when we rented privately. The carpet was an awful brown colour which I suppose at least hid the dirt a little bit. The wardrobe is massive and even for myself as a man with far too many clothes it was more than adequate. I was on the top floor and so had a nice view into the "quad" which was the grassy area in the middle of the block.
The rooms are cleaned daily. I say cleaned, the bin was emptied daily. The maids were usually in first thing in the morning and I am happy to say that I slept through their visits throughout the majority of my first year.
Childs Hall is catered which means 3 meals a day Monday to Friday and breakfast and lunch a the weekend. There is a massive canteen which is very much like you would have had at school, but then imagine that the seating area was the size of your school hall. I can't really tell you too much about breakfast as I can count on the fingers of one hand the times that I was down in the canteen for it. Lunch and dinner were ok, there were usually 2/3 options including one for vegetarians. Fruit or yoghurt were also available for dessert. My personal favourite was "High Tea" on a Wednesday which was hot dogs and chips..a perfect stomach liner for the carnage that lay ahead in the Union.
Mail is delivered into lockers which are sorted by surname. You have a key to the locker displaying the first letter of your surname.
There was a bar in the halls but it wasn't open late enough for my liking. The prices were ok and they occasionally a special promotions on, but Clive the barman was so slow it was like he was in reverse! The music was loud, there wasn't really anywhere to sit and it was dead 99% of the time. I really think the halls missed a trick here because this could have been a real little earner for them.
Other facilities at the hall included a laundry room (£1.20 a wash and £0.20 for the dryer). There was also a snooker room which was random but cool, 2 full size snooker tables which were available to hire for a small deposit. This room was so well hidden that I only found it in my final term.
There are many bad points that I could level at Childs Hall, the council-look of the outside, the poor bar area, the state of the carpets in the room and the asylum-style corridors to name but a few. However, I spent one of the best years of my life here and made a lot of friends for life as well. I suppose its coincidence that we were all thrown together, but I don't know one person that couldn't reel off a few Childs Hall tales.
If you are fussy or like the more peaceful life, then you are better off applying to be housed elsewhere. Me, if I could have my time again, it would be Childs all the way.
I am in my second year at Reading university and have lived in Bulmershe halls for both years and my final year will be spent here too.
On a personal note, i absolutly love Bulmershe campus although i do understand that there are some problems which arise when living on the campus. Ill start with the positive elements.
-The halls of residence are much nice and generally in great condition, in the exception of two flat blocks called "Blargrave" and "Blackstone"(closed now) which are and were in a dreadful state.
-There is almost a close knit community where everyone knows eachother (understandably can be a problem)
-24 security with both the wardens living on site.
-Two bars, one named "The Junior common room (JCR)" which is open every evening excluding sundays and the other called "Breeze" which is only open on a Friday but is more of a club then a bar. The JCR is much cheaper then Breeze.
-Bulmershe has its own freshers week, held in the JCR and trips to clubs/bars in town, run by the JCR committee (friendly bunch of people).
-For people who's course is entirely studied on Bulmershe, a one minute walk is always useful; especially for hangover mornings!
-A shuttle bus runs too and from the main campus for £1 each way and there is a free night bus too.
-There is a uni shop, library and tennis courts as well as a VERY handy kebab van opposite the campus; opens at 5-1 week days and 5-3 on sat and sun.
-Close to a small town named "Woodley" which has a few shops such as; Iceland, argos, waitrose, newlook, superdrug, boots, fish and chip shop and a charity shop.
Now the downside
-Bulmershe is a bit secluded from the main campus, Whiteknights and is about a mile and a bit apart.
-There is no cash machines on Bulmershe.
-For those studying on Whiteknights, I personally would n't reccommend living on Bulmershe, due to the distance.
-There is no fitness gym on campus, although there is a swimming pool and leisure centre jst a few minutes walk.
Bulmershe is such a lovely place to live, my memories of Bulmershe will stay with me forever.
So when applying for Halls Of Residence at Reading university, the main thing I was concerned about was how close it was to the university buildings. I spent quite a while with the university hall booklet, slowly narrowing down my selection.
I applied for Whiteknights, Wessex, and Bridges, and ended up in Bridges. At first I thought this was the worst thing that could have happened; although it was close to the university building, on looking at the website for Bridges I was thoroughly disappointed by the look of the facilities.
But I didn't have much choice. So in October 2007 I moved in.
On the day I arrived, I was given keys for external doors, my internal corridoor, my room and my post box.
The first thing I went and did was looked at my room. I had asked to have a room with a sink. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the room.
In my room there was:
a small table
a desk lamp
a network cable
a 4 plug extension lead
a fitted wardrobe
a sink, with a cupboard underneath it
3 shelves above the desk
I had to pay extra to have a sink in my room, but I figured this was worth it, so that I could get ready for bed in privacy etc
The majority of Bridges is catered food. The food was always of good quality, but there was hardly ever anything I would eat. I regret picking catered halls as I was paying to be catered, but often had to buy food and cook for myself anyway! Worked out very expensive!!!
Bridges has single sex corridors. We were joined to a boys corridor and another girls corridor in an L shape. Each of the 3 corridors had their own bathroom, but we all shared a kitchen. 39 of us shared the kitchen, and 13 to each bathroom. In our bathroom we had one shower, two baths and 3 toilets. It turned out that having 1 shower between 13 girls wasn't a problem at all, I only ever had to wait for the shower once or twice. The kitchen was a bit of a problem, with 39 of us sharing a Baby belling oven. This made cooking at the weekends very difficult as we all had to share 2 hob rings and an oven.
However this got changed to a full size cooker after many of us complained!
We had a brilliant sense of community on our 3 corridors; often going out together, sharing meals and going down to dinner together. It really was a brilliant laugh, and I definitely would pick this hall again if I had to!
I have spent 4 years sampling the delights of the University of Reading halls. I spent my first 3 years as an undergrad living in Childs Hall on Whiteknights campus. Childs is absolutely fine, as long as you aren't too fussy and don't mind living in an environment where everything just looks a little bit past its best. My room was pretty much as basic as they come, without even a sink, but the way I saw it, was that if I had to leave my room to use the communal toilets and shower, what difference did the sink make? I decided to save myself a few hundred quid a year and go sink-free.
The rooms themselves were basic but comfortable and all carpeted. They had everything you could need.
Because it is a fully catered hall, the kitchens are large but basic. There were plenty of seats and tables available and it was a real social gathering place. I shared my bathroom with about 15 other girls and there was one shower, one bath, about 5 sinks and 2 toilets. In 3 years though, I only recall having to wait for a shower a handful of times.
The food provided was basic but perfectly fine. Some people moaned that it wasn't as good as mummy's dinners, but really, it was absolutely fine.
As a post-grad I was in Bulmershe. I was based there so never had to trek over to Whiteknights for lectures. The rooms there were similar to Childs in layout and size but came with ensuite bathrooms! A big bonus, but one that you definitely paid for! We were in flats of 9 people, sharing a moderately large kitchen. However, only 2 small fridges were provided, meaning that you were doing very well to get a whole shelf to yourself... A fact we moaned about often, but the hall never did anything to rectify.
Bulmershe was also much quieter. The post-grads are slightly seperate from the under-grads, meaning that we got quiet nights and the under-grads were free to be as noisy as they'd like.
Note of warning, we had groundfloor rooms and my neighbour had a break-in when she left her window open just to nip to the kitchen for 5 minutes... A laptop was stolen. Please always shut your windows!
Bulmershe hall is definatly a place that has two main pro's and Con's. The Pro.....it's lovely. The accomodation is the best of campus (providing your not in blackstone) with the buildings only being 2 years old but looking good as new. The Con.....well unless you are based on Bulmershe Campus comuting to the main campus is a absolute bitch. Buses run between the two at a charge of 50p but the traffic...well put it this way I ride to campus on a micro scooter and pass the bus and all other traffic e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y Overall the distance betwixt bulmershe and Whiteknights is about 1.2 miles which unless you are crazy (like me- scooting back and forth 4 times a day) makes lunch times a bit of an pain in the [scooter leg]. TO sumarise if you are a lazy ass don't bother with bulmershe, if you can be bothered though, bulmershe is the nicest place you will find at reading- even if the two bars are a tad dull, expensive and empty. One more word of warning - the weekends here are DULL.