Living in Bracknell is a great choice for commuters, as it's just 30 miles from London while neighbourhoods like Reading and Windsor are just a few miles down the road. And it's just 18 miles from Maidenhead (and Berkshire House!).

Once an area with a population of fewer than 10, today Bracknell features modern shopping amenities, vibrant restaurants and outdoor activities. And it’s a lot busier too! If you’re living in Bracknell or thinking of moving to the area, here are some of the best things to do and see.

Coral Reef Bracknell's Waterworld

One for the whole family (or adults who are big kids at heart), Coral Reef is one of the largest interactive water worlds in the UK. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the five interactive waterslides, while explorers can recreate an erupting volcano and board a pirate ship.

Or you could just hang out by the pool or head to the adults-only Coral Reef spa for some serious relaxation. Online-only tickets mean you won't have to queue either, so you can enjoy a splashtastic day without any lengthy lines.

Find at Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, RG12 7JQ
Phone: 01344 862 525
Follow @EveryoneActive

The Lexicon

If you're living in Bracknell and are looking for some serious retail therapy, get yourself down to The Lexicon. It's only been open for a few years and is the place where everyone goes to shop, dine and socialise.

Browse one of the many fashion stores, including Fenwick, grab a bite to eat at the food hall or catch a flick at the cinema. The Lexicon has more than 100 shops and 30 cafes and restaurants and features a range of events throughout the year.

Find at The Lexicon Management Suite, Avenue Car Park, Bracknell RG12 1AP
Phone no: 01344 596 720
Follow @thelexiconbracknell

South Hill Park Arts Centre

As the creative hub of Berkshire, South Hill Park Arts Centre is the place to go for inspiration and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy more than 250 courses and workshops as well as a variety of entertaining shows.

Set inside a 24-acre country house and grounds, the arts centre hosts over 300 shows, films and events a year. You can even hire the beautiful venue out for weddings, private functions and community and corporate events.

Find at Ringmead, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12
Phone no: 01344 484 123
Email: [email protected]
Follow @southhillpark

Blue’s Smokehouse

American diner  Blue’s Smokehouse is a US-style barbecue restaurant that cooks up a storm. Tasty meats such as ribs, pulled pork and brisket are all cooked in the restaurant’s authentic American imported smokers.

Set inside an old pub, Blue's Smokehouse has interiors that mirror your typical gastropub — with a touch of Americana (you'll definitely see a flag or two). Blue's Smokehouse is the ideal place to tuck into some comfort food while enjoying refreshing drinks such as American-style ginger beer.

Find at High Street, Bracknell, Berks. RG12 1DS</em
Phone: 01344 867 575
Email: [email protected]
Follow @bluessmokehouse

Go Ape

Living in Bracknell means you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor adventures. One of those options is Go Ape, an adventure centre with treetop rope trails. Set in Swinley Forest, which stretches over 2,600 acres of hills, Go Ape is an outdoor adventure not to be missed.

Take the Treetop Challenge and enjoy settings where you can swing from tree to tree while pumping up that adrenaline. Or, if you fancy something more low-key, hook onto the Treetop Adventure trail or explore the park on a Segway.

Find at Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell RG12 7QW
Phone: 01603 895 500
Email: [email protected]
Follow @goapetribe

The John Nike Complex

Who says you need to head to the Alps to get your skiing fix? The John Nike Complex is a ski slope and ice rink right in the heart of Bracknell and provides plenty of thrills and chills. Whether you’re a beginner or pro, there are plenty of options to choose from, including ski lessons and public sessions.

The centre offers skating lessons, snowboarding trails, live ice hockey and Sno-Tubing, which involves spinning along the rink in inflatable rings. If you like getting your kicks on the slopes, then The John Nike Complex might just be your new local hangout whilst living in Bracknell.

Find at John Nike Way, Bracknell RG12 8TN
Phone no: 01344 789 000
Email: [email protected]
Follow @SkiBracknell

Market Inn

If you're living in Bracknell and looking for a new local watering hole, get yourself down to the Market Inn. The pub features a cosy fireplace, living room interiors and excellent food and drink. Stop by for a few brews and a traditional Sunday Roast.

There's even a cocktail masterclass where you can learn how to make classic concoctions with expert bartenders. During the summer, head to the outdoor area or enjoy some sports on the big screen while playing a game of pool.

Find at Station Rd, Bracknell, RG12 1HY
Phone no: 01344 311 629
Email: [email protected]
Follow @MarketInnBracknell

Lily Hill Park

Get back to nature and take a wander through woodlands and gardens at Lily Hill Park. The Green Flag awarded park is 56 acres of restored heritage open space and has been going strong for more than 160 years.

Discover the local wildlife in the woodlands, stroll through the scenic formal gardens and admire a unique wooden sculpture. Lily Hill Park represents the county of Berkshire’s sprawling countryside and offers a tranquil getaway if you’re living in Bracknell.

Find at Lily Hill Rd, Bracknell RG12 2RX
Phone: 01344 352000
Follow @bracknellforest 

Living in Bracknell

Bracknell effortlessly combines city-style delights with rural living, offering an alternative to London's constant hustle and bustle. With great travel connections to the capital, you're never far from the bright lights of the city. You really can have the best of both worlds when you're living in Bracknell.


Dressage Court - Bethnal Green

Mark Flint


Mark is a regular contributor to the Essential Living blog and shares all the latest news and sourcing the very best content for our customers.