Top places to live in Berkshire Wargrave
The historic village of Wargrave is one of the quieter riverside hot spots and close enough to George Clooney without needing a restraining order. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
You want to be in Sonning to be close to George Clooney and rock legend Jimmy Page but want the budget to stretch beyond a poky cottage that’s not much bigger than a London flat. Dry your eyes, friends, and head four miles down the road to Wargrave. It’s just as chichi but you get a tiny bit more bang for your brick. Plus, you’re in prime Crossrail country.
Weir Grove is without question an under-the-radar gem, serving tapas and one of the best Sunday roasts in the county. Orwell’s in nearby Shiplake is also a guaranteed culinary hit. St George & The Dragon pub delivers a river view with your Pinot while The Bull has period charm. For a hipper hangout, head to Cwtch coffee shop at Willow Marina or pop over to The Coppa Club in Sonning and fight Amal Clooney for the last outside table in the sun.
To be honest, Wargrave’s not a shop-til-you-drop kinda place. But you’re only four miles from Henley and it’s mix of national staples (Waitrose, Mint Velvet, Joules, Space NK) and independent brands – Fluidity for designer fashion, Brook House for interiors, and Gorvett & Stone for artisan choccies.
Mess about on the river – then have a go at the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta in August when first-timers, local veterans and Olympic and university Lycra wearers cross oars. Elsewhere, you have a vineyard on the doorstep courtesy of Stanlake Wine Estate offering tours, a bar and shop; the brilliant Mill at Sonning Theatre for dinner and a show, and make a date to visit heritage homes like Greys Court National Trust and Stonor.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
Pass the smelling salts – it’s an average £657, 562. Detached houses, cost an average of £834,408. Semi-detached homes sold for £505,000, and terraced properties were £358,000. Check out local agents, Ballards, Chancellors and Robinson Sherston.
Take your pick – local prep schools include Rupert House in Henley, Caversham Prep. Waverley Prep, and Lambrook, if you don’t mind travelling a bit further. For teens, Reading Blue Coat has a stellar reputation, as does Queen Anne’s in Caversham. Wargrave is also home to The Piggott School – a cracking senior state school.
BEST KEPT SECRET
You’d think Wargrave’s most famous residents are the late Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, but no. Percy and Rupert the Mangalitzas pigs (now deceased) managed to rub elbows with the Prime Minister, received an Olympic gold medal from rower Will Satch and had a global social media following of 4,000 people.
London bound? You can jump on at Wargrave train station, but you’re better off boarding at Twyford (soon to be a Crossrail stop). It cuts your journey time to as little as 20mins. A season train ticket starts at £3,856. If you’re driving, London’s an hour down the M4.
View the full Top 200 Places to Live