Reading Living: Finding Greenow and McCombie House

This post is long overdue but I’ll put it up regardless, to help prospective students of the University of Reading who can’t come to campus on the open-days see what Greenow and McCombie House really look like, and new students who may have a hard time finding this hall like I did.

I had such a difficult time finding this hall especially since I was pulling two suitcases of 23kg each and it was cold and raining. By the time I found the hall, I was exhausted and cursing my choice of accommodation even though, two months in, I feel like it is a great place to live.

You are more than likely to get lost a lot on that first day. For some reason, the accommodation names are not written on the direction maps on campus and so your best bet is Google Maps. However, I didn’t have internet connection on arrival so my advice is to download an Offline map of Reading before you set out for school.

If you don’t know how to download an offline map on Google Maps, watch the video below.

Now, as an International student arriving at the Whiteknight Campus for the first time, the first thing you want to do is find your accommodation so you can keep your boxes and then get to the post office for your Biometic Resident Permit (BRP) card. If you happen to be staying in Greenow hall, and have downloaded google maps as recommended, below is how to get there.

Save this image: Finding Greenow and McCombie Hall

It is a 12-15 minute walk from the bus stop, depending on your stamina and speed. Note that you’ll have to stop at Park Eat to register and be given your temporary access card. I’ve icluded a short video to clarify the route.


Greenow Hall is a pleasant place to live as a student, all the basic amenities required are provided, water, heating and internet are constant and a solution to any concern is a phone call away. As a postgraduate, I love how peaceful it is, at least on my floor. No rumbunctious teenagers running about and making a ruckus. McCombie House is adjacent as you have seen in the image above and is identical to Greenow. I think they are commonly refered to as “sister houses”.

Access to the building is strictly by access card and access to a flat is strictly by room key so it’s quite safe. However, if you lock yourself out, you may be there for a while, and losing your key will cost you about £10, I think.

Quick Tip: Create a Whatsapp group for your flat members that way if anyone gets locked out, there’s someone to help. Trust me when I say you never really know when you’ll forget your key or card and this country is too cold to be locked out too long.

Finally, I appreciate that the Accommodation Office made students need for silence a priority. The tranquility is perfect and it can feel like you are alone in the whole flat. My flatmates are all introverted or at least quiet, respectful and kind. So far no one is stealing my food in the fridge or anything silly like I had feared, given the stories I had heard.

Related: Book Review: Books I’m Reading for School

My only misgiven is the stairs. It’s a 3 story building and there is no elevator. No one mentioned this anywhere so you can imagine my shock when I finally found my hall, rushed in only to find that I had been assigned a room on the top most floor! I damn near fell on my knees to weep. But this handsome young man, God bless his heart, saw me standing there thinking of my life and future and asked if I needed help with a box. I almost blurted out “Not the box? carry me.” but I said “Yes, please. Thank you so much!”

I have come to accept these stairs as a part of my life for the next one year and a plot-twist to accelerate my weight-loss ambition. It’s great exercise but it isn’t something one is glad to endure everyday. I develop new strategies like counting the floors to conquer them after a long day in school and I don’t live my flat except it is absolutely necessary or a fire drill.

That said, keep this stairs situation in mind and get ready for the climb (especially if you have heavy boxes) and every other day as a student here.

The next post will be a tour of my flat so stay tuned!

Do you live in Greenow or McCombie House? Are you a Prospective Student?
Let me know what you think in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!

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