The area was mostly farmland until the 1950s and the population has increased significantly since then. Charvil is bisected by the new Bath Road (A4) which leads to the odd situation that the few village amenities are also split – a small church on one side and a pub, village hall and "corner shop" on the other.
Although lacking the picture postcard beauty of nearby Sonning, it is a peaceful, pleasant village in an attractive setting. Cut off from the noise and commotion of Reading, and enjoys a crime rate which is half the national average. The land between Charvil and Twyford is a designated nature reserve offering many attractive walks around a number of lakes (former gravel workings) and beside the River Loddon.