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  • Wildlife on the Thames near Caversham Bridge
  • Reading's Madejski Stadium plays host to both rugby and football
  • Magnificent Reading Town Hall
  • Market Place Square in Reading
  • The river Kennet runs right through Reading
  • A barge on the River Kennet
  • Forbury Gardens, Reading in late summer
  • County Lock in Reading

Reading City Guide

Reading History

Reading  is a large town and unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, England. It was an important centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, a monastery with strong royal connections. The town was seriously affected by the English Civil War, with a major siege and loss of trade, and played a pivotal role in the Revolution of 1688, with that revolution's only significant military action fought on the streets of the town. The 19th century saw the coming of the Great Western Railway and the development of the town's brewing, baking and seed growing businesses.

Reading Today

From the ruins of a medieval monastery to cutting edge business parks, Reading has embraced change. The town of Reading is located in the ceremonial county of Berkshire and is part of the Thames Valley region. England's Thames Valley region is one of the wealthiest regions in the European Union and is home to the headquarters of several major British companies and to the UK offices of foreign multinationals.

Reading has over 850 listed buildings and structures, and don't forget the seven miles of river frontage! Reading is also seen as one of the most multi-cultural towns in the south of England. 

Reading is also used as a base for many corporates travelling to Wokingham and the Winnersh triangle. Both the McIlroy Building serviced apartments and City Wall House serviced apartments are conveniently located within easy reach of Reading main station. 

Reading Leisure

Annually, Reading hosts several well-established music events including the famous Reading Festival, a celebration of pop, rock and contemporary music of all types, and a great place to go, as long as it doesn't rain!

The Madejski Stadium is home to the recently successul Reading Football Club and additionally have the rugby union club London Irish as tenants. The stadium also provides the finishing line for the Reading Half Marathon. The Royals fine all-seater stadium has a capacity of 24,161 in which to house the Reading FC faithful.

Shopping is the obvious leisure activity in the town, and you certainly won’t be disappointed! In actual fact, you'll be spoilt for choice! Reading town centre is famous as one of the UK’s top ten retail destinations. Make sure to visit The Oracle shopping centre with almost 100 shops and a 10-screen cinema. 

Also don't miss the beautiful ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and the burial place of King Henry 1 of England when you are in town!


Reading Transport Tips

  • By plane

    Nearest airport to Reading is Heathrow Airport which is just over an hour away by train or car.
  • By train

    From Reading station you can catch trains to Bristol, Oxford and London train stations such as Waterloo and Paddington. 
  • By car

    If you are driving into Reading have a look at Reading's NCP options to find your spot.
  • By bike

    If you are travelling through Reading on a two-wheeled vehicle have a look at these cycle maps and routes to plan how to get from A to B.
  • By bus

    If you need to get to places outside Reading such as Wokingham and Bracknell why not jump on the bus? Have a look at Reading Buses for timetables and routes!

What to do in Reading

Listed below are some of the great places to visit in Reading. Click one to find out more.

Bucklebury Farm Park

Free tractor and trailer rides through the deer park with an opportunity to hand feed the tamer members of the herd. There are lots of animals to pat and feed including donkeys, ponies, goats, sheep, wild boar and the resident llama.

For more information: http://www.buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk

The UK Wolf Conservation Trust

A unique and very special chance to interact with wolves. Visiting membership to the Wolf Centre for a member and two guests on a weekday is available but visits must be pre-arranged. Activities for children are held in every school holiday include a Walk with Wolves (minimum age 6+) with wolf contact, Wolf Keeper Days, storytelling events and craft workshops. Pre-booking is essential as numbers are limited.

For more information: www.ukwolf.org

On the river

The scenery around Reading is some of the best you will find anywhere in the south – from pretty Thameside villages to the inspiring beauty of the Chilterns, the scenery is always changing and always to be admired.

Reading grew between two great rivers - the Thames and the Kennet – so life on the waterways has always been important. The majestic Thames comes through the town just north of the town centre, on its way from Henley to Oxford while the Kennet flows through the heart of The Oracle Shopping and Leisure Centre and on, past some of the most historic parts of the town centre. The Kennet provides the source for the famous Kennet and Avon Canal – which links Reading with the sea at Bristol.

As part of a weekend break, a leisurely afternoon cruise to nearby Henley, Mapledurham or Beale Park is a highlight, or enjoy the action of the various regattas, canoe races and other events which are a regular feature of the summer months. You may even make the river your host for the weekend by renting a cruiser or barge for a few nights and exploring the best of the Thames from the water.

Boating holidays, short cruises and boat hire are always popular, and for the more active you can try your hand at canoeing, or even jet-skiing, water-skiing and wind-surfing on the large lakes just outside of Reading.

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