Located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, Reading is a historic Minster town in Berkshire, England. There are a plethora of must visit places in and around this thriving town. Explore a curated list of sight-seeing trails, local events and activities in the links below:
“He built this monastery between the rivers Kennet and Thames, in a place calculated for the reception of almost all who might have occasion to travel to the more populous cities of England.” – William of Malmesbury
In medieval times, Reading was the site of a great royal Abbey – a religious community centred round a magnificent church – one of the largest monasteries in Europe. In 1121, King Henry I announced that he wanted to have a new abbey built at Reading.
The Abbey would have a large and impressive church and living quarters for dozens of monks, who would worship in the church. No expense was spared in regard to its construction. The Abbey Quarter covers the former precinct of this royal monastery.
Find out more here: https://www.readingabbeyquarter.org.uk/history-abbey-quarter
Reading Museum is based in the Victorian Town Hall directly in the centre of town. Discover the Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin collection, archaeology from Roman Silchester and Reading Abbey, the famous Victorian copy of the Bayeux Tapestry, the natural history of Reading – and much more.
Find out more here: https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/your-visit
Starting as a small trickle in the Cotswolds the River Thames travels over 210 miles through the heart of some of England’s most picturesque towns, right into the centre of London and eventually, out into the North Sea.
Whether you’re a holiday-maker, a fisherman, boater or just in search of something to do at the weekend, you will find everything you need on the banks of the River Thames.
Find out more here: https://www.visitthames.co.uk/
Forbury Gardens is a delightful Victorian town garden, created at the height of the urban parks movement. The gardens have recently undergone major restoration. They are located between the town centre and the ruins of the 11th century abbey, not far from Reading Station. The ornamental gardens have a wall around which provides a peaceful and tranquil retreat.
The Forbury Gardens is home to the famous Maiwand Lion statue. Although there are no formal children’s facilities, the gardens are wonderful for play, and the kiosk serves coffee, ice-creams and light lunches.
Looking for somewhere for that perfect day trip? Thinking of taking a short break and filling your days with some fantastic things to do and places to eat, drink and shop?
As you approach Windsor, either by road or rail, you can’t fail to be impressed by the sheer size and scale of Windsor Castle standing majestically on the hill, punctuating the skyline – it’s the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, The Queen’s favourite weekend home and the jewel in the Royal Borough’s crown.
The castle is open year-round even when The Queen is in residence…
The Reading Festival, the older of the two festivals, is the world’s oldest popular music festival still in existence. Many of the UK’s most successful rock and pop bands have played at the festival, including The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Who, Eminem, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Genesis and Iron Maiden.
The festival has had various musical phases over the years, but since the current two-site format was adopted in 1999, rock, alternative, indie, punk and metal have been the main genres featured in the line-up.
Find out more here: https://www.readingfestival.com/
Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best-known regatta in the world. It is a highlight of both the summer sporting calendar and the social season.
The Regatta attracts thousands of visitors over a five-day period. Spectators are thrilled by over 200 races of an international standard, which can include Olympic rowers as well as crews new to the event.
In addition to watching the racing, visitors can take in the ambience of the enclosures, enjoying the array of restaurants, bars and shops available, as well as the charming views of Henley and the River Thames.
Find out more here: https://www.hrr.co.uk/
Royal Ascot is Britain’s most valuable race meeting, attracting many of the world’s finest racehorses to compete for millions of pounds in prize money (£7.3m in 2018). Their eighteen Group races, eight of them Group One, have made household names of Royal Ascot winners like Black Caviar, Frankel and Yeats. Each year the meeting is broadcast to audiences around the globe, yet to experience it in person is something altogether more special.
Tickets for Royal Ascot 2019 are now on sale. Book before 30th November to get the best price for Royal Ascot 2019, including discounts for groups of 15-48 and 49+.
Find out more here: https://www.ascot.co.uk/horse-races-and-events/royal-ascot/overview
ORACLE SHOPPING CENTRE
The Oracle is a large indoor shopping and leisure mall on the banks of the River Kennet in Reading, Berkshire, England. On the site of a 17th-century workhouse of the same name, it was developed and is owned by a joint venture of Hammerson and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
The Oracle Shopping centre contains 90 shops and chains. A third and larger department store, John Lewis and Partners, is adjacent to the Minster Street entrance but not part of the centre itself. There are also 22 restaurants, cafés and bars along the riverside of the Kennet, and an 11-screen Vue cinema.