There are so many reasons to visit the Berkshire town of Reading, whether you're someone who enjoys urban excitement or rural relaxation.
Here are our Top 10 Reading attractions that should give any visitor a starting point to explore this fantastic town!
1. Reading Museum
Situated in the neo-Gothic Town Hall, the Reading Museum houses numerous exhibits chronicling the town's history from its days as a Saxon settlement right through Industrialisation into the 21st Century.
Highlights include a bronze eagle cast in the 1st or 2nd century, a copy of the Bayeux Tapestry and art by Auguste Rodin and Jacob Epstein. For opening times and more information click here.
2. Abbey Ruins
In the stunning Forbury Gardens are the ruins of Reading Abbey, founded in 1121 by Henry I. The Grade 1 listed ruins have been disused for nearly 500 years now, but some parts remain intact including the gateway which once housed a school attended by Jane Austen. To find out more, click here.
3. Caversham Court
Although nothing more than the footprint of the house that once stood here remains, the gardens of this former mansion are a sensation. Situated on the north bank of the Thames, the gardens flow right down to the river's edge and are punctuated with beautiful mature trees. During the summer months, there are numerous plays and film screenings so look out for what's on by clicking here.
4. Kennet and Avon Walk
Reading sits at the end of the 87-mile Kennet and Avon Canal and the towpath is a fantastic, relaxing way to see Reading. Meandering past sights including a gate to the former Reading Gaol (of Oscar Wilde fame), there are numerous tea rooms and pubs to pop into on your walk. Click here to find out more.
5. Museum of Berkshire Aviation
It's small but definitely worth a visit for those of you interested in aviation. The museum, which opens on Wednesdays and Saturdays, houses numerous quirky and interesting exhibits including a Miles Student jet training aircraft, a Fairey Jet Gyrodyne, a Miles Martinet target tug and a Fairey Gannet anti-submarine bomber, amongst others. For more information click here.
6. Reading Festival
Officially the world's oldest pop music festival, Reading Festival has long been a major fixture on the live music scene and takes place on the late-August bank holiday each year on Little John's Farm. Tickets usually go on sale in late-February and you'll need to be sharp to book – they normally sell out fairly quickly! Click here to get yours.
7. Highclere Castle
Just about 40 minutes out of Reading is the magnificent Highclere Castle, both the wedding venue for Katie Price and Peter Andre, but perhaps more importantly also the set for the hugely-popular Downton Abbey. That aside, the beautifully maintained castle and grounds are well worth a visit if you're looking for a day trip. .
8. Street Food Markets at Forbury Gardens
Every Wednesday and Friday lunchtime is a culinary feast as loads of street food vendors gather at the beautiful Forbury Gardens to set up shop for the Blue Collar weekly event (Wednesdays) and CHOW (Fridays). With a wide range of tasty treats to choose from, you'll have no trouble finding something familiar and something new!
9. King's Meadow Swimming Baths
Once the preserve of Edwardian women, the now-restored swimming baths, which recently received a £3.5-million makeover, house both a spa and a pool, as well as a quirky wall system that allows those on the inside to glimpse out, but doesn't allow outsiders to see in. Book your treatment or go for a dip – click here for more information.
10. Reading Climbing Centre
If you're after something slightly more active than viewing museum artefacts, then test your mettle at the brilliantly-equipped Climbing Centre – with 180 bouldering challenges, abseiling walls and other climbing conundrums, there is no shortage of fun to be had! Get active here.
Reading is also packed with numerous pubs, bars and cafes to suit everyone's taste. From trendy wine bars to old world pubs, you'll find your niche in this vibrant and entertaining town!
Come and enjoy this town from the comfort of one of our numerous accommodation options in Reading. Perfectly situated to explore the town and the countryside, let Lalapanzi Properties be your home from home.