A idyllic, historic place with peaceful parks and abbey ruins, this Berkshire town transforms when its famous music festival kicks off each August.

With a fascinating past told through the remnants of religious treasures, Reading is one of England’s most historically important towns. It stands in the heart of the rolling green countryside of Berkshire. Wander through the town center on foot and gaze up at the range of structures that showcase the changing faces of the town. See another side of the town during the Reading Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in England, held in August.

Wander along the labyrinth of paths crisscrossing through Forbury Gardens in the town center. Inspect the impressive Maiwand Lion battle monument and climb to the peak of Forbury Hill for panoramic views of the greenery.

On the eastern side of the park lies the Reading Abbey Ruins, comprising well-preserved ramparts of a religious behemoth. Pass through the arches and portals of the surviving walls and attend a Shakespeare production here in summer.

Enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Kennet & Avon Canal, which passes beside the gardens and ruins. Rent a boat and travel along the waterway to the bucolic outskirts of Berkshire. Back in town, the canal runs through the Oracle shopping center. Watch a film in the mall’s large movie theater and browse the array of shops and restaurants.

Get a sense of the local community with trips to the historic churches of Reading. The St. Laurence Church, which has a Norman frontage and dates back to the 12th century, now contains pool tables and puts on activities for its youth club. Marvel at the Gothic façade of the Minster Church of St. Mary the Virgin, the town’s oldest religious building.

The town stands between the important cities of Bristol, Oxford and London in southern England. Fly to one of the airports in London; central London is 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Reading. Drive between the two cities in 60 to 90 minutes or take a 30-minute train. Visit other historic towns in the region, such as Bath, Winchester and Windsor.

Where to stay in Reading

Reading City Centre
Kennet & Avon Canal showing a bridge and a river or creek

Reading City Centre

Known for Friendly People, Rivers, Historical Buildings

4.5/5(21 reviews)

Reading City Centre is popular for its lively bars, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Reading Abbey Ruins or Oracle.

Top Hotels in Reading

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
pentahotel Reading
pentahotel Reading
4 out of 5
Oxford Road, Reading, England
¥5,611
per night
Nov 29 - Nov 30

Located in Reading City Centre, this hotel is steps from Hexagon and Broad Street Mall. Reading Civic Centre and Oracle are also within 10 minutes. Reading Station ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,086 reviews)

"Bit noisy in the evening but it was a Saturday night."…"

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2019

pentahotel Reading
ibis Reading Centre (new ibis rooms) Hotel
ibis Reading Centre (new ibis rooms) Hotel
3 out of 5
25A Friar Street, Reading, England
¥4,558
per night
Dec 21 - Dec 22

Located in Reading City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of John Lewis Reading and Reading Abbey Ruins. University of Reading and Madejski Stadium ...

4/5Very Good! (1,004 reviews)

"Location is perfect, close to the train station. Staff is very nice and helpful."…"

Reviewed on Nov 5, 2019

ibis Reading Centre (new ibis rooms) Hotel
Malmaison Reading
Malmaison Reading
4 out of 5
18-20 Station Road, Reading, England
¥6,107
per night
Dec 21 - Dec 22

Located in Reading City Centre, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Reading Museum and Town Hall and Reading Abbey Ruins. University of Reading ...

4.2/5Very Good! (512 reviews)

"Great staff, happy and friendly. Really nice place to stay, had a great time."…"

Reviewed on Nov 18, 2019

Malmaison Reading

Popular things to do in Reading

Madejski Stadium
Image for Madejski Stadium
trover photo by Completely Wanderlust

Madejski Stadium

3.5/5(3 reviews)

Catch an event at Madejski Stadium during your trip to Reading. Discover the top-notch restaurants and lively festivals in this quaint area.

Reading Abbey Ruins
Image for Reading Abbey Ruins

Reading Abbey Ruins

4/5(7 reviews)

Gaze up at the surviving arches, windows and stone walls of a 12th-century abbey in the heart of rolling green parkland.

Oracle
Image for Oracle

Oracle

4/5(21 reviews)

Tap out a tune on the baby grand piano, watch your kids have fun in the play complex and sample the international cuisine in this urban mall.

Wokefield Park Golf Club
Image for Wokefield Park Golf Club
trover photo by Wayne Bickerton

Wokefield Park Golf Club

Enjoy a round of golf in Burghfield at Wokefield Park Golf Club. Stroll along the riverfront in this quaint area, or check out its top-notch restaurants.

Basildon Park
Image for Basildon Park
trover photo by Sonal Bhardwaj

Basildon Park

Explore the lovely green spaces of Basildon Park and also enjoy the golf courses in Reading. Check out the spas and lively bars in this relaxing area.

Forbury Gardens
Image for Forbury Gardens

Forbury Gardens

See the Maiwand Lion war monument and gaze at the water feature in this charming park in the heart of Reading.

Top activities in Reading

Multi-Venue, Bar & Nightclub VIP Party Pass in Reading
Image for Multi-Venue, Bar & Nightclub VIP Party Pass in Reading

Multi-Venue, Bar & Nightclub VIP Party Pass in Reading

¥1,403

Our popular VIP Party Passes offer a great variety of weekend nightlife entries. We have been booking groups small and large onto the guestlists all over the UK for a decade. We have designed our Nightlife Deals get you VIP entry into selected, popular clubs and bars.

Create your Own Natural Perfume
Image for Create your Own Natural Perfume

Create your Own Natural Perfume

¥15,434

This fantastic olfactive experience is focussing on the composition and personalisation of an Fragrance; You’ll learn about the different scents, accords and ingredients that make up the luxury perfume industry whilst we work together to create your unique top, heart and base notes using natural ingredients and accords before finally blending and bottling these into your own signature scent for you to take home.

Create Your Own Home Fragrance
Image for Create Your Own Home Fragrance

Create Your Own Home Fragrance

¥15,434

A superb sensory experience that can be tailored to all fragrance fans of any age, individuals or groups.You’ll learn about the various notes, accords and ingredients as we work together to create your unique scent using natural ingredients and accords, that will be encapsulated in a Reed Diffuser and Room Mist for you to take home.

Plaza Premium Lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) - Terminal
Image for Plaza Premium Lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) - Terminal

Plaza Premium Lounge at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) - Terminal

¥4,351

Kick up your travel-weary feet with a first-class relaxation experience in the Plaza Premium Lounge. This peaceful oasis offers a convenient escape from the airport bustle. Plus, get access to amenities that run the gamut from useful to luxurious, from Wi-Fi and showers to a champagne and tapas bar.

Windsor Castle Admission Tickets
Image for Windsor Castle Admission Tickets

Windsor Castle Admission Tickets

¥3,158

Windsor Castle is the Queen's preferred weekend residence—a splendid location sitting proudly on a lush wooded hill overlooking the River Thames. With no waiting in line, this is the perfect way to explore the magnificent castle and its interior at your leisure.

Kizomba & Urban Kiz Dance Private Classes
Image for Kizomba & Urban Kiz Dance Private Classes

Kizomba & Urban Kiz Dance Private Classes

¥4,999

Itinerary We provide Kizomba & Urban Kiz private classes in Reading, Maidenhead and within a 40-mile radius from these locations (2h minimum booking if it requires travelling).

Reviews of Reading

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
13
5 - Excellent 37.142857142857146%
4 - Good
18
4 - Good 51.42857142857143%
3 - Okay
4
3 - Okay 11.428571428571429%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Sep 14, 2019

I enjoyed Reading.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 26, 2019

I would like to come back into the area. There is so Mapuche to do and see we didn’t get a chance.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 26, 2019

Transportation is easy to understand; prepare for the shift in weather at all times; good restaurants - Sweeney & Todd; Creams (desserts) ; Carluccio's is fantastic; loved the riverside (Mission Burrito) and shopping; Abbey Ruins and Forbury Gardens

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 25, 2019

House of Flavours, a 3 min walk from the Roseate, has the best Indian lunch buffet on the weekends. Super tasty and great price. The Forbury and Reading Abbey are right next to the hotel and make for a lovely stroll.

5/5 - Excellent

DJ

Jun 17, 2019

Excellent service by Manager

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jun 4, 2019

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