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Reading Abbey Ruins

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

The Reading Abbey Ruins is a fascinating site that comprises the crumbling vestiges of the town’s most iconic religious complex. A picturesque and well-maintained set of gardens surround this beacon of local religious history. Learn about the rich past of this structure, which was founded by King Henry I in 1121. 

Arrive at the site and wander along the labyrinth of paths that meander through the pretty patches of grass. Relax at a bench and watch people go by, as you consider the history of the abbey. Snap photos of the imposing walls that have survived almost a millennium. 

Pass through one of the arches to find yourself in the open-air courtyard of the former chapter house. It is the most developed part of the ruins, featuring three portals, large arched windows and the remnants of an apse. 

Admire the remaining parts of the central tower and the transept, whose southern end is particularly well preserved. Remains of the vestry and the infirmary can also be seen, along with parts of the monks’ dormitory and the old bathroom area. Note that certain sections of the abbey began to fall into disrepair, before being restored in 2018.    

Attend the occasional activities and events that use the ruins as a momentous stage, such as Shakespearean open-air performances. Enjoy the serenity and picturesque scenery in and around the Reading Abbey Ruins. Bring food and drink to have a picnic in nearby Forbury Gardens, the city’s main central park.   

The Reading Abbey Ruins is located on the eastern edge of Forbury Gardens in central Reading. Arrive at the Reading railway station and walk east for about 10 minutes to reach the ruins. You can also take a bus to one of the stops surrounding the park. Visit nearby landmarks such as the Reading Museum, the Oracle mall and the Museum of English Rural Life. 


Top Hotel Deals

See all 552 Properties near Reading Abbey Ruins
Malmaison Reading £62
Malmaison Reading

Malmaison Reading

     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Reading City Centre, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Reading Museum and Town Hall and Oracle. Royal Berkshire Hospital and University of Reading are also within 3 miles (5 km). Reading Station is only a 2-minute walk and Reading West Station is 18 minutes.

    Hilton Reading Hotel £53
    Hilton Reading Hotel

    Hilton Reading Hotel

       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Reading, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Madejski Stadium, Oracle and University of Reading. Royal Berkshire Hospital is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) away.

      pentahotel Reading £50
      pentahotel Reading

      pentahotel Reading

         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Reading City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Hexagon and Broad Street Mall. Reading Civic Centre and Oracle are also within 10 minutes. Reading Station is 9 minutes by foot and Reading West Station is 10 minutes.

        Sure Hotel by Best Western Reading £27
        Sure Hotel by Best Western Reading

        Sure Hotel by Best Western Reading

           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Reading, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Progress Theatre, University of Reading and Royal Berkshire Hospital. Oracle and Madejski Stadium are also within 3 miles (5 km). Reading Station is 24 minutes by foot.

          ibis Styles Reading Centre £45
          ibis Styles Reading Centre

          ibis Styles Reading Centre

             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Reading City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Reading Central Library and Oracle. Royal Berkshire Hospital and University of Reading are also within 2 miles (3 km). Reading Station is 7 minutes by foot and Reading West Station is 18 minutes.

            The Market House £59
            The Market House

            The Market House

               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Reading City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Reading Central Library and Oracle. Royal Berkshire Hospital and University of Reading are also within 2 miles (3 km). Reading Station is 6 minutes by foot and Reading West Station is 18 minutes.

              Crowne Plaza Reading £64
              Crowne Plaza Reading

              Crowne Plaza Reading

                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Reading, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Broad Street Mall and Oracle. Royal Berkshire Hospital and University of Reading are also within 3 miles (5 km). Reading Station is 14 minutes by foot and Reading West Station is 20 minutes.

                Funky Studio Apartment
                Funky Studio Apartment

                Funky Studio Apartment

                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Reading, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of St. Giles-in-Reading Church, Royal Berkshire Hospital and Oracle. University of Reading and Madejski Stadium are also within 3 miles (5 km). Reading Station is 13 minutes by foot and Reading West Station is 25 minutes.