Quaint Reading is calling! Discover its riverfront, festivals, churches and more.

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.

Known for

Festivals, Rivers and Ruins

Explore map

Where to stay in Reading

Reading City Centre
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Reading City Centre

Friendly People, Rivers, Historical Buildings

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.

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Top hotels in Reading

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for pentahotel Reading
pentahotel Reading
4 out of 5
£58/night
30 Aug-31 Aug
4.1/5Very Good! (1,028 reviews)

Located in the heart of Reading, this family-friendly hotel is steps away from Hexagon and Broad Street Mall. Reading Civic Centre and Oracle are also within ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,028 reviews)

"Room wasn't ready on arrival...... Good hotel bar and lounge area. Really chilled vibe. Sports on a projector screen. Doors on each room are very loud at night when they close."…"

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2019

pentahotel Reading
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Malmaison Reading
4 out of 5
£70/night
26 Aug-27 Aug
4.2/5Very Good! (461 reviews)

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! (461 reviews)

"Clean and comfortable with friendly staff. Rooms were excellent with good facilities. We had 2 rooms one of which was not made up properly the 2nd day. We were also disappointed to learn there was no parking and no concessions on public parking due to this. On the plus side right by the railway station ..."…"

Reviewed on 20 Aug 2019

Malmaison Reading
Image for ibis Reading Centre (new ibis rooms) Hotel
ibis Reading Centre (new ibis rooms) Hotel
3 out of 5
£39/night
6 Sep-7 Sep
4/5Very Good! (941 reviews)

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! (941 reviews)

"Staff is really good. Best part is location. It's next to Reading station. Clean rooms, decent breakfast are another plus."…"

Reviewed on 15 Jul 2019

ibis Reading Centre (new ibis rooms) Hotel

Popular things to do in Reading

Reading Abbey Ruins
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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.

Oracle
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Oracle

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.

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

£10

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.

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

£30

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, Stonehenge & Oxford Day Tour with Admission
Image for Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Oxford Day Tour with Admission

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Oxford Day Tour with Admission

£95

Experience the best of England as you explore the grounds of Windsor Castle, a sprawling stone estate that’s been home to the royal family for 900 years. Circle around the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge as you listen to theories behind its use, and stroll through the idyllic campuses in Oxford.

Windsor Castle Admission Tickets
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Windsor Castle Admission Tickets

£23

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.

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath Full-Day Tour
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Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath Full-Day Tour

£89

Visit the enormous and impressive Windsor Castle on the outskirts of London, home to the royal family for over 900 years, and then make your way to the mysterious and iconic ruins of Stonehenge. Head to the city of Bath, where gorgeous Georgian architecture and ancient Roman baths abound.

Shakespeare’s Stratford, Warwick Castle, Cotswolds & Oxford
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Shakespeare’s Stratford, Warwick Castle, Cotswolds & Oxford

£92

Stroll the grounds of the oldest university in England, explore an 11th-century castle full of interactive exhibits, and get a first-hand look at the town William Shakespeare called home. Enjoy a drive through the Cotswolds, check out Oxford's campus, enter Warwick Castle, and visit Stratford-Upon-Avon.