Set amidst the beautiful countryside of the Thames Valley this important university town owes its rapid expansion during the 19th-century to the arrival of the railways. Today it is a thriving commercial and retail centre with excellent leisure and entertainment facilities, and despite modern developments it retains some notable architecture and historic buildings including a historic market place. It’s been Hosting Reading Festival since 1971 and Reading Beer Festival is one of the largest in the country.
Historically the town's economy was based upon its cloth trade. Today the town is an important business centre, often referred to as the capital of the Thames Valley, with the headquarters of major British companies and a number of foreign multinationals.
ReadiBus provides an on-demand transport service for people with restricted mobility in the area
Readybike – approximately 1000 bicycles with up to 150 docking stations across Reading
Reading has a fantastic historic market dating back to 1565 with around 100 stalls, market days are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Reading has over 100 parks including The Kings Meadows. The park is located next to the River Thames and contains The Thames Lido, part of a three year restoration project of the disused Edwardian pool.
There’s plenty of culture with three theatre venues including The Hexagon, showing over 600 shows and events each year including rock and pop, theatre, classical music, comedy, lectures, festivals and family shows. Along with wine tasting at Stanlake Park Wine Estate you’ll never be short of interesting things to see and do in Reading.
Reading is an incredible place to shop, with a massive variety of retailers from large high-street chains as well as the town's beloved independents. Take a trip onto Broad Street and you'll find independent local traders set up, in front of a historic former chapel-turned bookstore. Reading is a town of incredible food-markets including a vegan market on the last Saturday of every month. Launched by the Ethic Collective, Reading’s newest market aims to meet the increasing demand for meat and dairy alternatives with delicious and varied products from local and small traders and businesses.
Reading has a wide selection of restaurants for all tastes and budgets. The Michellin Starred L'Ortolan is popular with locals and tourists, serving French Cuisine it’s also a great place to host a private party or event. Watch the swimmers go by while you dine on food cooked in a wood-fired oven at the award winning Lido restaurant. Coconut Bar & Kitchen opened in May 2014 and has served over 150,000 customers and counting since doors opened. The Shed Café, is Reading’s best kept secret and claims to serve The Queen of Sandwiches and Mother of Toasties, find out for yourself.
Reading has a vast array of hotels to suit all budgets. Splash out on a luxurious stay at The Loch Fyne Hotel, just 450 yards from The River Thames or The Hotel du Vin for a unique stay in this former brewery converted into boutique hotel. Malmaison is another quirky choice of accommodation, a former train-house turned hotel with an abundance of style and decadence. The Beech House Hotel is a more budget friendly option in a converted Victorian House. Saco serviced apartments are a great compromise between a hotel and self-catering. There’s plenty more Reading accommodation provided by nationally recognised quality brands.