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About Reading

Reading is a major university town based on the Thames and Kennet rivers in southern England. Wonderful walks or cycle rides can be had along the Kennet and Avon canal (all the way to Bristol) or along the Thames path, to the source of the Thames or all the way to London.

The town has a deep history. Reading Museum contains exhibits on the town’s history and displays a Victorian replica of the Bayeux Tapestry as well as Roman artefacts from Calleva Atrebatum. The ruins of the 12th-century Reading Abbey lie beside Forbury Gardens, a Victorian formal garden (where the Maiwand Lion Statue commemorates over 300 soldiers from the Berkshire Regiment lost in the 1880s Afghan war). The abbey itself was founded in 1121 by Henry I.

Oscar Wilde was imprisoned at Reading Gaol (the jail is no longer used as a jail) in the late 1800s. After his release, he wrote “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”.

The town is often known for the 3 Bs of Beer, Bulbs and Biscuits, referring to three former industries that originated in the town; Simonds’ brewery, Suttons seeds and Huntley and Palmer biscuits.


The River Thames


The River Kennet meandering through the centre of the Reading Oracle shopping centre

Today it has a cutting-edge Business Park, Thames Valley Park. Companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have large bases here. It has a modern and popular shopping complex (The Oracle), and it has restaurants to reflect cuisine from across the globe.

The transport links are world class, by rail or road, and Heathrow airport is a bus ride away  (Airport buses depart from the central railway station).

A beautifully restored swimming pool (Thames Lido), open-air tennis courts, several wonderful parks (containing children’s play areas), a major indoor climbing centre for beginner and advanced climbers, a canoeing centre on the Thames and many other sporting possibilities exist for people living in the town.

Schools are abundant and cover world-class public schools like Leighton Park and the Abbey (Jane Austin was a pupil here) as well as several highly rated state schools such as Reading school and Kendrick school.

Reading festival is a key attraction for everyone but particularly the younger generations. There are many theatres and music venues in the town such as the South Street Arts centre, the Hexagon theatre and the Rising Sun Arts centre, the Jazz Cafe and several bars. It also has great diversity and the RISC (Reading International Solidarity Centre) is one of the UK’s largest fair trade and ethical shops.

Transport Links

Reading is a major transport hub for the whole of England and beyond and therefore a prime location to live, work and/or run a business.

Read More About Transport Links