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.