Reading is set in the Thames Valley Region, 45 miles to the south west of the centre of London. Reading is often passed over by potential recreational visitors, mistakenly so, as its location is ideal for people wishing to explore the surrounding areas, and the city itself has undergone dramatic redevelopment to improve its image.


The event which pulls most visitors into Reading each year is Reading Festival, a music festival which is held just under a mile from the city centre every August. It is advisable to stay away from the city over this weekend as it can get very hectic. Reading is an ideal distance from London, Windsor and Oxford, so be sure to visit these while in the region. Reading is home to the beautiful Forbury Gardens, which made up the grounds of Reading Abbey, the ruins of which remain. Forbury Gardens are often used for live performances. The museum of Reading offers an insight into the history of the city using hands-on activities and Roman artefacts.


Reading is an excellent city for high street shopping. The high street itself has a large range of shops to cater for all visitors, and this was added to in 1999 by the completion of the Oracle Centre – a huge shopping development in the centre of town. The Oracle houses a huge range of both male and female chain clothing stores, and all the popular high street book, music and departmental stores.

Nightlife and Eating out

As a University city, there is a lot for younger visitors to do – a large number of clubs playing various genres of music, plus live venues such as the Fez and Bar Oz. For a quieter night out, there is a cinema on the banks of the river Kennet. There is a great deal of choice when it comes to eating out in Reading. The Oracle alone has a number of restaurants ranging from Chinese to Mediterranean cuisine. You find even more restaurants on Friar Street and Broad Street.

Tourist Information

Reading Visitor Centre and Travel ShopChurch House Chain StreetReading RG2 7HDTel: 0118 956


The closest airport to Reading is Heathrow, the biggest airport in the UK. Heathrow is approximately twenty miles from the city centre, and serves almost all major domestic and international airports.

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