Reading is famed for its music festival that is held every August Bank Holiday. This renowned music festival brings in people from all over the UK in search of an experience rivalled to Glastonbury. Reading city has a good student population that mixed with the young professionals create a bubbly and exciting place to be. The location is not the best city in the UK for a stag do but still offers a lot! Reading is a lot better than the majority of mid level locations that may seem better on face value. The activity options are up there with the best with quality watersports, karting and paintballing. And for something a little different why not try beer keg racing and sumo racing. A location to consider for a Stag that wants to be within easy distance of London, Reading guarantees a great experience for all mixing a great night out with quality day time activities.
From the main railway station you can walk to most notable sights, but if you want to go further than the city centre the bus service is reliable for short distances. Individual day passes (£3.80) are available, as are group passes (£7) for 2-4 people of any age. Check prices before you go because it may be cheaper for large groups to drive into the city and park.
Black cabs can be hailed in the street but private, council-registered, cars must be called in advance and do not have meters so agree on a price before getting in.
• A Thames river cruise
• Walk alongside the Thames to Sonning, about four miles.
• Attend the Reading music festival to see big name acts.
• Tour surrounding historic landmarks of the Norman conquest like Hastings and Pevensey Castles.
• Walk along the pretty Victorian Pier and visit the Camera Obscura.
History and Culture:
Reading grew rich through the medieval and Tudor periods thanks to a booming trade in cloth. Reading is at the heart of an attractive area of the Thames Valley, sitting across the confluence of the Thames and Kennet rivers amid green rolling hills, thatched cottages and pubs. It is surrounded by numerous small towns and villages such as Thatcham, Pangbourne and Streatley, many of great age and beauty. Much of it is now part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the Cotswolds being easily reachable.
Eating and Drinking:
There's so much to choose from just within walking distance of central Reading. Forbury's is a local favourite with good food and service at a reasonable price. Another well-known place is Sweeney & Todd's for its fresh baked pies and real ale. Worth the trip out of town to Shinfield is L'ortolan, a Michelin-starred French restaurant. The University itself is home to some 17,000 students. The student population monopolises a good selection of the town centre’s pubs and bars, while the young pros keep the best wine and cocktail bars alive so there is a good selection to choose from all tastes and ages. One to look out for is the Hobgoblin which stands out for its ales and ciders.
In the downtown area, there is a large concentration of formulaic wine bars and cafe bars around the east end of Friar Street and Station Road. Whilst reasonably civilised at lunch times, this area becomes a magnet for the youth of the region in the evening who get tanked up before hitting the club scene. If that is your bag, grab it, otherwise steer clear.
Reading has become more famous recently as the local football team was promoted to the Premier League, at least in part thanks to benefactor John Madejski, who built the Madejski Stadium located south of the town. This great facility is also the home of London Irish RFC so whether rugby of football is your sport of choice it is all here for you to experience.