The town of Reading has become well-known in recent years due to a highly regarded music festival held every August, but other attractions such as medieval abbey ruins, the Thames and Kennet rivers, a major shopping center and a number of quality restaurants and pubs make it an ideal location to hold a stag party Weekend.
Much of the city is easily accessible on foot and the city’s bus services can take care of the rest – great news for a stag party in Reading. Day passes are available in addition to individual fares and, of particular interest on a stag do; group rates can also be acquired. The city’s black taxis may be hailed on the street and fares are registered on meters, however, the council-regulated taxis have to be called for service and there are no meters so agree upon a price before starting the ride. There are also inter-city and regional trains that provide efficient transportation.
Must See/Must Do:
• Reading Abbey Ruins and Forbury Gardens - Scenic formal gardens and the ruins of an abbey that was once one of the most important religious and political centers in England. Henry I was buried in front of the high altar in 1136.
• Reading Music Festival - This major music festival is held every August (toward the end of the month) and draws some of the music world’s best acts. You’ve hit the jackpot if your stag weekend in Reading coincides with the festival.
• Take a river cruise - Salters Steamers and Thames Rivercruises are both quality outfits that will get you out on the river to enjoy a relaxing float down river with plenty of scenic attractions along the way.
• Take in a game - Reading is home to the Reading FC football club and the London Irish rugby team. Take the stag do mates to a game and root for the home team - it may even lead to a lively night out on the town with local fans.
History and Culture:
Reading’s economy grew to prominence during the medieval and Tudor periods due to a booming trade in cloth although Reading is also known for its cookies, beer and plant bulbs - all of which are dying commodities as far as their manufacture in Reading. The city’s once-important status is underscored by several Royal Charters that permit parliament to be held in Reading during times of plague or rebellion in London. However, a siege on the city imposed by parliament during the English Civil War crippled Reading’s economy which never really recovered. Reading is also home to the gaol where Oscar Wilde penned his famous ballad while imprisoned for homosexuality. The Forbury Gardens have recently been restored to their original Victorian grace; the adjoining abbey ruins mark the historic religious center that was once sacked by Henry VIII.
Reading has a number of quality restaurants capable of re-fueling a hungry stag party. Many of the eateries near the city centre are monopolized by the city’s student population and can get quite crowded but the food is worth it. Forbury’s - with its French disposition - is considered by many to be Reading’s best restaurant. The London Street Brasserie is another top choice where modern English food can be had for a reasonable price. Several Indian restaurants help round out the choices if your stag party is out for more exotic fare.
Just like many English cities and towns, Reading is full of great little pubs and bars that are perfectly suited for a stag weekend. The city centre area is usually pretty quiet during lunchtime but a large student population generally ensures a ruckus after dark. The pubs are bars in this area are a great place to get started before heading to the dance clubs. While not a large city with the associated volume of establishments, a stag party in Reading is still amply supplied with nightlife opportunities.