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Activities in Reading

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Old church at sunset behind a wall.

Fun activities in Reading

Welcome to Reading! The city dates back to medieval times with a city centre encircled by the rivers Thames and Kennet. Exploring the Thames Path or taking a walkalong the Kennet & Avon canal is a worthwhile activity in Reading all year around. Located centrally right next to popular theatre The Hexagon, Pentahotel Reading is the perfect starting point for all your explorations around town.

Reading also offersplenty of fun activities for children, such as the self-guided Treasure Trail – an all-ages murder mystery – or the RedKangaroo trampoline park as well as immersive escaperooms for an indoors adventure.

Hereare 6 of our favourite attractions in or around Reading:

1. Museum of English Rural Life
The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) is a great place for learning about life in the countryside, from farming to arts and crafts. It is part of the University of Reading. You can read more about your free visit to the MERL in our blogpost.

2. Reading Museum
The award-winning Reading Museum is one of Reading’s most popular attractions for all ages. Its most well-known exhibit is a Victorian replica of the famous Bayeux tapestry: 70 metres of needlework, depicting scenes from the battle of Hastings and more. We also recommend checking out the changing exhibitions in the Art Gallery.

3. Reading Abbey Ruins
900 years old, Reading Abbey was first built in the time of King Henry I. It’s also his burial site and used to be one of Europe’s largest medieval buildings. On the outer court of the former abbey, you can find Forbury Gardens, a popular public park.

4. Basildon Park
Basildon Park is a beautiful house with splendid rose gardens just northwest of Reading. The acclaimed 2005 “Pride & Prejudice” film was shot here. The interior also appeared as Grantham House in “Downton Abbey”. If you are looking for more film and tv sets, Highclere Castle – the setting for Downton Abbey – is a 40-minute drive from Reading.

5. Silchester
If you are interested in archeology and history, go visit the former Roman town of Silchester, ten miles southwest of Reading. Here you can admire the ancient city walls and amphitheatre. Some of the artefacts discovered in Silchesterare on display at the Reading Museum.

6. Caversham Court
Caversham Court is a great placeto relax by the river on a sunny day. While the former mansion used to house some of the city’s most powerful families, today Caversham Court is most popular for its beautiful gardens. In the summer, you can attend outdoor Shakespeare plays and film screeningshere.

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Picture by Lewis McCracken

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