Just west of London, Reading offers redbrick Victorian buildings, medieval ruins, a thriving university, and pretty waterside walks along the Thames River. Its student community and annual rock-music blowout—the Reading Festival—add an offbeat edge.
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- Get Reading· 4 hours ago
Reading Borough Council will scrap £180 million of planned spending, as it faces a major loss in...
- BBC· 2 hours ago
A planning application has been submitted for £3.3m worth of improvements to Reading West railway station. Great Western Railway (GWR) plans to build a new station building to "improve safety and security",
- WFMZ-TV· 5 days ago
The Reading Zoning Hearing Board heard two separate zoning-relief requests Wednesday for proposed...
- Get Reading· 4 hours ago
Reading (pronounced: "Redding") is a large town in Berkshire in England. It is the largest town in England and the largest settlement in Berkshire. It is home to about 230,000 people. Reading is found in South East England, between London and Bristol. The River Thames goes through the town. Reading replaced Abingdon as the county town of ...
- Cultural references
Reading (pronounced like \\"redding\\", not \\"reeding\\") is a town in Berkshire in the South East of England. Its main attractions are the medieval abbey ruins, the rivers Thames and Kennet, the surrounding Thames Valley countryside, a major shopping centre, restaurants and pubs.
Reading grew rich through the medieval and Tudor periods thanks to a booming trade in cloth. The siege imposed by parliament on the town during the English Civil War crippled the town's economy which never recovered. The economy of the town is historically most famous for the '3Bs' of Biscuits (US English: Cookies), Beer and Bulbs (of none have survived - you can find out more about the biscuits on the 2nd floor or the Reading Museum) however, In recent years, ITC, finance, legal, insurance, green technologies and biopharma have replaced these traditional businesses. As such, it is not an obvious travel destination in its own right, but if you happen to be here on business, there is plenty to see and do.
The Forbury Gardens, located in the centre of town, have recently been restored to their original Victorian splendour. The adjoining ruins are the remains of a once powerful Abbey, sacked by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries.
The town centre has been transformed over the past 10 years with a modern shopping centre called The Oracle. The town centre is managed as a Business Improvement District
Reading is one of the main railway interchanges in the UK and as such is served by inter-city and regional train services from many different directions, including through services from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Oxford, Plymouth, Exeter, Cornwall, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swansea, Winchester and York as well as the airports described above. The station has just had a £900 million investment to allow capacity to double over the next 16 years. From London, you should travel from London Paddington station and catch an intercity train whose first stop is Reading (there are several of these an hour), the travel time will be about 30min. There are other stopping services from Paddington with travel times of up to an hour. Reading is also served by twice-hourly direct stopping services from London Waterloo. The typical journey time on this route is one hour 25 minutes and so is only suitable for travellers from south west London. Train times can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling 0845 748 4950 (premium rate call from most non BT landlines and mobile phones). National Express  serve Reading with express bus (UK English:coach) services from around the country; advanced ticketing is necessary. Note that they serve a stop called Reading Coachway, which sounds grand, but is actually a drafty bus stop near M4 J(12) with the only amenities being a nearby McDonald's restaurant and a Sainsburys supermarket. You will need to catch a local bus (the Number 26 or the Number 1 towards Reading) or taxi (if you can find one) to take you into Reading. Buses to the station in the city centre are quite frequent throughout the week and weekend.
Reading is served by the M4 motorway (US English: freeway) which runs from London to Bristol and South Wales. It is about an hour's drive from central London. The best junction to use for central Reading is junction 11 and then follow the signs. Buses provide a moderately good way of getting around Reading itself (say 3-5 miles out), with several buses an hour on most routes during weekdays, and hourly services in the evenings and on weekends. Beyond that distance, bus routes are much less frequent, with often only a handful of buses per day. Route 17 (Earley Wokingham Road - Tilehurst via town centre) was extended to 24 h operation in 2008, possibly with other major routes to follow. Reading Buses have a (legal) monopoly within the centre of Reading and through a vast majority of the area around it: if you plan to use a bus, chances are very high that you will use them. They are relatively expensive however, costing £4 for a day pass and £1.80 for a single (as of December 2011). If going with a group of people, it is generally cheaper to drive and pay for a car park. Alternatively, if you have to use the bus, for between 2 and 4 people, you can buy a group ticket for £8 (reduced to £5 in the school holidays or weekends).
If you are visiting for the day by car, consider using the Park & Ride site  at the Madejski stadium complex (just north of M4 J11 and well sign-posted) and catching the dedicated express bus from there. There are three car parks in the town centre: Oracle Riverside, Oracle Holy Brook, and Broad Street Mall. Oracle Riverside is the most convenient for visitors as it is large and open 24 hours. Oracle Holy Brook is not open 24 hours but is in the same building as the Oracle Shopping Centre itself (which the Riverside Car Park is not). Broad Street Mall is the oldest and relatively small. All of these car parks are pay-on-exit and none require validation; they are explicitly intended to be used by town visitors as well as shoppers. Broad Street Mall is also directly opposite the Hexagon Arts Centre and is used as the car park for visitors there. On-road parking in central Reading is available only to Disabled badge holders and is in the area near Friar Street. The central area of Reading is easily traversable on foot. From the main rail station, you will be able to take in the Abbey Ruins, the Forbury Gardens, both rivers, both shopping centres, most (but not all so check) hotels, pubs and restaurants without needing more than shoe leather.
Whilst not as bad as either London or Oxford, Reading's roads can get very congested at peak periods, in particular London Road. Coupled with confusing signage and the dubious driving habits of the locals (staying in lane and signalling are considered optional), central Reading is probably best avoided, especially if you are not used to driving on the left.
On the other hand, a car is the one (possibly along with cycling) of the only really practical ways of seeing a lot of the local countryside and villages. Here the roads are quieter too.
The junction of London Road with King's Road/Wokingham Road is locally known as \\"Cemetery Junction\\", which is the origin of the name used by the Ricky Gervais film.
These maps can be found in any good bookshop in Reading (see 'Buy' section below), or can be bought online .
The Abbey ruins have been closed due to the risk of falling masonry. As of Oct 2010 no date for reopening the ruins has been set.
Reading is the home of one of Europe's major annual music festivals, held on the Rivermead site (an open area alongside the River Thames) over a period of several days. The festival can be guaranteed to fill the town with visitors and happening things; if you are planning to visit during these festivals do book your accommodation and festival tickets well in advance.
Reading has a well established professional football team. Reading FC , who have yoyo-ed between the Premiership and the Championship in recent years - they currently compete in the Championship. Reading also has a long tradition of rugby, with many clubs in the town and surrounding areas. The three senior clubs of the town are Reading RFC, Reading Abbey RFC and Redingensians RFC. In 2000 London Irish , a professional rugby union club in the Aviva Premiership with its administrative HQ in Sunbury, contracted to play their home matches at Reading FC's Madjeski Stadium. Renewed in 2008, the contract is now extended until 2026. With a strong rugby heritage and a thriving Irish community, Reading has proved a good home for London Irish who beat the premiership attendance record in 2007 with over 23,000 people attending the annual St Patrick's Day match. London Irish also play in Europe-wide club competitions each yeareither the top-level Heineken Cup or second-tier European Challenge Cup, depending on their performance in the Premiership in the previous season.
Reading is the home of The University of Reading  which is ranked as one of the UKs most research-intensive university and as one of the top 200 universities in the world. Reading University is based on a campus two miles from the city centre and provides a full set of university courses. Reading University enjoys a world-class reputation for teaching, research and enterprise.
Reading is a significant commercial and information technology centre and if you have skills in these areas and the appropriate legal paperwork then finding a job should not be a problem. Reading is ranked No. 1 in the UK for the percentage of people in the labour market in employment and there is usually strong demand for well qualified employees. There is the usual selection of jobs in hotels, pubs, restaurants, etc.
There are three major department stores, John Lewis  on Broad Street (often still known locally by its old name of Heelas), Debenhams  and House of Fraser  both in the Oracle Centre.
Eclectic Games on Butter Market is a specialised hobby board-gaming store that does regular game nights. It stocks a wide range of Magic and role-playing materials as well as eurogames.
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Reading (/ ˈ r ɛ d ɪ ŋ / RED-ing) is a large town and unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, England of which it is the county town.It was an important centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, a monastery with strong royal connections.
- Ireland (since 1994)
- Germany (since 1988)
- BST (UTC+1)
- Reading Museum. In the neo-Gothic Town Hall, the Reading Museum explores the town’s past, from its earliest days as a Saxon Settlement, through its Medieval abbey, industrialisation and up to the 21st century.
- Forbury Gardens. A couple of streets east of the railway station, Forbury Gardens is a neat public park on the outer court of the former Reading Abbey, which we’ll talk about later.
- Abbey Ruins. On the southeast boundary of Forbury Gardens, mingling with more modern buildings are the ruins of Reading Abbey, which was founded by Henry I in 1121.
- Basildon Park. A short trip into the Chiltern Hills, just northwest of Reading, Basildon Park is a resplendent Palladian country house designed by John Carr and built between 1776 and 1783.
Local information, news, whats on and events in Reading, Berkshire, UK. Includes the suburbs of Calcot, Woodley, Caversham, Whitley, Earley, Lower Earley and Tilehurst.
Reading is the smart choice for life and work. Reading a Creative Place The many great performances and events that have taken place across the arts, culture and heritage in Reading over the last 12 months.
Berkshire, geographic and ceremonial county of southern England. The geographic county occupies the valleys of the middle Thames and its tributary, the Kennet, immediately to the west of London. It is divided into six unitary authorities: Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor