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Points of Interest: Reading
Reading, an energetic and vibrant town in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, was once an extremely important medieval site. Today, it is home to an array of must-visit attractions, idyllic scenic spots and various bars, restaurants, museums and galleries.
Despite its historic past, Reading is often described as a cultural capital and boasts a strong performing arts scene, with much new talent emerging from the region. It’s here you’ll discover the celebrated South Street Arts Centre, home to a busy calendar of events comprising comedy showings, theatre and music acts, all in intimate surroundings.
Other popular cultural attractions include The Hexagon and Bowery District, a flourishing live music scene. Reading Festival, one of the UK’s major music events, also takes place in the town every August.
The region also plays host to a number of big name brands, designer stores and high street favourites. In fact, it’s renowned as one of the UK’s top ten retail destinations to date. The main shopping strip is conveniently located and sits just a short distance from the station.
Asides from its many shops, it’s also famous for its heritage and is home to an assortment of top attractions, including Reading Museum, which tells the story of this town’s rich past, the Museum of English Rural Life, The Kennet and Avon Canal, the Ruins of Reading Abbey and Fenbury Gardens, a nationally commended Victorian formal garden.
The Abbey has strong royal connections while the town was a key battleground in the English Civil War and the Revolution of 1688 that saw King James II overthrown. The 19th century introduction of the Great Western Railway opened up a series of new trade links and thrust the town further into the limelight.
If nightlife is more up your street, you’ll be pleased to learn of Reading’s vibrant nightlife scene. At dusk, the town centre comes to life, brandishing an array of clubs, real ale pubs and cosmopolitan bars.