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Reading part of England's new Great West Way tourist route 

Reading will be a key destination on a new bookable, multi-modal touring route from London to Bristol, designed to bring more tourism to the region, has been declared open

The new multi-modal touring route, the first of its kind, encompasses 500 miles of navigable routes along the Thames, Kennet & Avon Canal, Great Western Railway, A4 and numerous walking and cycling trails.

Whether explored by bike, road, bus, rail, canal or on foot, the Great West Way will showcase the best that Reading has to offer and aims to bring 1.5 million visitors to the region over the next 10 years.

The Great West Way is funded by the UK Government’s Discover England Fund, designed to boost inbound tourism, and administered by the national tourist board, VisitEngland. Reading UK, as the Great West Way Ambassador, for the Reading area has committed to the project, which will work with the travel trade to create bookable packages and to help make the route as visitor-friendly as possible.

Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director of Reading UK, said: “Reading is positioned at the centre of the Great West Way with the new route providing Reading with a great opportunity to showcase our fabulous heritage, top class hotels, stunning waterways and unrivalled retail and restaurant offer to an overseas and UK audience, supporting local jobs and the growing the visitor economy in Reading.”

Visitors can create their own itinerary by visiting, a new website which offers an interactive map, insider tips, an events calendar and a planning tool to generate bespoke tours.  A visit to Reading could include a stay at the luxurious Roseate Reading opposite Forbury Gardens, a visit to the recently re-opened Reading Abbey, a river cruise on the Thames, a dip in the pool at the Thames Lido or an out of town day trip to Basildon Park or an evening at the Mill at Sonning.

Great West Way Director, David Andrews, said: “Local businesses and tour operators are working together to offer new bookable itineraries that combine iconic visitor attractions, such as Reading Abbey  with quintessential English countryside, thriving market towns and chocolate box villages, plus a plethora of pubs, tearooms, breweries, vineyards  and Michelin-starred restaurants. These itineraries will win new business and market share for the region, presenting a clear, compelling proposition to encourage international visitors to travel west, to stay longer and to delve deeper.”

Great Western Railway is a fully-fledged partner in the project and will ensure the route is as accessible as possible for those travelling by train.

Find out more about the Great West Way at


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