Reading in a nutshell

Reading is a buzzing university town, sitting along the River Thames and the Kennet & Avon Canal. It is also at the heart of the Thames Valley and England’s new touring route the Great West Way.

River Thames 43

Reading was founded over 1000 years ago when King Alfred’s troops fought the Danes, and in the Middle Ages was the site of an influential abbey, which was the burial site for King Henry I of England. It was consecrated by Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1166.

Jane Austen was a pupil at the Abbey School.  William Fox Talbot, a photographic pioneer founded the first mass-production photo laboratory in the town and images of Reading were some of the earliest taken.

Night in the Ruins 069

Oscar Wilde was also a resident and prisoner in Reading gaol. He wrote ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ after his release.

Sports fans can watch Reading FC play Championship football at the Madejski Stadium.  And there’s a diverse programme of events and festivals including the famous Reading Festival.

Reading festival crowd




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